Beware of the…Redskins?

The Donovan Mcnabb led Redskins showed a lot of positive signs Sunday Night

The Washington Redskins may not have provided us with the most dominating performance of the NFL’s opening weekend but it was indeed a noteworthy performance.

Take a look at the box score from Sunday night’s game and you might be unable to comprehend how in the world the Redskins were able to steal a 13-7 victory against a supposed high-octane Dallas Cowboys offence. However, throughout the game much of the Redskins squad showed that they may be a team to be reckoned with as the 2010-11 season moves along.

Wait, seriously??? Yes folks, I am talking about THE Washington Redskins.

Let’s start with one of the most talked about acquisitions during the offseason.

Although Donovan Mcnabb threw for under a 50% completion rating at 15 of 32 for 171 yards and no touchdowns, there were times when the 34 year-old Donovan actually looked like primetime Donovan. He was moving around much better in the pocket than we have seen in the last couple of years, which could partly be due to Mcnabb’s conscious effort to reduce his weight over the offseason. He was sacked only once in the game, had a nice run for 17 yards in the first half and Mcnabb showed off his arm with some crisp passes to Santana Moss and Chris Cooley throughout the game. Some positive signs from a supposed aging quarterback.

Now we should all know that a quarterback is nothing without some help from his offensive line, and this Washington O-Line anchored by rookie left tackle Trent Williams gave Mcnabb very ample protection throughout the night. Even Though Trent Williams did give up the Cowboys only sack of the night — to Demarcus Ware mind you — and was called for a crucial false start with his team 3rd and 2 late in the 4th quarter, the Redskins staff must be flying high after making the choice to take Williams over Seattle Seahawks first rounder Russell Okung.

It might be a cliché but defence does win championships and the Washington Redskins defence stepped up big time in their season opener. I don’t really care that the Dallas Cowboys offence looked not much better than it did during its four pre-season games. When your offence features Tony Romo under center, 3 quality receivers in Miles Austin, Roy Williams, and Dez Bryant, and 3 quality backs in Felix Jones, Marion Barber, and Tashard Choice there has to be something on the other side of the ball that is making your offence look rather ordinary. It was no fluke that a defence led by the 13 tackles of Laron Landry held the Cowboys to only one touchdown all night. Not to mention scoring their team’s only touchdown. Even the $100 million man Albert Haynesworth was showing some serious fight in the second half. I’m not trying to say that the Washington Redskins are going to win a championship this year but the defence was definitely a big plus Sunday night.

I’m not sure how many times I heard Cris Collingsworth say “This looks like a Mike Shannahan offence” throughout the course of the game but make no mistake, a Mike Shannahan run team is going to be run a whole heck of a lot better than one run by Jim Zorn.

Throughout his time in Denver, Mike Shannahan made his backfield of nobodies into somebodies. His current feature back, Clinton Portis, rushed for over 1500 yards in his two seasons in Denver under him but was traded for star cornerback Champ Bailey. With the Redskins Clinton Portis having averaged around 1100 yards a season and about 4.1 yards per carry in his time with Washington, it is probably an understatement to brand Portis as a disappointment so far. And even though he is reaching the twilight of his career at the age of 29 and had a less than stellar evening rushing 18 times for 63 yards, Portis did give us some signs that he could return to his old form. One instance that comes to mind was when Portis moved the chains on 1st and 10 but the play was negated due to a Chris Cooley illegal motion call. However, the very next play 1st and 15, Clinton Portis executed a “Mike Shannahan” cutback play to perfection as he ran for 16 yards and the first down.

In a division that sports the New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys, and the Philadelphia Eagles, the Redskins are not going to have it easy this season. And just because they won a game that they probably shouldn’t have is not the reason why people should start jumping on the Redskins bandwagon. Sunday night’s game provided Washington fans with more than just a 1-0 start to the season. It provided Washington Redskins fans to finally believe that their team may actually be turning a corner.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at I’m now on twitter follow me @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favour.

Also check out howiGit’s blog.

About Chris Ross
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19 Responses to Beware of the…Redskins?

  1. mikepeal says:

    Thanks for your comment, Chris. I’ve no idea how you came across my blog but I’m happy you did. It’d mean a lot to me if we kept track of each other.

    I think your assessment of the Redskins is a little off, only because it wasn’t so much the Redskins’ defense that limited Dallas as it was the Dallas penalties — I mean, Dallas averaged around 6 yards a play. I agree with your general take on McNabb, but not so much the entire Washington offense. The Cowboys had the Skins figured out most of the night, really, and handily won the time of possession battle. I’d be a little less optimistic on Portis and the gang, but to each his own.

    As far as the blog goes, your biggest problem is not analysis or ease-of-reading. You write well. What I mostly see are grammar and spelling errors: writing “Mcnabb” instead of “McNabb,” not knowing when to insert a hyphen or comma…things like that. Then again, they stand out to me so much because I’m a senior at university majoring in journalism, so I noticed these things because it’s pretty much been drilled into my head to be error-free.

    I will be following.

