**Sack # 5 as Jammal Brown gets beat with rip inside from shotgun. Had just over :03. **Beck INC on 3rd/22 under heavy pressure on zero blitz with double stack pressure on Jammal, dump to avoid sack to Helu. 8 man pressure vs. 4 WR release, Helu takes one side. **3rd deep ball INC, this time to Anthony Armstrong who was blanketed by Drayton Florence. **Sack # 6 - Sean Locklear blown up. Niles scraping across. Had less then :03. 2 WR pop free at time of sack, again 4 WR out in pattern + Helu. No blitz pickup. **Sack # 7 on 4th/4 - scrambles as pocket collapses and tackle for no loss/gain by Dareus. 4 WR's out in formation (include Fred) plus Helu releases late. Will got pushed back and lost control (Moats) Nobody open, more on OL. ***Will Montgomery gets beat badly again for hard hit on Beck, on short completion. **Beck big throw on 3rd/4 to Austin for first down on square out from slot. Missed open Donte' on sideline, then hitting Torain wide open. **Bad INT with bracketed coverage on Fred, high and low coverage. Bad read, almost impossible fit.
**Shotgun 5 step drop to Fred for 15 yards on crossing route left to right.
**Shotgun, huddle deep ball INT to Stallworth who trips w/ no contact but was double bracketed when he made his post cut, over and under. ***Sack # 8 -- roll and scramble right takes WAY too long. **Sack # 9 - Shotgun 3rd/7 - Big blitz thru 'B' gap and Chester on switchoff. Helu didn't stay back and missed blitz pick up. **4th/12 - Beck steps up to avoid pressure and overthrows out of end zone. **Sack # 10 - credited by the NFL on Wednesday on Beck fumble in open space & recovery.
** + 8 screen right, behind Chester. Good job. Next play, swing left for first down pass completion + 4.
**Several times did not stay in and chip, rub, attempt a blitz pick up before releasing into formation.
**+ 8 on first down on square out. **Shifts right to left, and gets 'covered' for 5 yard penalty. **15 yard completion over middle on crossing route out of shotgun. PERFECT. ***Personal foul on tackle of Byrd ripping helmet in back, not facemask. **2 late catches before 2-minute warning + 6 and + 8. **+ 24 gain out of up tempo soft zone. +19 underneath, up tempo.
**Gets pushed back at POA, and DE blows up Torain for 2 yard loss.
**Struggles big time twice in 3 plays for a sack and lucky incompletion.
**Nice finger tips catch on play action boot roll to right by Beck for 1st down on 3rd down.
**Trips making cut to post on Beck INT at goalline.
**Lorenzo Alexander with nice stop on punt coverage. **Brandon Banks nice punt return for 21 yards with nice blocks by Niles and Rob Jax, to midfield. **Brandon Banks with 26 yard KO return late, stepping out of bounds barely, or may have popped it.
*1st play from scrimmage, FJax rips off huge 43-yard run. Redskins slanted to the left side of the defense, and couldn't slide fast enough to hole. London got picked in traffic. Orakpo takes outside leverage on LT and gets hooked. Kerrigan shoots thru backside and dives but misses (not his fault) **3rd/9 Blitz pressure from play side with Rocky/London blocked but pushing LOS back, Fitz finds FJAX for screen and 24 yard hit.
**Shoots thru gap on backside and can't drag down FJAX from behind for + 4 gain. **Nice run slow & stop with Rocky McIntosh on 3rd/11 in 4th.
**Shoots gap on stunt, over runs angle and F-Jax for 7 yards.
**A 2nd big run stop in the backfield for a loss. **Dives late on 2 big run plays in the 2nd half, while shooting thru gap. **Completely bites and caves in on play action boot to right by Fitzpatrick for 5 yards. **Comes from behind loop and crunches FJAX from behind.
**Sack on 2nd/5 just bullrushing LT into Fitzpatrick.
**Shoots gap to stop run for 1.5 yards, like a rocket. Well done. **Busted Coverage on Chandler 2nd TD with LaRon biting on run (3rd/1) but so did London who got turned inside out. Very demonstrative with frustration after play, and on the sideline. **Throws down WR on 3rd and long well short of first down. Playing angry. **Blows up FJAX at POA for 1 yard gain on 3rd/7.
**Misses tackle in backfield on FJAX run behind LOS. **Crunches Brad Smith on wildcat run for 3 yards.
**Zone D shuffles Stevie Johnson off to London for first down on 3rd/4 to WSH-24. **Great recognition of quick hitch to Spiller on hitch. Excellent read, jump and tackle.
**Completion on 1st play to Jabar on end around swing pass from right to left off play action. **3rd/4 - Beck misses wide open Niles Paul on crossing route from Z, to throw into tight coverage (Austin) for incompletion on sideline. Bad decision. **Short completion to Terrence Austin vs. 6 man pressure, picked up nicely by OL. **2nd time a WR is wide open, Beck doesn't see Gaffney on crossing scizzor route -- as he takes off with ball on deep drop and drops it in wide open space.
