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The Setup
Redskins were 5 & 8 - behind Philly and Dallas in the NFL East and out of the playoff hunt. Last week they got blacktopped by the Chargers 30 -13. The 6 & 7 Cards used 4 FG's to win a 12 - 7 "pitchers dual" vs. Tennessee. Their playoff hopes are hanging by a sinew.

The Lede
Cards Skinned 12 - 7

Answers to Unasked Questions:

  • Playoffs?

  • Gabbert will have to do better than that.

  • We can win at small-ball, but only if we make fewer mistakes than the other guys. That didn't happen.

  • I physically "hurt" every time our OL allowed their pass rushers to zoom in an smash Gabbert

  • Penny - while not the answer to all our RB prayers give us an inside power-game that can help us in some situations,

  • Phil "Old Reliable" Dawson.

Game Recap
Things started as in auspiciously for this writer as it did for the Cardinals. (I mistakenly thought we had the 4:00pm (ET) game and watched Giants vs. Eagle until I realized my mistake going into the 2H). The Cardinals hit an even crazier speed bump with Gabbert handing over a fumble on Play #3 of the football game and the Cards handing over a TD on Play #5. It was downhill for both teams after that, with both the Cards and the Skins failing to put away opportunities to ice the game.

1st Quarter
  • Cards received. TB on KO. On the third play of the series, Lanier sacked Gabbert for minus-10. Gabbert gave up the ball and the Skins took over at the Cardinal 6. Two plays later, Cousins hit Crowder for a 5-yd TD. (Maybe I was lucky that I missed the 1H of this football game). Washington 7 - Cards -0.

    Foster muffed the KO but recovered and took it to the Card 17. Gabbert engineered a 16-play drive capped by Dawson's 40-yd FG. (Drive featured running by K Wiliams and E {Penny and a couple of completiosn to Fitz. It also featured 2 consecutive sacks of Gabbert to squelch the drive). Washington 7 - Cards 3.

    KO returned to the Wash 18. An 18-yd pass over the middle to Doctson on the opening play was followed by 3 & out. Way's punt was returned to the Card 12. Cards went 3 & out. Skins ran off one play before the quarter ended.

    1st Quarter Score: Washington 7 - Cards 3

2nd Quarter
  • Washington started from their own 38. A run by their rookie FA Bibbs and a couple of penalties set up a short pass to Bibbs who took it to the house. Wash 14 - Cards 3
  • (For an colorful illustration of how Cardinals react to butt-ugly football play, check out the game thread on the website and enjoy the bleats). Golden returned the KO to the Cardinal 26. This time, Gabbert constructed an 11-play drive ending with Dawson's second FG (this one from 35). Wash 14 - Cards 6
  • After a face-mask flag on Corey Peters, Skins were held to 3 & out. A 46-yd Gabbert-to-Nelson hookupp set up a 1st & goal at the Wash 9; but Gabbert's pass for Seals-Jones wa picked off. A horse-ciollar penalty on Boone set the Skins up at their own 41, but a V Davisa fumble on the next play gave the Cards the bal on the Wash 33 with 1:39 till halftime. Cards survived a false start penalty and the reversal of a firs down call to reach the Wash 1, but Gabbert threw three straight incompletions and Dawson kicked his third FG frorm 19 out to end the quarter. Wash 14 - Cards 9
  • First Half Score: Wash 14 - Cards 9

3rd Quarter

  • Wash received and Budda Baker recovered a fumble on the opening KO at the Wash 22. Cards could get no closer to the Wash 16. dawson's fourth FG was good from 34. Wash 14 - Cards 12

    The two teams exchanged 3 & outs. Punt downed by Baker at the Wash 6. Cousins led his team on an 11-play drive capped by a 24 yd Hopkins FG. Wash 17 - Cards 12

    TB on KO. Cards held to 3 & out. Punt retunred to Wash 21, K Martin's minus-15 yd stop of Doctson in the backfield help set up a Wash punt on the first play of the final quarter.K Willaims) ended the quarter.

