- The Washington Times - Monday, September 14, 2009


Clinton Portis broke free for 34 yards on Washington’s first play of the year. The Pro Bowl running back was held in check the rest of the way, largely because the offensive line didn’t open any holes against the Giants’ formidable defensive front and because the Redskins were behind.


Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora celebrated his return from a knee injury with a sack and fumble return for a touchdown in the second quarter. Jim Zorn called only two passes on the first two series, and on one receiver Antwaan Randle El took an 11-yard sack. Malcolm Kelly and Santana Moss were nonfactors.


The Redskins weren’t as overwhelmed by the Giants’ ground game as they have been in recent seasons. However, New York dominated time of possession despite the Redskins’ addition of Albert Haynesworth. Linebackers London Fletcher and Rocky McIntosh were particularly effective against the run.


Despite the additions of Haynesworth inside and first-round pick Brian Orakpo outside, the Redskins for the most part didn’t have any more pass rush than they did in 2008. On the other end, the secondary couldn’t stay with the unheralded Mario Manningham and Steve Smith.


Holder Hunter Smith deftly executed a fake field goal for an 8-yard touchdown run to give the Redskins their only points of the first half. Surprisingly, Moss — not Randle El — was sent in for the first punt return of the season. However, Moss managed just a yard on the play, and Hall was penalized 10 yards.


The Redskins were supposed to be much better prepared to kick off the season at Giants Stadium than they were in 2008, when Zorn was a rookie coach with a new offense and Campbell was returning from a knee injury. Yet during the first 27:55, Washington was outgained 210-68 and outscored 17-0.

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