**2nd/6 Deep bomb way overthrown to Hank with Torain open underneath on release valve. **3rd/6 Beck throws to Armstrong on cross who was totally blanketed early and often. Almost INT, tight fit. **3rd/6 - Beck with big throw at 18 to Fred Davis with good pass pro by Locklear. Shotgun. Almost picked off. Banged hand on Will Montgomery who was shoved back. ***1st - @ 19 - Sack # 1 on Beck, play action boot into pressure off backside. Way too long. Beck hurt hand on previous play, then incomplete. Then time out # 1, 3rd/16 zero blitz sack by Jarius Byrd, with Roy Helu releasing, head down right past him. 2nd sack - not Beck's fault. **Beck deep ball INC on 2nd down - to Armstrong who was bracketed in deep coverage. Beck started 5/6, then to 7/12. **Beck sacked # 3, play and rush took :06. Locklear pushed back, Brown eventually allows sack to Dareus. Nobody open. (Split Fault) **7 yard run/scramble as protection breaks down, gets ripped on shoulder but executes play. **Beck sack # 4 on 2nd/3 by Edwards who abused Will Montgomery. (1-2-1)
**Back to back carries on 1st/2nd on 2nd series, off left for 2 yards each . One stretch w/ lead block by DY. **Good + 4 run up middle behind Will Montgomery. **Good push for 6 yards behind 75, 63, 58 on 1st after turnover. **Good pressure pick up on long bomb INC from Beck.
**on 3rd/16 - steps up and sees blitzer -- leans that way, but probably feels that he can get in route quicker then pressure. *** 8 yard screen catch and run on 3rd & 10, leads to punt.
**Clean release on 1st down for a nice curl short catch.
+ 23 on 3rd/8 - perfect throw, route in zone - catch vs. 5 man pressure.
Kyle Shanahan/Team Offense
**Run reverse from left to right with Donte' on 2nd play, one play after running similar look, different execution on 1st down. No setting up the reverse. **Good decision on 2nd drive 4th/1 at Washington 48 NOT to try and go for first down.
**Blown completely back on his back. **2nd time totally shoved on his back, on Beck scramble from stunt of DL for 7 yards.
**Byron Westbrook & Keyaron Fox combine on first punt defense. (56 yards) **Blocked FGA from 49 ..Shanny says a little low..Nick Sundberg got blown over before even having a chance. Kedric was beat on right of Sundberg. **On spike to set up end of first half FG, Brad Smith was off sides, officials ruled that penalty did not stop the clock, so no :10 run off. Problem is, the clock was running, they were out of timeouts and the play (a spike) did stop the clock. If the play doesn't count, because of the penalty - why doesn't the infraction 'stop the clock."
**11 yard punt return to 39 -- with good blocking by Landry/Wilson. **Banks with a 14 yard KO return as Logan Paulsen got popped at POA. **Return kick with fake throw/pitch to Niles Paul who set up all the way across field. Banks did not throw, Lorenzo looked like he was expecting it, and might have missed a block.
**Brad Smith on 3rd/2 direct snap right at Bowen/Orakpo blown off the line of scrimmage. **Covers up fumbled snap and pick-up by Ryan Fitzpatrick at BUFF-31.
**Good lateral push and slide down the line as Kerrigan forces FJAX back inside on cut after talking the outside stretch lane. **Was in coverage/space on London INT. Funnelled throw back inside.
**Big blow up of run in backfield on first play for -2 on Fred Jax. **Penetrates backfield on backside, but late on dive to trip up Fred Jax on 7 yard run up gut.
**Beaten down the seam in zone trail by David Nelson for a 26 yard gain. Landry late over the top. **Beaten late in coverage (zone) kind of -- by TE Chandler who was allowed a free release off line, as Atogwe switched over to coverage in flat. Rocky was initially on coverage and closer to Chandler, but lost him in pick. **London misses tackle in open space on nice crossing route to Spiller. (Landry woofing at blocker) **Stop on 5 yard run up middle as London was lassoed around neck. **Nice run stop on play wide towards sideline with lateral pursuit, before two minute warning. **Huge INT sprawling to cut off receiver in end zone out of shotgun 3 x 2 set up. Big spike of the football, and then a "RVD" style pose and celebration. **Nice tackle on screen to force FGA at end of half.
**Great open field tackle on screen and run, picking way out of traffic -- and making huge play to stop FJax to force FG (10-0)
**Mix up in coverage with London on first TD, as he had Chandler off line, and then took zone inside receiver. Not sure which guy he was supposed to stay with, but guess is that he was right. **Runs right into a huge block at POA and opens huge gap for FJAX to run through. **Rocky bad MT on 46 yard pass and run that Orakpo/London belted Fitzpatrick on. Rocky was late in space, then completely over shot target on turn and run.
**Nice run stop on right side D sealing edge on FJax. **Bad missed tackle, attempting high on FJax to allow 10 extra yards. (Holding wiped out play, but not tape). **Landry waving finger at blocker downfield on Spiller pass catch and run, breaking London. LL had nothing bad on coverage or route. **Nice pass defense/hit at 1 yard line to force INC - after Rocky was easily beat.
**Nice open field tackle on 3rd/9 short of first down on first series, with 3 man rush. **34-yard DPI on wheel go route up left sideline on CJ Spiller. Never turned around and looked for ball.
**Playing man coverage across in motion, gets completely turned around with cushion off line on 3rd'/12 completion for 22 yards by Roosevelt. from left slot. Way too easy.
**Fred Jackson rips off 13-yard run behind LG between Bowen/Cofield, Rocky over pursues. **Redskins show blitz overload from left side of D look, switching Kedric at last second, hopping around Cofield at line, and falling down.
TORONTO (AP) Mike Shanahan has accomplished plenty in his pro coaching career except being on the receiving end of a shutout. That changed against the Buffalo Bills.
John Beck was sacked nine times, and the Washington Redskins were held to 178 total yards in a 23-0 loss to the Bills in Toronto on Sunday.
Shanahan, the third-winningest active coach in the league, was blanked for the first time in his 24 seasons as an NFL coach or offensive coordinator, according to STATS LLC.
"It's a tough one to take," Shanahan said. "It's pretty humbling to take that."
