The Washington Redskins began the Jason Campbell era off auspiciously on Sunday by losing 20-17 to a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that really hasn't been very good this year. Not that Jason's performance had much to do with the loss. Here are the Fifth Quarter ratings:
Campbell had a solid debut considering that he didn't get a lot of opportunities. He finished the day with 196 yards on 19 completions (34 attempts). Though his numbers weren't great, he capped the day off with a solid touchdown drive; albeit, against a prevent defense trying to take time off the clock. Campbell did manage to drive the Redskins 80 yards on fourteen plays, and threw his second touchdown pass of the game (to Todd Yoder).
Unfortunately Campbell and the Redskins didn't leave quite enough time to complete the comeback, but it was a moral victory for the young quarterback. He was sharp at the beginning and at end of the game, though he struggled a little through the middle stages. A little game rust is to be expected with so long since his last complete football game, but if nothing else, Campbell showed that he can play in this league.
The Redskin running game never got off the ground. Ladell Betts rushed for just eighteen yards on seven carries, but did manage 48 yards receiving on 5 catches as well. Unfortunately his most meaningful statistic was a fumble in the third quarter, that the Bucs turned into a touchdown.
T.J. Duckett saw his most extended action of the season with five carries, but after a great first run of 19 yards, was held to just seven more yards on four carries.
In total, the Redskins ran for just 64 yards.
Some things got better for the Redskins on Sunday, some things just stayed the same. The Redskins' defensive struggles continued against Tampa Bay, as not even a sixth-round rookie quarterback had much trouble picking them apart. Bruce Gadkowski may have only posted 178 yards through the air, but it was enough when coupled with the Bucs crushing 183 yards rushing. Cadillac Williams led the charge with 122 yards, but the defense really couldn't stop Mike Alstott or Michael Pittman with much
more effectiveness. The Bucs running backs also caught 5 passes for 73 yards.
Troy Vincent started but left the game with a hamstring injury. Shawn Springs' interception to thwart a Bucs defense was the sole highlight of an otherwise dismal performance.
Nick Novak kicked his most solid field goal of the season on a 45-yarder to tie the game up at threes early on, but after that, there wasn't much from the special teams worth noting.
And so the Campbell era begins with Jason himself playing well, but not well enough to overcome the Redskins' other problems. With the loss, Washington falls to 3-7 and any fan holding on to playoff aspirations last week has likely thrown in the towel after this week's loss. The Redskins return home now for a three game stretch. This season may be over for Washington, but it's just beginning for Jason. Next week he makes his Fed Ex debut against a very tough Carolina Panthers' defensive line.