Game Blog: Redskins 21, Cardinals 19

Rich Tandler offers his insight with a game blog about the game versus the Cardinals.

First Quarter

13:19—A holding call nullifies a first-down conversion for the Cards, but it still was a good play, a quick flip over the middle to a receiver in stride

12:18—Excellent pressure on the two third-down tries (Skins were offside on the first one). Skins have the ball. Get it to Moss.

10:16—Well, so much for starting out fired up and sharp. Three and out with a holding penalty and then a blocked punt. Cards in good field position, It will be hard to keep them from scoring.

9:39—A hold-happy officiating crew; three holding flags in the first five and a half minutes of play.

8:32—It would be nice to say that Sean Taylor is red hot, but the QB's keep throwing the ball right to him.

6:55--#45 X 3 = a first down

4:47—The Cardinal defense pursues exceptionally well.

4:12—Portis got around the corner on them, though

Portis 2 run (Suisham kick)
Redskins 7, Cardinals 0

1:57—Edge James is getting about two yards a carry, or what he typically got last year.

:57—Warner's slinging the ball pretty well, he has the Cards on the move.

:35—He did until a crackback block penalty, anyway, turned a second and five into a second and 15.

End of first quarter
Redskins 7, Cardinals 0

Not much flow to the game yet. The Cardinals have had the ball the vast majority of the time, but they really haven't moved it. They keep cutting their throats with holding and illegal blocking penalties. The Skins were anything but sharp in moving 25 yards for the TD as the drive needed a personal foul against the Cards to keep it alive or else it's probably just 3-0. Redskins are on offense to start the second period, trying to establish something.

Second Quarter

13:30—Still nothing there on offense. A quick three and out after the punt. They're keeping everything short, playing very conservatively. It seems that they are afraid that the pass protection won't hold up, although Campbell really hasn't been bothered too much so far.

11:55—Carlos Rogers is learning how to play the ball. Last year he'd often be near the receiver, but he'd either panic and interfere with the receiver or lose the ball and give up a big play. He was just in to knock away a pass on a third and two slant and did exactly what he needed to do. He's one of the reasons why the defense is so much better this year than last.

11:47—The Redskins are testing the right side of their line on runs after avoiding it the past few weeks. Portis picked up four on first down going wide right.

11:00—Finally, a play downfield and Campbell fires a bullet to Randle El.

8:06—Again, the Redskins are unable to get off a third and two play without needing to call a timeout. It's generally not so bad in the first half, but nobody knew where to line up or who should be in the game. They had a nice rhythm going, now a TV commercial disrupts it. This probably is two-down territory as it's too far for a field goal.

8:02—Punt. It wasn't a worthless drive as it ate some clock and flipped field position, but seven points, obviously, isn't going to win this game.

Fletcher 27 interception return (Suisham kick)
Redskins 14, Cardinals 0

7:00--Still not much offense, but an interception return by London Fletcher has the Redskins up 14-0. Of course, considering their recent record when up at the half, maybe the Cards have the Redskins right where they want them.

2:00—A great tackle by Fletcher on third and four has the Cards facing a fourth and two.

2:00—For the first time since 1995, the Redskins have returned two interceptions for TD's in the same season. Darrell Green and Tom Carter each got a pick six that year.

1:55—Now the Skins need to make the Cards pay for going for it on fourth down.

1:46—It's back the other way as Campbell's screen pass is tipped and picked. Cards are back in business at the Washington 23.

:12—Risky for the Cards to run a play on third down at the two. Warner's probably smart enough not to get sacked and to make sure a pass goes into the end zone.

0:00—Just like in the Miami game, a short TD pass at the end of the first half.

Bouldin 2 pass from Warner (kick blocked)

End of second quarter
Redskins 14, Cardinals 6

I'm not sure why the Redskins would call a timeout with the Cardinals nowhere near ready to run a play and the play clock winding down to zero. I think the answer is that they didn't. The Cards had no idea what they were doing, but they don't get nailed for the five yards. In any case, the Redskins being up by fourteen at the end of the first half probably isn't a good thing, as noted in the recent history reference.

Still, you'd like to see the offense with more than 82 yards, including 34 on the ground. The intermediate passes have shown some promise every time Campbell has thrown them. And you've got to think that a deep one to Moss is in the offing somewhere.

If the Redskins can stay turnover free, they should win this one.

Third Quarter

14:50—There won't be much of a chance for sustained offense here after Cartwright took the kickoff back 80 yards to the 20.

14:35—A poor start there with Portis losing two. The running game just isn't happening.

12:45—A sack and a missed FG wastes the opportunity on Cartwright's return. Deflating.