The loss was the third straight for the sliding Redskins (3-4), who started the season with three wins in four games.
"I think everybody's frustrated that we've lost three consecutive games and haven't played good enough to win in any of the games," linebacker London Fletcher said.
The offensive ineptitude came against a Bills defense that was ranked 31st overall, and had registered four sacks all season.
"You never want to have a game where you don't score any points," Beck said. "We didn't get things going, and when we would start to get something going we couldn't continue it."
The Bills were led by another efficient performance from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who signed a six-year, $59 million contract on Friday. He shook off a pair of turnovers - and a big hit from Fletcher - to finish 21 of 27 for 262 yards and two touchdowns.
Rookie first-round pick Marcell Dareus led Buffalo's defense with 2 1/2 sacks.
"The effort our defense had, all we needed was three points," Fitzpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick hit tight end Scott Chandler for two touchdowns, helping the Bills (5-2) match their best start since 2008, and improve to 4-0 at "home." They also won a regular-season game at Toronto for the first time in four trips since the cross-border series was established in 2008.
Running back Fred Jackson continued to pile up yards, finishing with 120 yards rushing, and 74 receiving. With 1,074 yards from scrimmage, he became only the fourth Bills player to surpass 1,000 yards seven games into a season, and first since Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas in 1991.
The Redskins, meanwhile, continue to unravel as a result of a growing list of injuries.
Without running back Tim Hightower (knee), receiver Santana Moss (hand) and tight end Chris Cooley (knee), the Beck-led attack managed 61 yards of offense and three first downs on six first-half possessions.
It didn't get much better in the second half as they were shut out for the first time since a 17-0 home loss to Dallas on Dec. 27, 2009.
Their second drive of the half ended when Beck was sacked for a seventh time attempting to convert a fourth-and-4. The next time out, Beck was intercepted by George Wilson.
Beck went 20 of 33 for 208 yards, as Washington managed just 10 first downs. Ryan Torain had 14 yards on eight carries.
With the Bills up 13-0 at the half, Fitzpatrick opened the third quarter by producing a seven-play, 80-drive, which he capped by hitting Chandler on a fade in the left corner of the end zone on third-and-1 from the Redskins 15.
This all came in front of a ragtag mix of NFL fans in Toronto, whom Wilson had criticized this past week for failing to match the intensity the Bills get at their real home in Orchard Park.
The Bills did get the louder cheers, but it was another mixed bag of a crowd attending the game, similar to the Bills previous trips north.
There were notable pockets of Redskins fans throughout the stadium as part of an announced crowd of 51,579. Fans were very late-arriving, as there were numerous empty seats throughout the 54,000-seat stadium.
Washington couldn't even hit a field goal. Graham Gano's 49-yard attempt four minutes into the second quarter was blocked by Spencer Johnson. The Redskins failed to capitalize after Fitzpatrick mishandled the snap and fumbled at his own 31.
Fitzpatrick also had a pass intended for Stevie Johnson intercepted by Fletcher in the end zone. He also bounced back from a big hit from Fletcher, the former Bills linebacker, in the final minute of the first half.
Fletcher caught Fitzpatrick high on the chest and bowled him over just as the quarterback completed a short pass to Jackson, who turned it into a 46-yard gain. Fitzpatrick was slow in getting up and then dropped to one knee, forcing the Bills to call their final timeout.
After being attended to briefly by the training staff, Fitzpatrick stayed in the game to help set up Rian Lindell's 44-yard field goal to put Buffalo up 13-0 as time ran out in the first half.
"They made more plays than us, and that's the bottom line," Fletcher said. 'We lost the game, and any time you lose you're not happy."
No other way to describe this debacle of epic proportions in Toronto other then ...PUTRID.
Or maybe you could say, HORRID. Or perhaps, try this one, an EPIC SUCKAGE.
This has the feeling of worse then the Philadelphia "Monday Night Massacre," or the disastrous 52-7 loss at New England in Joe Gibbs final season.
I don't know why it does, but it does. I could totally be wrong, but how else do you describe getting shut out by the 31st ranked defense in the league, entering the game.
How else do you describe allowing NINE sacks?
How do you explain the startling disparity in just about every statistical category, such as yards (390-178), net yards rushing (138-26), net yards passing (252-152), time of possession (34:51 - 25:09), 3rd down efficiency (50% - 29%) and the most alarming number of all; those sacks ( 9-2).
Mike Shanahan was left to explain after the game, saying there was "no question about it" that his team was prepared to play, and while some people inside and outside the organization might/will feel that the Redskins quit, I don't believe that's a fair accusation.
They just STINK. That's all, nothing more too it. The injuries, the lack of talent, and the opponent have taken its toll, in severe fashion over the last 3 weeks.
******John Beck and the Redskins offensive line allowed/took nine sacks. Obviously, you can't win any games with that kind of pressure, but how many were on the offensive line and how many were on Beck. Film study by the coaches, players and the media -- will tell you that probably five or six could have been avoided if Beck was able to get rid of the football quicker. That was the consensus in talking to some people with knowledge of the game and offense on Sunday night.
Without watching the television tape, it is hard to tell. Even then, that only reveals half the story. I know one sack that wasn't on Beck, on a 3rd down play -- Roy Helu ran right past S-Darius Byrd, who came clean off the edge to blow up Beck. Even if Helu's assignment was not to block Byrd or the free man, your football instincts should tell you to chip, rub or obstruct a free blitzer in any way you can. If Helu does not have the authority to adjust on the fly, that obviously is a criticism against Kyle and Mike Shanahan.
