Sunday, November 21, 2010
Wrap-up: Redskins 19, Titans 16 OT
By Matt Mosley
Some quick thoughts on the Washington Redskins' clutch 19-16 win over the Tennessee Titans.
What it means: This is an enormous win for a team that was thoroughly embarrassed by the Philadelphia Eagles Monday. The Redskins faced a lot of adversity in this game with at least eight players having to leave for some time due to injury. And it's not like Washington was at full strength at the beginning. Quarterback Donovan McNabb showed excellent poise in leading a two-minute drill at the end of regulation and then he again put the Skins in position to win the game in overtime. McNabb finished the game 30-of-50 for 376 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Playing behind a patchwork offensive line, McNabb used his feet to extend plays and deliver strikes downfield. He had the one bad interception in the first half, but I still think this was his best performance of the season.
McNabb's play of the game: With the Redskins starting from their own 13-yard line in overtime, McNabb avoided a sack and launched the ball to tight end Chris Cooley for a 26-yard gain on first down. The Redskins certainly had help on the game-winning drive with two 15-yard penalties on the Titans, but McNabb's throw to Cooley got things off to a good start. If Cooley was able to keep on his feet on the play, he had a chance at a touchdown.
Injuries everywhere: The Redskins can't even get running backs through pregame warmups without getting injured. The Skins were down to two running backs because Chad Simpson injured himself before the game. Clinton Portis got off to a quick start with 32 yards on five carries, but then he re-injured his groin and had to leave the game.You have to hand it to Keiland Williams, who ran the ball 23 times for 68 yards and also caught six passes.
The Redskins' defense continued to get the job done despite losing players to injuries. The Titans moved the ball with Chris Johnson on the ground, but they never punched the ball in the end zone against the Skins. Tennessee's only touchdown came on a punt return. Washington had 17 more first downs than the Titans and nearly 100 more total yards on offense. But the Titans win games like these, as the Giants, Eagles and Cowboys will attest. Of course, knocking Titans quarterback Vince Young out of the game in the third quarter didn't hurt the Skins' cause. Third-stringer Rusty Smith had one long completion to set up a field goal, but he threw a crucial interception to Phillip Buchanon and then struggled in overtime. I'll never understand why the Titans didn't simply keep feeding the ball to Johnson in overtime. Putting the game in Smith's hands after Johnson had opened with a 15-yard run was a baffling call by the Titans.
What's next: It's hard to believe, but the Skins (5-5) could hop right back into the playoff picture with a win at home over the struggling Vikings next Sunday. And then it's off to New Meadowlands Stadium to face the New York Giants. That's suddenly looking like a pretty good game Dec. 5.