New season. Same old, depressing story.
The Redskins hoped its anemic offense, which struggled throughout the preseason (and all of last year, for that matter), would magically come alive in the season opener against the division rival Giants.
Outside of one late drive in the fourth quarter, however, the Skins’ best offensive play was made by their punter. A fake field goal was about all Washington had to be happy about through the first 3.5 quarters of play. Last time we checked, that's not a good thing.
A late fourth-quarter drive using the hurry-up offense finally led to a Chris Cooley touchdown, but it was too little, too late as the Giants won 23-17.
The song remained the same for the Redskins offense. Jason Campbell threw the TD to Cooley late in the game, but also was picked once and fumbled in the pocket after getting hit. Osi Umenyiora scooped it up and rumbled 37 yards for the Giants’ second touchdown of the game. Campbell finished the game a pedestrian 19 of 26 for 211 yards.
The Skins’ other offensive stars didn’t look much better. Clinton Portis gained 62 yards on 16 carries, but 34 of those yards came on one run. Santana Moss caught just two passes for 6 yards.
The offensive star was Hunter Smith, who pulled off a great fake field goal attempt near the end of the first half. Shaun Suisham lined up for a short field goal attempt, but Smith pulled the ol’ Charlie Brown, pulling the ball away at the last second and running the longest 8 yards of his life into the right side of the end zone for the touchdown to make it 17-7 at the half.
But the Giants maintained control throughout the second half, eating up the clock and taking whatever points the Redskins defense would give them.
Speaking of the defense, the debut of $100 million man Albert Haynesworth was rather unassuming. He registered just four tackles in the game, and the defense as a whole managed just one sack of the lead-footed Eli Manning.
The good news for the Redskins? The team’s next five opponents have a much-lower talent level than the Giants. The Rams are up next, followed by the Lions, Bucs, Panthers and Chiefs.
The Skins have to take easy wins when they get them in order to have a chance of making the playoffs. While one might not think games in weeks 2-6 are “must wins,” but for the Redskins, they really are. They have no room for mistakes in the rough and tumble NFC East.
Bring on St. Louis!