- The Washington Times - Monday, September 28, 2009


The Redskins had no running game. Clinton Portis had minus-2 yards on four carries in the first half a year after slashing the Lions for 126 yards on 24 carries. Veterans Randy Thomas (out for the year) and Jon Jansen - cut and now with the Lions - are much better run blockers than kids Chad Rinehart and Stephon Heyer. Portis was better after halftime but to no end.


Santana Moss could stretch only so far on third-and-10 in the second quarter. On the next drive, Chris Cooley’s diving grab was good for 12 yards on third-and-13. Jason Campbell and Moss teamed for a 57-yard score in the third quarter, but Ko Simpson picked off Campbell when he tried to go to Moss on third down on the next series. Campbell hit Rock Cartwright for a late touchdown in the red zone.


Kevin Smith slashed through a supposedly tough Washington run defense for 82 yards on 12 first-half carries. Rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford set up the first touchdown with a 21-yard third down scramble. All-Pro defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth was carted off in the second quarter with a hip injury and later returned.


There was almost no pass rush, but getting beaten on nine of the first 11 third downs is on the defensive backs even though DeAngelo Hall held Calvin Johnson to one catch for 9 yards. Washington had no answers for receiver Bryant Johnson or Stafford. Chris Horton’s fourth-quarter pass-interference call was huge, as was Will Heller’s late grab vs. Brian Orakpo.


Former Colts punter Hunter Smith loves domes. He boomed two kicks 58 and 55 yards and pooched his next two at the Detroit 15. Neither Rock Cartwright’s kickoff returns nor Washington’s coverage teams were very special, but since Detroit came in with strong special teams, that wasn’t a negative.


Jim Zorn’s decision to go for it on fourth-and-1 early was fine even though Portis was stopped, but the choice to give the Lions another shot on third down wasn’t smart. And the coaches must share the blame with the players for the Redskins falling behind 13-0. Greg Blache’s defense was beyond terrible on third down in the first half.

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