The Fifth Quarter: Chargers
It was there... and then it wasn't. Despite having every opportunity to win Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers, the Washington Redskins blew a lead late and lost in overtime to sink below .500 at 5-6.
Mark Brunell and the Redskins had a solid first half. They even had a good drive to score the go ahead touchdown mid-way through the third quarter. Apparently that's all they had in them. Brunell would complete just two more passes on five drives after that touchdown. Perhaps the quarterback just got tired of watching people drop passes.
Robert Royal... sit down. When you miss that many passes, you deserve a spot on the bench if not on the waiver wire. He is the RECEIVING tight end, so it's his job to catch balls. Isn't it?
Santana Moss was the brightest element of the Redskins' passing game. His 6 catches for 66 yards put him over 1000 for the 2005 season, and his 22-yard touchdown reception was his sixth of the season.
Also worthy of note was the markedly better performance by Taylor Jacobs this week. He caught four passes for 44-yards, but three of them were first downs and big pick-ups.
Clinton Portis just couldn't seem to find much running room on Sunday. The Chargers defense did a good job of protecting themselves against the cut backs, and limited Portis to tough yardage all afternoon. Portis put in a workman-like effort with 29 carries for 87 yards, but the Redskins couldn't move the chains in the fourth quarter when they needed to most.
Rock Cartwright scored the Redskins only rushing touchdown when he went untouched into the end zone on a 13-yard run. It was his only carry of the day.
The defense played well for the most part on Sunday, but unfortunately, they do not seem to be able to shake their penchant to give up big plays. Despite containing running back extraordinaire LaDainian Tomlinson for most of the afternoon, L.T broke two long runs for touchdowns including the game winner in overtime. His 32 and 41-yard touchdown runs gave him 3 TDs and 184 yards, and gave the Chargers their 7th win of the season.
Carlos Rogers made the absolute most of his additional playing time with his best game as a pro. He had one of the Redskins' three interceptions (Shawn Springs and Walt Harris had the others) and had eight tackles (7 solo, 1 assist). He didn't play perfect, but he did play tough and showed that he has the ability to continue to play more and more.
While the defense couldn't hold off the Chargers' offense and lose marks for the long runs, they did play almost well enough to squeak out a victory. When the offense went three and out consecutively in the fourth quarter, the defense tired and lost their edge. That's when the big plays came.
Derrick Frost is a liability. His first three punts were good for an average net gain of just 32 yards, the last of which gave San Diego the ball at their 43-yard line. That field position resulted in San Diego's first scoring drive of the afternoon and put them ahead 7-3.
And those three punts were better than his fourth; that one was good for 23 yards. Joe Gibbs plays a ball control offense and this guy Frost is just throwing away yards. He finished up with 9 punts on the afternoon and grossed less than 38 yards (37.9) for an average. That just isn't good enough as a net, let alone as the gross. He couldn't even down the ball inside the 20-yard line when he kicked from the Chargers side of the 50-yard line.
Walking papers should be imminent. Mr. Frost should be unemployed Monday morning.
Antonio Brown returned to return duties but with very unremarkable results. The fact that he didn't put the ball on the ground at all will likely guarantee him another shot next week. Perhaps he can punt too.
John Hall kicked a 38-yard field goal but was short from 52 with the potential game winner. His kickoffs also continue to lack length and that hamstring injury doesn't seem fully healed yet.
On to St. Louis next week to face the Rams. The Rams, like the Chargers, won in overtime 33-27 after trailing most of the game (to the struggling Texans). They share the Redskins 5-6 record but will be tough after their big win, being at home, and the Redskins sudden inability to win close games again.
This article was released on 2005-11-27.
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