The 5th Quarter: Packers
By: Mark Solway
Category: Washington Redskins News
Mark Brunell continues to struggle with the offense, nay, Brunell continues to struggle just completing passes. Despite going over 100 yards passing for the first time in 3 games, Brunell once again over-threw and under-threw receivers and seemingly, at the most inopportune of times. He finished 25 of 44 for 218 yards with two touchdown passes, both to Rod Gardner, but perhaps more importantly, he finished to a chorus of boos and "Patrick, Patrick" from the Redskins' faithful at Fed Ex Field. It's hard to blame the fans for being upset; the Redskins have still not managed to score 20 points in a game in 2004.
The Redskins said they wanted to improve the passing game... and the attempt hurt their rushing game. Clinton Portis managed just 70 yards on the ground, largely due to the fact that he was only handed the ball 17 times... a far cry from the 36 carries in the Redskins' last game. While 36 may be too many, 17 is not enough. Portis has to carry the load for this offense or they will never be successful. While Portis did manage 7 receptions as well, a poor rating for the rushing game this week falls more on the coaching staff than the running back himself.
It's getting redundant writing the same thing each week, but once again, this game was Washington's to lose thanks to another great game from the defense. The Packers came into the game having scored 79 points in their last two games and their offense looking like the perennial powerhouse that they usually are with Brett Favre at the helm. Early on, the Packers' offense looked like it scoring on their first 3 possessions to go up 17-0. But the Redskins defense buckled in and managed to hold the Packers at bay for the rest of the day. Both Redskins touchdowns came on the heels of Shawn Springs' interceptions and a third touchdown, negated by a nefarious penalty, came after a Fred Smoot interception. While the defense will likely drop from their 'number 1 in the NFL' status having given up over 300 yards for the first time (361 net yards), that won't change the fact that the Redskins defense again played well enough to earn a victory.
Ola Kimrin started his second game in relief of injured John Hall, unfortunately he did not fare as well as in his debut. He missed a critical field goal opportunity for the Redskins in the second half and from just 35 yards. Chad Morton suffered a possibly season-ending injury to his knee. It was not a great day for special teams.
It was not a great day period.
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