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Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Fake FGs and other stuff

By Dan Graziano
ESPN.com

ARLINGTON, Va. -- As we continue to sit on a tarmac in northern Virginia, my thoughts have drifted once again to the Redskins' fake field goal attempt at the end of the first half that's certain to be added to NFL blooper reels. I've long been fascinated with the swinging gate on extra point attempts, but Skins special teams coach Danny Smith has taken his trickery to another level.

First, the Redskins showed the Giants exactly what they planned to do on the fake. And when the Giants called timeout, Smith and head coach Jim Zorn cooperated by staying in the same formation.

Smith
Redskins punter Hunter Smith was crushed as he released the ball that was eventually intercepted.
When seven Redskins players sprinted over the left side, chuckles were heard throughout the press box. Next, holder Hunter Smith, the point man in Smith's magic show, took the snap and desperately fired the ball into what appeared to be quintuple coverage.

The ball was intercepted and the Skins were booed lustily as the home team departed the field. In a season full of indignities, the botched fake has to rank in the top five. I thought for a moment that owner Dan Snyder might fire Zorn at halftime. At least one Giants player I talked to was quite amused that the Redskins stuck with the same play. He happened to be among the three Giants who converged upon Smith just before his heave.

Here's how Zorn described the play: “It was good defense. That’s what hurt that play. I contemplated going back, after [Tom Coughlin] called timeout, and kicking the field goal. The play was unique enough to where I didn’t think they saw what we were really trying to do and when they smelled it out pretty quickly, we didn’t really have a chance to get it started.”

I would've much preferred an explanation from Zorn such as: "We were simply trying to entertain the viewers at home."

For whatever reason, the Redskins simply don't match up well against the Giants, which is to say they don't belong on the same field with them.

After five weeks of watching the Skins push some good teams to the brink, maybe this is the reminder fans needed of how much needs to be done. It's hard to imagine any members of the current coaching staff returning -- and that's probably the most hopeful message I can leave you with this morning.

OK, I've been asked to turn off my electronic device. I'll check in from Dallas later this afternoon.