    Third Quarter Score: Wash 17 - Cards 12

4th Quarter
  • Golden returned punt to his own 39. Cards ran a lot of Penny inside. Dawson's 54-yd FG was good, but nullifed by a leverage" jump by Wash. This gave the Cards another shot at a TD from the Wash 21,but their drive stalled at the Skin 14 and Dawson was good from 32-yds. Wash 17 - Cards 15
  • KO returned to the Carsh 35. The two teams exchanged 3 & outs. Skins started from the Card 44. Cousins put together an 8-play drive ending with a 32-yd Hopkins FG. Wash 20 - Cards 15
  • 4:30 left. TB on KO. Gabbert hit Fitz for 25 yards and the Cards moved into Wash territory, but Gabbert was sacked for minus-10 yds (& recovered the fumble). This took away a Cardinal scoring opportunity. Lee's punt was fair caught at the Wash 12-yd line. 3 & out - with 2 Cardinal time outs used). Golden returned the punt to the Card 48 (Golden injured).
  • 1:59 left to play. Cards had 9 shots at scoring, but their receivers couldn't hang onto contested balls - two that stand out - Gabbert deep middle to Nikklas. Gilbert to Fitz short right.
  • One knee. Game over.

Final Score: Wash 20 - Cards 15

Notable Game Stats.

Passing: Gabbert was 16 of 61 for 189 yards, 0 TD and1 Int. (Cousins was 18 of 26 for 196 yds, 2 TD's and 0 picks).

  • Rushing: K Williams gained 73 yds on 17 carries. Penny gained 45 yds on ten carries. (Titan runners Murray and Henry gained a combined total of 196 yds on 18 carries).

  • Card rush defense gave up 1.6 yds per rushing play (Card rushers averaged 4.1)

  • Receiving: Fitz led the Cards with 5 catches. (Foster had 4; Nikklas 3).

  • Turnovers: Minus- 1 Cards intercepted zero passes and gave up 1 interception Cards and Skins each gave away one fumble.

  • Penalties: Cards were penalized 8 times. Skins 7

  • Run/Pass Ratio: Cards: 34/41. (Skins 20/26)
  • Field Goals: Cards 5 for 5 Skinss 2 for 2

    Net Punting Yards: Lee averaged 46.6. Kern averaged (42.7)

  • Tackles: Bucannon 8, K Martin 5, Mathieu, Person, Peters 4 apiece

    Sacks: 3. (C Jones 1, (Gabbert was sacked 4 times.

    Interceptions: Gabbert gave up one (P Smith)

    Third Down Efficiency: Cards were 4 of 19 (21%. Skins: 1 of 9 for 11%).

    Red Zone Efficiency: Cards were 0 of 6 - 0%. (Skins: 1 of 3 - 33%).

    Time of Possession: Cards 36:16/ Skins: 23:44

Bright Spots

  • Penny's seems to be gradually find his rhythm.

    Congrats C Jones

    No interceptions thrown/no fumbles left on ground

    Baker consistent at making plays.

    Dawson's 15-points looked sweet compared to their 7.

The Dark Side

  • Golden - Hope he's OK

  • Gabbert - Not executing at rate high enough to be a starter. (Part of this is due to butt-ugly offensive line play).

  • One on One Matchups - If we were to go strictly according to andom statistics, we'd win 50% of contested jump balls. Yesterday, it didn't happen. I don't have the actual stats, but it seemed as though our receivers and DB's, at best, winning perhaps 1 of every 3 contested balls. Not good enough.

  • Turnovers - If we're going to play conservative, close-to-the-vest football, we cannot afford to give up interceptions, fumbles (and 4 freakin' sacks).

    The Offensive Line - Other teams experience injuries to their offensive and defensive lines - and they still find a way to somehow prevail. Lots of finger-pointing - at BA...SK....Whatever the case, we've dug a tough hole for our backups to fight their way out of. We have to sign more durable players and do a better job of keeping them healthier, in better shape and more durable.

Last Word:
Looks like we're out of the playoffs. So what - there's still the Giants (& NYC bragging rigjhts) next Sunday, and I get a kick out of watching pro football and rooting for my team to win..

Merry Christmas! PS How 'bout them Steelers!

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Copyright 1996 Gollin & Associates. Last modified: 11/26/2012