*****The defense had some moments. Ryan Kerrigan flashed some big plays and London Fletcher saved the Redskins at least three & perhaps seven points with a sprawling interception in the end zone. Hard worker, Kedric Golston had a sack and at times, it looked like the defense had a clue on what to do and how to do it.
The problem was at times, they looked lifeless and worn down. Not a good sign, seven games into a long season. I was particularly stunned by how dominant the Bills were right down the heart of the Redskins defensive unit. Fred Jackson broke off a 43-yard run up the middle, making defenders miss on the very first play from scrimmage of the 2nd half. I remember one play, Jackson caught a pass over the middle of the field, and easily juked Oshiomogho Atogwe out of his jock strap for a huge gain of 24 yards on a 3rd-and-9.
I understand you can not allow or expect your defense to be out on the field for 35 minutes, but part of the reason why the defense is on the field so long -- is because of an inability to make big plays and stops consistently.
***Speaking of the defense, miscommunication was a theme of the day. It appeared that Atogwe and Fletcher had a mix-up of some sort on the first Scott Chandler touchdown, and on his next touchdown -- it was more then clear that a blown assignment was in full effect. Fletcher was visibly shouting at somebody on the Redskins defense, and while it is not clear exactly who it was during the game, I was told that LaRon Landry was the subject of Fletcher's ire. I did not get to talk to Landry in the locker room, but he told reporters such as Rich Campbell of the Washington Times/ESPN 980 that Fletcher was upset at him.
Mike Shanahan told me in his post game press conference, that he knew exactly what happened on the play - but he was unwilling to share it with the media.
***Graham Gano had a 2nd blocked FGA of the season, on a drive that tells you everything you need to know about Sunday's loss. The Redskins got an extremely fortunate bounce, when Ryan Fitzpatrick fumbled the snap and Washington recovered at the Buffalo - 31. The Redskins actually got a huge first down, on a pass from Beck to Fred Davis at the Buffalo-15, before the sack fest began. In a 7-0 game, Beck was then sacked on first and third down, pushing Washington to a 49-yard field goal attempt. It was blocked, and based on a blown up photo of the play that the Associated Press posted, it appeared as though the Bills blocked it up the middle with long snapper Nick Sundberg down on the ground from the push, and the other interior blockers (Chris Neild, Jammal Brown, Kedric Golston) possibly allowing the good penetration. Again, it was very difficult to see - and by no means -- is the analysis I just offered a full proof breakdown of the breakdown, but the bottom line is - the Bills blew up the attempt. It was the first time they had blocked field goals in consecutive games since 1996. As I was writing this, Nick Sundberg, a completely stand-up guy came back on the plane to take me through the play and said "I just got blasted," and that he didn't even have a chance to get his head up before contact. Sundberg watched video of the blocked FGA at the airport, and said that Gano hit the ball great.
***I have been a very avid defender of Kyle Shanahan and his offensive scheme, as I believe it works with talent and players that are executing properly. That said, with a very spotty offensive line, no running game and a quarterback that doesn't have a lot of game experience, while also playing with a number of players that lack the same experience -- I believe Kyle and Mike Shanahan have to do a better job of adjustments. I will check the tape, but I didn't see a lot of quick drops, 3 or less steps. You don't see a lot of screens in the Redskins offense, or even 'smokes'. Plays and formations designed to get rid of the football quickly and to give yourself a chance to execute was not evident today, or for that matter -- in a lot of games for the Redskins.
Again, I will check the tape -- as watching the 2nd Half was not exactly entertaining and is mostly a blur -- but it is just not a big part of this offense, at least in my eyes. It needs to be, like NOW.
**Smoke on 1st down, to left (Moss) and 2nd completion (wobbly pass) - a strike with clean pocket to Moss, good job by Chester. **Near INT on seam route into double coverage to Davis, just over LB, locked in on first read. Next throw, 2nd/15 - gets batted down by Applewhite on wheel right. **Beck doesn't see (reads) two wide open leak out receivers underneath on 3rd/15 sack/FF by Brown. (MOST legit criticism of Kyle's system, is Beck's read is clearly downfield and has to go thru progressions first) **3rd/3 slant to Moss INC, offsetting penalties that takes away first down by offsides, by Locklear. **Good decision on PA boot right - to run and get something small, instead of making a mistake with nobody open for + 7 **3rd/2 Quick slant to Gaffney knocked down in open space. Tight read & coverage. Almost another INT. Had Armstrong wide open to right (Again, criticism of Kyle's scheme, but think this throw is more on Beck. 1st option tight window. Not the scheme, but the read)
**Great 3rd/7 throw to Anthony Armstrong on sideline + 15 yard penalty on CB.
**Miscommunication with Gaffney, as Beck throws back shoulder stop, and JG ran stop-curl inside.
**Great 3rd/9 hook up after moving slightly to his right to find lane, with Gaffney wide open in 4 WR set, JG was the Z for 18 yards, with a triple bunch spray to left. Niles Paul was wide open underneath, but nobody says anything when a big play is made. Again, WR's WIDE OPEN.
**Slightly underthrown, but has to be drop INC on back shoulder stop for what would have been about a 34 yard hookup to Gaffney.
**Stretch run right + 10, and + 6 off right edge zone with DY plow. + 6 for first down on next carry behind DY who crushed a LB in hole, physical and banging. ** + 17 behind Will Montgomery with nice lead block, on 1st down. **2nd + 17 run of 1st Qtr. off left cut - with Fred Davis as lead. **Picks up 1st down on 3rd/2 on cut left and fall ahead of marker.
**Gets blown up 3rd/3 toss sweep left with significant penetration allowed by Cook/Locklear. Redskins get first down because of penalty after play on LB to Niles Paul.