11:45—The Cards are racking up some serious penalty yards. They just got 10 tacked on to an 11-yard Randle El return. That gets them up to 55 in penalties. That means that the Redskins are gaining nearly as much field position on Arizona penalties as they are on offense.

9:45—Cooley's first catch of the day is another of his big little grabs, two yards on third and two, keeping the drive alive at the 25.

8:11—Great scamper by Campbell, who found the sticks on a third and six scramble.

7:42—Betts is running very tentatively, like he's not sure where to go. Last year he hit the hole quicker.

6:51—No sooner do the words come off of my fingers than he hits it with authority for s first and goal inside the one. His best run of the year.

Portis 1 run (Suisham kick)
Redskins 21, Cardinals 6

It's easier to go over the pile like Portis did than try to plough through it like Sellers did the play before. The Redskins needed that, a sustained drive for a TD. They got a boost from the penalty at the beginning, but other than that it was the offense making plays.

5:42—Arizona is doing a little woffin' out there. Perhaps they should wait until they're not down by 15.

4:14—A perfectly good three and out was ruined by a late hit personal foul on Landry. Not a smart play at all, it gives the Cards life when they were just about done. He needs to make up for it.

3:13—Landry had his chance to make up, but he couldn't quite get to Fitzgerald in time to break up an 18-yard completion on third and seven.

1:38—Landry's a rookie; London Fletcher should know better. He kept it alive with a taunting foul after another third-down stop. They need to bail themselves out again, but this time they're in solid field goal range.

End of third quarter
Redskins 21, Cardinals 6

Another third down is coming up for Arizona. It's probably two-down territory. The Redskins haven't been able to generate much pressure against Warner, maybe they need to bring some heat this time from McIntosh.

Fourth Quarter

15:00—Wow, a delay of game on the first play of the quarter. Third and seven.

Bouldin 10 pass from Warner (Rackers kick)
Redskins 21, Cardinals 13

They made Warner move around, but he bought enough time to find Bouldin open for the TD.

Fletcher had a discussion with a few officials after that TD. No doubt he was discussing the taunting call. You can't give the Cards new life like they did.

14:52—Cartwright is out, Betts in to return the kickoff.

13:02—A smattering of boos follows another three and out. It's up to the defense again.

12:24—A 53-yard Frost punt consisting about 33 yards in the air and 20 yards of rolling. Arizona has to go a long way and the Redskins can't give them second chances.

11:28—A 22-yard completion to Pope gets the Cardinals out of the hole. It's pretty easy to see why they would rather go with Warner with one arm than with Rattay. Warner is flat-out gunning the ball to his targets. I think that Campbell could do the same thing, but they won't give him a chance to do it.

8:25—Another big third down for the Washington D. They just can't get Arizona off the field.

7:46—Delay of game again. I think it helped them last time as it gave them some more room to operate on the TD to Bouldin. We'll see, third and nine.

7:14—Andre Carter makes the play of the game with the sack and strip. Recovered by Daniels. That's the first time they've put pressure on Warner all day and it couldn't have come at a better time. Still no blitz, Carter from the edge.

7:14—Three wides in for the Redskins; getting aggressive here?

7:00—No, just spreading the field, Portis for four up the middle. The Skins desperately need a first down.

5:56—Another three and out. The D has been on the field for a long time. Not only that, the Cardinals get good field position after the punt, in Redskins territory. I think the Skins will need another turnover to win it. Is that asking too much of the defense?

5:01—The Cardinals had been playing error-free for a while there, but a holding call knocks out a nice second-down gain.

3:46—Cards punt after a three and out. Maybe, just maybe, the Skins can get a couple of first downs and go into victory formation.

2:56—Campbell made a strategic error by calling the snap with 14 seconds left on the play clock and the clock running.

2:50—Arizona will get another crack at it with plenty of time, three timeouts, and the two-minute warning. Frost gets off a 58-yard boomer on the punt, so the Cards will have to cover 71 yards. Like I said, the Skins need a turnover.

1:21—That didn't take long. About five plays at the Cards are at the Washington two. If they score, they'll go for two from that spot.

1:15—Arizona burned two timeouts pretty quickly. They have just one, but with 1:15 and three more plays they have plenty of time.

Pope 1 pass from Rattay

The Skins have to survive the two-point try and then an onside kick if they stop it.

(pass failed)

Landry made the pick. It doesn't count as one in the stats, but it was the biggest play of the day.

Redskins 21, Cardinals 19.

:21—Need to get the onside kick or we could have another Dallas-Buffalo ending.

:19—Cards got it, it looks like. Under review. I've got a real bad feeling here.

:14—Arizona's last timeout. A sack ends the game.

:10—It's a 55-yard FG right now, well within Rackers' range already. Again, a real bad feeling.

Wide left, just barely. Whew.

Final: Redskins 21, Cardinals 19

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