- The Washington Times - Monday, December 14, 2009


What happened: Reed Doughty came from the free safety spot to sack Raiders quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, preceding a 68-yard Shane Lechler punt. Trevor Scott answered with an untouched sack of Jason Campbell, who took a hard hit on the drive-ending incompletion and limped off the field. A pass interference penalty set the Raiders back on their next drive; Brian Orakpo’s sack of Gradkowski essentially ended it. The Redskins answered with poor pass protection and a three-and-out. Darren McFadden had a long catch-and-run that set up a Raiders field goal on the next drive. Quinton Ganther’s catch-and-run on the next drive matched it, and Campbell capped it with a scoring pass to Fred Davis to give Washington the lead.

Analysis: No matter what you think of the “No Fun League” and its celebration rules, they’re still rules. And if you violate them, it will cost your team penalty yards. That’s exactly what happened after Davis followed his touchdown catch with a dipsy-do dance move or three. His score gave the Redskins a lead, but his dance cost them 15 yards on the ensuing kickoff. That, combined with poor kick coverage, gave the Raiders the ball on the 50 to start their next drive. It ended a quarter that had some otherwise positive moments - that didn’t involve LaRon Landry - on a sour note for the Redskins.


48 Yards on Bruce Gradkowski’s pass to Darren McFadden, the longest offensive gain for the Raiders this season.


What happened: The Raiders took advantage of great field position and another long McFadden catch-and-run. Gradkowski completed three straight passes before handing to Justin Fargas on fourth-and-1; he dove over both lines for the touchdown. Washington’s next drive was aided by three Oakland offside penalties, including one on third-and-12 that put Washington in field goal range. Graham Gano made his debut from 46 yards and nailed it to tie the score. A Doughty interference penalty nearly saved a Raiders drive on third-and-13. But the Raiders punted after a long pass play was ruled an incompletion. Oakland had two 15-yard penalties that put Washington on its own 40 to start the next drive, and four plays later Campbell hit Davis for a second touchdown. The Raiders ended the half with a 66-yard field goal attempt that fell short.

Analysis: These two teams, who had a combined seven wins coming into the game, continued to put one of their biggest issues on display in the second quarter: a lack of discipline. Oakland had seven penalties during the quarter (and nine total in the first half), including three on Washington’s field goal drive and two that led to the Redskins’ touchdown. Washington picked up three more of its own, and Davis — penalized for celebration in the first quarter — still leapt into a teammate’s arms after catching a second touchdown pass rather than running off the field. And Oakland’s 66-yard field goal attempt was a bit reckless.


16 Combined penalties for the Redskins and Raiders in the first half for a total of 120 yards.


What happened: An early Oakland penalty got a Redskins drive going, but two incompletions and another sack of Campbell ended it. The Raiders started on their 44 with a new quarterback, JaMarcus Russell, who at first relied on short passes and handoffs. When he tried to throw deep he got sacked. Eventually the Raiders settled for a 54-yard Sebastian Janikowski field goal. Washington answered with a three-and-out and another piece of poor punt coverage, and Oakland started on its own 49. The Raiders went four plays with sack-penalty-penalty-sack before punting.

Analysis: Give credit to Campbell (and the training staff) for staying upright. He continued to get pounded by the Raiders in the third quarter, including a sack by Mike Mitchell in which the safety got to the quarterback untouched. And though he stayed on the field, the pressure affected Campbell; he completed just two of six passes and got sacked twice. Penalties, meanwhile, continued to dog the Raiders, who picked up three more in the third quarter.


4 Field goals from 50-plus yards for Sebastian Janikowski this season. It’s his second-highest single-season total; he hit six in 2007.


What happened: Campbell and Ganther heated up, and the latter ran in for his second touchdown. On the Raiders’ first play, Landry dived to snag an interception, giving Washington the ball in Oakland territory. Four plays later, Ganther had his second career touchdown on another 1-yard run on first and goal. The Redskins nearly scored a defensive touchdown on a Russell fumble, but Andre Carter couldn’t grab the ball. Then Antwaan Randle El muffed a punt, and Oakland recovered at the 50. But the Redskins sacked him two more times, including on fourth down, ending any hope of a Raiders comeback. Washington’s next drive was a flurry of handoffs before Gano’s second field goal of the game. Oakland’s drive fizzled, and Campbell kneeled twice to end it.

Analysis: Washington’s decision to play Orakpo more at defensive end paid off in a huge way against the Raiders. The rookie was a disruptive force throughout the game and picked up his fourth sack in the fourth quarter. Andre Carter added another as well and finished with two; the team had eight total, a number even more impressive considering that Albert Haynesworth and DeAngelo Hall didn’t play. And credit Washington with building on a lead rather than surrendering it in the fourth quarter; the Redskins added 17 points and, with help from the hapless Russell, kept the Raiders off the scoreboard.


4 Sacks for rookie Brian Orakpo, equaling a team record shared by Ken Harvey, Phillip Daniels, Diron Talbert and Dexter Manley.

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