**Takes false start to derail first drive. on 3rd/15 - split back of Beck - leaks out wide open with Hightower over middle, but did not pick up pressure off right edge. **Good lead block on +17 by Hightower off left stretch.
**Good effort block from slot on smoke to Moss, first play of game. **Engaged in block, draws penalty for 15 yards by taking punch after 3rd down stop.
**Drop on tough re-adjustment comeback, but play you have to make, right before fumble. Cost Redskins about 34 yards of field position.
**Next play after drop, wide open completion and fumble upon contact at WSH-34 w/ :21 left. Sets up GA FG that Redskins could never recover from, after blowing chance to put WSH in field goal position on drop.
**Good run block sealing the edge on stretch right run. **Gets lit up by Applewhite for sack/FF on 3rd/15.
**Takes off on "rhyno" call by Beck WAY early after being set and plows over LB for lead block on TH 25 run. **Good lead edge block on Hightower first run for first down. **Along with Hightower, two great seal blocks on Beck completion and perfect throw to Moss.
**Run 10 straight times, includes a 3rd down INC slant on 3rd/3 that was wiped out because of penalty, on first field goal drive.
**Bad miscommunication on 2nd/3 Intentional grounding, as Locklear blocks inside down, leaving RDE untouched and free shot at Beck, who avoids sack but was still in pocket for grounding.
**4th/7 - Redskins fake an attempt to go for it -- but call time-out and 49-yard FG.
**Touchback thru end zone on opening KO. **31-yard FG inside left upright.
**49-yard FG by Gano, then touchback 8 yards deep.
**Fair catch on first punt @ 12. Looks like he called it early.
**Doesn't fair catch punt on back pedal that Captain Munnerlyn chews up. Probably should have called that one.
**Great tackle on KO return at 11. plus a penalty to Carolina.
**Good run stop on 1st play of game, and big run stop on 3rd down, first drive with Cam in the air - along with DHall.
**Blown off block by Gross on Shockey squib screen.
**Unblocked sack on Cam to blindside. (2nd completely unblocked sack of day for Redskins)
**Combines with Barry Cofield for nice run stop on inside zone read..
**Chases Cam Newton out-of-bounds for 3 yard sack and loss. Next play, beats his block and pushes inside the pocket to force INC.
**Backside help with London on first run stop.
**Slows up Cam Newton on QB draw inside 10, to save potential TD. **Blows up the right guard for half sack with LaRon, who was late in getting to Cam but hopped on.
**Unblocked sack of Newton at RT caved down inside, lined up wide because he saw no RB in backfield, knew it was a pass formation.
**Bites on read zone option to RB, Cam holds on and was in space but slipped and fell at 8. **Rushes through RT - Bell to draw PF face mask (declined) on Carriker/Landry sack.
**Great rip-off of block on inside run to stop for no gain.
**Very lucky to avoid personal foul late hit on shove out of bounds on Williams' wildcat sprint to the sidelines. **Split sack with Carriker on 1st down on safety blitz.
**Poor tackle on Cam, beaten in deep zone coverage on Smith 3rd/15, and was held (uncalled) on a FG block attempt.
**Jumps route on 3rd/13 for near INT/TD.
**Good zone coverage on Smith for first incompletion.
**Sucked in on 29-yard run on 2nd/3 after 7 yard gain on 1st/10/6. Wilson playing man trail of WR in motion, who then goes inside to block - and Wilson and Fletcher slow to react to handoff. Fletcher actually got blocked.
**Shoots inside and opens huge hole (Landry was lost in space) when blocked down on a big run from Stewart for 14 yards.
**2 big missed tackles on opening drive in space against Cam Newton.
**Blocked out big by LaFell on Steve Smith smoke route.
**3rd/9/21 -- Cam Newton scrambles away from Bowen, Kevin Barnes dives at his ankles in open space, Cofield over runs the pursuit, as does Orakpo, Landry gets crushed in backside chase, DeAngelo kind of slipped and missed tackle, London flies up from coverage to badly miss a tackle....finally angled out of bounds by Doughty. **Zone coverage wide open space to FB - Felton for nice gain of 17 yards. Orakpo/Wilson in area. **2nd/1 - Felton with big hole in middle, plows ahead as FB lead - but fumbles as forward progress was stopped. Shanahan was very upset that it could not be challenged. **Overload blitz off left edge, helps force 3rd/16 incompletion.
**Zero Blitz look on 3rd/13 completion to Smith on perfect sideline out pass and placement. Redskins dropped 4 out, Orakpo had pressure, but throw over Doughty and in front of D-Hall on turnaround cut coverage.
**3rd/6 left overload blitz at end of half with Kerrigan, Barnes and London all charging to Newton, as Cam goes other side for a short dump off. Good tackling in space by Redskins D (Orakpo)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) John Beck showed the mobility to keep plays alive and get the Redskins into the end zone. He just couldn't help his team keep up with Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers in the second half.
Beck threw for 279 yards in his first start in four years in a 33-20 loss Sunday, including a TD run on a short keeper in the third quarter. But he couldn't lead the Redskins (3-3) to another touchdown until after the Panthers (2-5) had built a 17-point lead in the final period on the way to matching their win total for all of last year.
"It's hard to say, because winning is the only thing that matters," Beck said of his performance. "That's the only thing I wanted to do out there. I wasn't going out there trying to be too perfect; my ultimate goal was to walk away having won the game. This is obviously not the feeling we wanted to have."
