Lessons Learned From Game One - NBC4 Washington

Lessons Learned From Game One

Lots to take away from an expected loss



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    Ah, the ol' Matador defense. Gets 'em every time.

    Football's a funny game. Most rational, non-homer people figured the Giants would win (even if they thought the Skins had a chance). So what happened? They do what's expected and lose by 6. Worst. Team. Ever.

    The team lost a game on the road to a team that's probably better than them, just as Vegas and most experts figured they would. Big deal. The season moves on. Besides, they can always go 15-1, right?

    Lesson Learned: It still stinks when you lose a game you expect to lose.

    Jason Campbell's numbers look superficially decent: 19 for 26. But when you look at the 1 TD in 26 passes and the meager 211 yards passing, it makes you think back to the Mark Brunell glory days -- but at least ol' Mark knew to throw the ball away instead of taking sacks and throwing picks.

    Zorn Discusses Loss to Giants

    [DC] Zorn Discusses Loss to Giants
    Coach Jim Zorn doesn't look happy about his team's performance against the Giants.
    (Published Monday, Sept. 14, 2009)

    Campbell rarely makes bad decisions, but it seems like he rarely makes great decisions either. Give him enough time -- as the line did more often than not -- and he'll make an OK play, but he just seems a beat slow with his decision-making sometimes.

    Lesson Learned: Campbell's either afraid of the risks that come with making a big play, or he just doesn't make great decisions.

    Jim Zorn was accused of being a conservative play-caller, but it was his attempts at trickery yesterday that caught everyone's eye. The second play from scrimmage -- a WR option with Randle El -- turned into an 11-yard loss. And Zorn's fake field goal at the end of the first half made Hunter Smith the first-half MVP.

    But when people complain about Zorn's conservatism, it has nothing to do with wacky plays, but the riskiness of the ones he doesn't call -- where are the deep passes? Where's the precision passing game? Why aren't the Skins ever able to rip apart defenses the way Eli Manning picked apart the Giants at times?

    Lesson Learned: The Zorn Star is totally medium, perhaps to his detriment.

    The Skins spent $100 million in the offseason for a giant road block. Al Haynesworth played well, occupying space and drawing attention, but did you notice how often he took himself off the field for air? If they pro-rated his salary for the time he's on the field, he'd be the $6-million man.

    Lesson Learned: The Skins probably underestimated their oxygen budget for the year.

    Defensive Coordinator Greg Blache doesn't like it when you question the team's lack of pressure on the QB. You might recall his tirade against a TV analyst after an innocuous pre-season question. 

    But after another game where the front 4 didn't make Eli pay and the soft corners couldn't stop a bunch of no-name receivers from running wild underneath, Blache has to be questioning himself.

    Lesson Learned: Greg Blache better hope he's renting, not buying a house.