    • Abe says:


      I think Jerry Jones should hire you to teach his offensive line how to spell “Holding”

      Washington defensive dominated the over-hyped over-octane Cowboy offense and won the game.

      Washington Offense is not some thing to write home about.

      I could not Believe Mike Shany calls for three passes on first and goal from the five yard line and he has Portis and Larry Johnson. I am still wondering what the coach was thinking.

  2. rohbjennings says:

    Good objective post ! Keep posting when you can the more you write the easier and less time it takes especially when you know your topic. I post on espn too do you post there as well? If so hit me up profile name unklerob I have some links and topics for you let me know if you post sports elsewhere you have some good stuff to read

  3. buddad1957 says:

    Great analysis! It’s hard to find people still admitting they are Mariner fans. I first followed the Senators, Redskins from Washington, until I moved to Washington state in 1967. That predated the M’s and Seahawks, so I became a Husky fan, one year with the Pilots and the Rangers when the left Washington D.C. I have one question about your twitter account, (that’s where I first found you) — why “paintstheblack?”

    Please keep finding time to write, enjoy your work very much! I have subscribed and will be taking time to read previous posts. In the nit picking area, it is defense and offense, not offence and defence. Keep an eye on your spell checker. Keep up the good work Chris!
    a fellow M’s fan,

    Bud D.

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  5. Pingback: MVN » Beware of the…Redskins?

  6. Matt Fried says:

    Chris, great work yet again. Having watched my Eagles bite it earlier in the day, I was intrigued to McNabb in new surroundings. I never agreed with the way he got traded, however I was never his biggest advocate either. He put in a good game, but not great, and I think that indicative of his multiple career injuries. Dallas is clearly in cruise mode, and need to get it together if they want to win it all. I’d put equal blame on the coaching staff and Romo’s ego on this one. Lastly, I think the Redskins will be a threat… in 2012. Shanahan has a lot of work to do, and the team needs upgrades in its offense. Plus, we’ll see what happens when Dan Snyder impatient. That man is the single reason why his team has been terrible since 1999.

    Keep up the writing – you’ve got a good thing going!

  7. Interesting take, but the offense was shaky to say the least. I lean towards the Cowboys blowing that game. Had the Cowboys taken a knee at half, the outcome likely would’ve been different.

    Chris and others check out my Primetime Thoughts at and follow on facebook or twitter at davidslondon.

  8. Hey thanks for checking out my blog, I really appreciate the comments you left. You got a nice blog post here. You make some good points about the D stepping up. Even tho the Cowboys made some mistakes I think it was due to the pressure the Washington D was applying. I’m gonna keep an eye on your blog, look out for the next entry in mine.

  9. Benti says:

    I watched this game and my eyes bled. This was a terrible game to watch. Both teams deserved to lose this game and the Redskins just deserved to lose this game less. I’m really not that all excited about a team that scored a touchdown off an improvisation and needed a holding penalty on the offense to win that game.

    I want three hours of my life back.


  10. thepaulw says:

    Thank you for the comment. I must say I am still less than thrilled with the Redskins Defense, but it did seem as though some of the “over the hill” players were not as advertised. Even Jason Campbell would have looked good behind our line. We did not try to give this game away. And perhaps you are right, this is finally a team that cannot be over looked.

  11. DeRawkk says:

    Nice post i must say. If the Redskins D can play like they did last night every game, they will no doubt be a tough team to beat.

    oh by the way, thanks for dropping by my blog, i appreciate it.

  12. Loyal Homer says:

    Thanks for your comment on our blog Chris. As I said in response to your comment, I watched a good bit of the game last night and came away impressed with Haslett’s defense. I was not sure about that hire in the offseason, but after one game, it looks like a good move. I wonder about whether the Skins have enough playmakers on offense. But hey, we’ve seen McNabb win before with no playmakers in Philly (Todd Pinkston, James Thrash, anyone?)

    Keep up the good work.

  13. Pingback: MVN » Jason Campbell is not the answer

  14. I would argue that the end result to Sunday night’s game was a combination of two good defenses and poor offensive play calling from the Cowboys’ $3 Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. Washington’s defense is going to keep them in a lot of game and maybe even win a few more games just like the other night, but the offense for McNabb and Co. isn’t something to praise. Dallas beat Washington in every statistical category including the one category that you don’t want to lead, penalties. The last 3 times Dallas has played Washington they’ve allowed only 12 points and if not for a bonehead dump off to Tashard Choice the same result would’ve happened. That’s just the game I saw.

  15. djduece says:

    Thanks Chris for checking out my blog, I’m not a big Redskin’s fan myself but yet I also like watching all of the teams in the nfl play as well. I do like some of the changes the redskins have made mostly with McNabb as the new QB and Shannan as the head coach. I think there going to turn some heads this season as well. And again thanks for checking it out.

  16. I guess you didn’t see the wide open pass he overthrew to Joey Galloway that would have iced the game against the texans. A game in which the lost in OT. The skins fans will learn, like us in philly that this guy doesn’t show up in big games when it counts. BOTTOM LINE

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