Beck earned the starting job after Rex Grossman threw four interceptions in last week's ugly home loss to Philadelphia. It was his first start since December 2007 with the Miami Dolphins - he remains winless in all five career starts.
He had a late touchdown throw and interception after the Panthers had taken their big lead.
"I think John overall played very well the first time out," coach Mike Shanahan said. "He's always going to have some growing pains. That's the nature of the business when you just start playing, but I think you could see his athleticism, his quick release. It seems like he was poised in there throughout the game."
It didn't help that Beck lost top receiver Santana Moss and tailback Tim Hightower to injuries, either.
Moss broke a bone in his left hand in the first half and spent the rest of the half watching from the sideline with a bulky wrap on the hand. Hightower - who got the start and had run for 88 yards on 17 carries - hurt his left knee when it buckled on a carry in the third quarter. He was helped off the field and eventually carted to the locker room from the sideline. Shanahan said Moss will miss next week's game at Buffalo, while the severity of Hightower's injury is unclear.
For Carolina, Newton ran for a touchdown and threw for another in the second half, while Jonathan Stewart also ran for a third-quarter touchdown.
Newton threw for 256 yards and ran for 59 more. He ran for his seventh touchdown on a 16-yard keeper in the third quarter, tying a record for most TDs rushing by a rookie quarterback since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger.
In the fourth, he had an easy touchdown toss to Brandon LaFell to blow the game open.
The past month had followed a familiar pattern for Newton and the Panthers: trail late in close games only and repeatedly fall short. Probably the worst moment came here two weeks ago, when the Panthers gave up the go-ahead touchdown to Drew Brees and the Saints with 50 seconds left in a loss that left Newton growing more frustrated by the day.
But this time, Newton got the chance to keep the pressure on the Redskins instead of trying to pull off his own desperate comeback. The No. 1 overall draft pick responded to that challenge, coolly leading Carolina to three straight touchdown drives after entering the second half with a 9-6 lead.
He completed 18 of 23 passes in an efficient performance, with Steve Smith hauling in seven for 143 yards. More importantly, Newton didn't commit a turnover after throwing three interceptions in last week's loss at Atlanta.
It was clear how much Newton enjoyed finally getting his second win. When it was over, he ran to the front row of fans and gave high-fives on his way to the locker-room tunnel.
After Beck answered Newton's TD run with one of his own, Newton twice found Smith downfield on a 10-play, 80-yard drive that ended with Stewart's 2-yard touchdown that pushed the lead to 23-13.
Then, after the Panthers forced a three-and-out, Newton found Smith downfield again with a perfectly thrown deep ball that Smith hauled in at the 1 for a 36-yard gain. Three plays later, Newton connected with LaFell to make it 30-13 with 8:13 left.
Notes: Newton's keeper tied the record set by Vince Young with Tennessee in 2006. He celebrated by giving the ball to a kid in the front row of the stands. ... Redskins linebacker London Fletcher left in the second half with a hamstring injury. ... Panthers kicker Olindo Mare had four field goals, including a 45-yarder just before halftime for the 9-6 lead. ... Carolina's 30-13 lead in the fourth was its biggest in any game since the end of the 2009 season.
Carolina had the two best players on the field on Sunday and both of them played great. Cam Newton and Steve Smith would've beaten a lot of teams yesterday, unfortuneately for the Redskins, it was them. The Redskins didn't help themselves with three turnovers and a poor rush defense but the Panthers, in particular Newton and Smith, were too good.
The good, bad, and some more.
1. Gano. He hasn't missed a kick since week 2....made two more yesterday.
2. Penalties. Just three on the day.
3. Beck's 2nd Half. He played well in the 2nd half. He was 16-25 in the 2nd half with at least 2-3 passes dropped. His touchdown run was an example of why he's playing and Rex isn't. Rex would've been sacked and fumbled or sacked and they would've kicked a FG. Beck made the play with his mobility.
1. Run Defense. The Redskins were handled at the line of scrimmage. They gave up 175 yards on the ground and 4.7 per carry. Not good enough. They better improve in this area or they're going to be in big trouble the next two weeks. Buffalo and San Francisco can run the ball.
2. Turnovers. The Redskins turned it over three more times. They are now minus-6 in the turnover-margin category and haven't won the turnover battle in any of their 6 games.
3. Nothing on Punt Returns. A team that needs help scoring points is getting nothing from their return game. Not sure why Brandon Banks hasn't had a big return yet but they need to get him untracked.
4. 4th and 2. I had no problem with them going for it on 4th and 2 on their first drive of the 2nd half but if they knew they were going to go for it, maybe running the ball on third down should've been considered. By the way, the 3rd and 2 pass to Austin should've been pass interference.
1. I really wish Fred Davis wouldn't strut and pose after a catch in a game his team is trailing 30-13.
2. The Redskins should've had a fumble recovery on Carolina's first drive of the game but the play was incorrectly whistled dead because the ref thought forward progress had been stopped. The game overall was poorly officiated.
3. Injuries hurt and next week could be dicey. They'll miss Moss and Hightower but they really need their team leader Fletcher to be ready to roll against the Bills.
4. It's becoming very clear (not that it wasn't weeks ago) that the Redskins can't afford too many injuries. They don't have quality depth anywhere except maybe at tight end. Injuries can make seasons go south in a hurry for most teams, the Redskins are in a difficult spot if they have to play without guys like Trent Williams, Moss, and Fletcher.
5. It's still relatively early in the season but if the Skins have any aspirations of a better than .500 record then winning against the Bills next Sunday in Toronto is a near must.
