Week 14: Dallas
Twice the touchdowns, twice the yardage, 6 turnovers, first time Dallas scored in their first drive in the last 35 games, first shutout by the Cowboys in 4 years, 13 minutes more time of possession. 28 more plays were run by Dallas, and the score showed it. No one could possibly escape culpability in this embarrassment, not the offense, defense, special teams or coaches. Nobody tackled, and at times it seemed that no one tried. The coaches looked lost and the game plan was adjusted away from what worked to what didnít, making of this game a present to all but ensure that our bitter rivals make the playoffs after being 5-11 the last three years with sub par players.
The offensive game plan was just that. Hasselbeck looked like a rookie that had never thrown a ball, misjudging the throws he needed to make. The throws that were on target, and to be honest, there were relatively few, had at best a fifty fifty chance of being held on to. The game plan didnít look like it had been planned, and the game film must not have even made it on to the projector. The Dallas defense wasnít surprised by anything the Redskins tried and it showed. When you have a receiver that gives more yardage to the opponent via penalties than he catches passes for, you know you are in for a rough game. The one bright spot? The line blocked well enough for Hasselbeck to throw the interceptions, which is maybe why the Cowboys stopped blitzing.
Rock proved once again that he is a tough contender, bouncing off of tacklers, spinning his way to a decent day rushing. The main problem was that Dallasí swarming defense usually had someone there for Rock to spin into. When Rock broke some good 5-7 yard runs, Spurrier switched up and went back to the ill advised, ill timed, badly planned passing game. Rock gets our Hog Nose for showing the tenacity and the spirit of what the Redskins are truly all about at the historical core of the team. If the Skins let him go, people will be scratching their heads.
It was run roughshod over, and that is the nicest way to put it. When a plebian running back such as Troy Hambrick rushes for his teamís third best ever single game yardage against your defense, things should be noticed and adjusted. The problem is that he did it in the first game as well at times, though his fumbles forced Parcells to bench him then and spare the Redskins two humiliating attempts to stop a running back who has been stopped all year by most of the Dallas opponents. The passing game was weakened by the bad weather, so there was not a plethora of passing in this game from the Dallas quarterback, but if the Skins didnít apply pressure the Dallas receivers managed to get first downs on nearly every throw they caught. When the Skins brought an extra man or two, Carter fouled up, it is as simple as that. Why they didnít keep bringing the extra men to press a horrible quarterback like Carter is the complicated question. In several drives after the first touchdown, the defense pressured the quarterback, and in every Ė single - solitary Ė case, the Dallas offense stalled. Lesson learned? No. The defense deviated from success again, and once again showed more break than bend. Our Hog Nose goes to Rashid Bauman for most improved over a season, showing his blitzing ability and making large hits.
Once again, they were nothing short of vanilla, barring the fake punt pass from Barker to Ohalete for a first down. The returns, when they actually had a return, went for decent yardage without much of a threat for anything spectacular. A fumble by the usually imperturbable Chad Morton can be blamed on the mist, which at one point was illustrated by the close Ė up on Chadís face. He was squinting and having problems keeping his eyes open, but if that is the case, get away from the ball and just take the bounce. Better to have worse field position than to fumble a punt that you canít see.
This article was released on 2003-12-15.
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