**Great throw on first play of the 2nd Half, off play action out of I, to Gaffney who runs diagonal post 32 yds right to left. **Beck PA boot on first down to wide open Fred Davis for big gain, on play-action boot. **Next play, same exact PA left boot and roll to Logan Paulsen for 24 yards. **3rd/Goal rip down and scramble for TD, staring into face of rusher who beat Jammal. The difference. **3rd straight series started with pass on 1st, INC to Armstrong -- open just off his hands. **Beck bootlegs to left, has to turn and makes bad decision as throw gets rejected in face of hardy. **Throws behind Terrence Austin for near INT on in-cut route from triple left slot, then forces AAA to out stretch OOB on should be completion. **Great throw (little high) on 3rd/10 to the CAR-10 to Niles Paul sideline-out strike, after two bad throws. ***Good escapability on 1st down dump to Helu to slip out of sack. Next play TD to Davis to make 30-20. **INT late on 'mis-communication' with Hankerson on go-route/back shoulder fade. **Beck picks up another couple of defensive off-sides with hard counts.
**Hard 7-yard run to on 1st Down. **Rips ACL on next carry, after 2nd consecutive big gain to TE on plant/cut.
**1st carry on 1st drive of 2nd half, + 2. **Gets blown up for -5 yards, after DY and Fred Davis get beat by same defender.
**Very nice job by Roy Helu and interior offensive line on big blitz up middle -- play was incomplete but because Beck threw behind Terrence Austin. *Catch short on 4th and 5 to end game.
**On 3rd/2, INC with CB perfect coverage on quick cross out of 3B bunch spray. **Tough catch over middle on first down, out of slot on in-cut.
**Good route after getting initial jam and release for 23 yard gain. **Brutal drop on 2nd/10 wide open @ 33, with Armstrong up ahead for lead block, and at least 30 yards running room. KILLER. Leads to 3rd/long and then punt & any momentum, in a 23-13 game. **Clean release sideline out for + 17, that's open all day. **Another clean release, sideline out for 14 yards - wide open. **Clean release again off the LOS - runs pivot route and nice catch low for TD, struts in a 30-20 game.
**Two big catches on TD drive as front/right TE - on play action, one boot - for 24 (boot) and 24 (PA drop)
**Great route thru zone from Z - for 32 yard gain to start 2nd half. **Wide open slant after Fred clears out, for 15 yards.
**1st NFL catch out of left high slot for + 14. **leaping catch for first down on 3rd/10 to sideline late. Nice footwork, cut and leap.
**Holding on Charles Johnson on INC @ 3:20, that Armstrong was very upset about a non DPI call on. **Gives up spin move sack to Charles Johnson @ 1:42 left,
**4th/2 sack of Beck thru A-gap, with Cook beat. Late shift at :03 left on play clock, Beck waving Armstrong from left to right to a triple bunch right.
**Return from 5 yards deep in end zone to 19. **Doesn't get next KO for touchback out of bounds
**KO touchback -9 yards deep in end zone. **Onsides KO with 5:03 left, a little too hard -- did not get true hop. Didn't like call by Shanny/Danny
**Nice cave-in lateral pursuit on 1st/20 to stop run.
**Gets held on 1st down at POA to draw penalty.
**Good run stop on 2nd/4 to force 3rd/1. **Felton runs over Rocky/London on 3rd/1 up gut from FB lead. **Knifed down on 3rd/4 QB keeper for first down.
**Good chase down on end-around from Smith. **DeAngelo Williams runs for + 8 up middle as London is blown up at POA to inside 5. **Stewart runs right at London for 2 yard TD, easy.
**Beat with cushion for 33-yard pass by Steve Smith in & out cut route. Josh flipped hips but too far off. **2nd/17 beaten by Smith in man coverage from X to right trail for 18 yards. Perfect throw and zip. ***2nd/17 Vertical go perfect throw and catch by Cam to Steve Smith for 36 yards to 1, Wilson back turned whole time. Played a lot of man in game.
**15-yard slant route catch by Smith with good cushion.
**Beaten way too easily on TD by LaFell on quick square out with way too much cushion. Cam was in shotgun. Gotta tighten up coverages in that look. Was playing inside technique.
**Forces fumble at goal line, and Redskins were in position to recover it with two guys and Carolina gets it back. **Hurts chest area on tackle of run that was negated by hold of Shockey.
**Newton to LaFell on first play after failed 4th down, Orakpo late switch and run over to LaFell -- who lets him go in a zone, BARNES dropped out over the top as a high safety and was late covering over in zone. 37 yard gain. **Next play, Newton on QB keeper option for touchdown, Reed Doughty flies up and is blown up and blocked. Landry and Orakpo late in making play. **Zone option read, Cam to left and then pitch for 7 yards. Orakpo crashes down and bites. **Defense draws a hold, and 3 run stops while burning two timeouts and 1:06 on clock in 10 point game.
Our unique way of previewing the (1-5) Carolina Panthers and the (3-2) Washington Redskins Sunday at 1 PM from Charlotte, North Carolina on ESPN 980 AM, 94.3 & 92.7 FM, www.espn980.com , the Washington Redskins Radio Network and SIRIUS XM Radio.
**The Redskins are (3-2) which some people forget about, and for the 2nd time in the last 5 1/2 years (2006-2011) -- Head Coach Mike Shanahan is making a quarterback switch on a team that has a winning record. With a (7-4) record, off an AFC Championship game appearance, the Denver Broncos benched Jake Plummer and went with rookie Jay Cutler. It's not the same, but the old '8 car' (Rex) has been 'put behind the wall' (racing term) for the '12 car' (Beck) in NASCAR's hub. Shanahan is just not going to put up inconsistent, turnover filled performances - no matter what the record of a team is. It doesn't matter, nor should it.
**No matter what Rex Grossman said this week, and I like Rex despite his quiet, reserved approach -- the fact is he has had 13 interceptions in his last 298 pass attempts (including 2010), plus the lost fumbles (2 this year, 2 last year) for a total of 17 turnovers in just over 300 snaps. Way too many, and the lost fumbles are just as important as the interceptions. The other problem with Rex is/was -- in a league driven by accuracy -- he has a 54.4% career completion percentage. It's the one area, besides turnovers, that he has been very consistent in. Rex was a 54.2 % passer in Chicago, and a 55.7 % passer in Washington. I understand he is not Tom Brady(67.5 in 2011) or Aaron Rodgers (70.3), but he's the equivalent of a third world country compared to those upper-echelon players. Grossman, was even below Mark Sanchez who continues to regress, and was barely ahead of Colt McCoy and Curtis Painter.
**In non QB items, the Redskins are getting the ball in consistently good position on the field, despite Brandon Banks not breaking one yet -- as they are sixth in the NFL in starting field position with an average of the 30.0 yard line.
**As much criticism as Kyle Shanahan receives (largely unwarranted) -- the Redskins offense moves the ball consistently on first down-and-ten, and are tied for eighth in the NFL in that category at 6.5 yards per first down play.
**On defense, Barry Cofield is first in the NFL among defensive lineman in passes defensed (5) and is tied for 13th in the NFC, and tied for 22nd in the NFL -- amongst all defensive players. The Redskins need to stop the run better at times (Dallas, Philadelphia, a chunk of Arizona) but Cofield has been very good and perhaps even better than the Redskins could have hoped for.
**The Redskins defense, despite not getting off the field in some big 3rd Down spots last week -- are still first in the NFC in that category (28.79%) and are 2nd in the NFL in third-down stops behind the New York Jets (28.57%).
QUOTABLE (Quotes via press conferences, courtesy of Redskins PR)
Mike Shanahan on the importance of having a franchise quarterback:
“Well, I think everybody is looking for stability at that position. Everybody. You’re hoping that whoever it may be stays there for a long length of time. When I said I had a lot of confidence in these quarterbacks, I do. John’s one of those guys that I believe in. He’s going to have a great future. Now he’s going to have his opportunity to show us what he can do.”
Mike Shanahan on the injuries to the offensive line:
“Any time you have three guys go down on your fourth play, your seventh and 11th play, it is a little different. I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen since I’ve been in coaching where three starters that started the game went down — your left guard, your left tackle and your tight end — by the 11th play of the game. So, guys came in and got some experience, and some guys did a pretty good job under the circumstances.”
Kyle Shanahan on how involved he was in making the decision to name Beck the starter:
“I think it goes like anywhere else. I’m the offensive coordinator, so [Mike Shanahan] obviously asks for my opinion. I don’t think there’s a coach on our staff that he doesn’t ask for their opinion. I think he talks to a lot of guys, but when it comes down to it, it’s definitely his decision."
Kyle Shanahan on Beck needed to secure the ball when he runs:
“Yeah, he has to get used to that. Those few times he got out of the pocket, all quarterbacks do that, especially when you don’t have as much experience. Beck runs around a lot. He did a lot in college. If he gets out of the pocket, he has to understand that some fast [defensive] lineman is coming from the other side. That’s what happened to Rex in the Dallas game. It’s what happens to quarterbacks all of the time, [ones] with experience. He has to do it now because we can’t afford those type of turnovers. I think that’s something you learn and we’re definitely aware of it and we’re trying to make him aware of it as you can be.”
Jim Haslett on rookie quarterbacks being able to start and play well immediately:
“I really think it’s truly the individual and, when you watch [Panthers quarterback] Cam [Newton], he’s a mild mannered guy and nothing really rattles him. Blitzes don’t rattle him, different coverages [don’t rattle him]. He’s poised. He really looks good to me. He just sits in the pocket and he’s obviously a big stature guy. The ball whistles when it comes out of his hand. So far, you like what you see… And Rob [Chudzinski], the offensive coordinator, does a great job with him.”
Jim Haslett on Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith:
“He’s unbelievable. He’s the most competitive guy I’ve probably seen playing that position. He’s ultra-competitive. He wants to be the best. You can see when he wants the ball. He’s dangerous when he has the ball. He can still run. He has great catch ability and [can] run after the catch. It’s amazing. Back in the days when I used to play him two times-a-year, he’s still a great football player.”
Jim Haslett on nose tackle Barry Cofield’s pass deflections:
“I think it’s kind of a knack. He’s one of those guys, he’s always in front of the quarterback. He gets his hands up and he’s not leaving his feet. He has six or seven already this year and he’s caused three turnovers this year. I think it’s a great quality to have because one, from the nose, you’re never going to get a great sack total, but if you can stay in front of the quarterback and disrupt the throws and be in his face, that’s something that we didn’t have last year.”
**It's reasonable to expect that the Redskins will struggle defending Steve Smith on deep balls, because of his natural speed, competitiveness, and ability. DeAngelo Hall will try, and may pick one off -- but will probably get beat once or twice on big plays from the Panthers veteran star. Hall may flop sides of the field, and perhaps might even work in the slot -- if Smith goes there, but with a lack of ideal help over the top in the form of Oshiomogho Atogwe (likely will not play), this could be a major problem for Washington's back-end. I would tend to think that the Redskins will play a lot of coverages with soft cushions on the islands (vs.WR's) as usual and occasionally, especially on obvious passing down-and-distances, the Redskins will probably have bothsafeties out in over-the-top coverage. Expect a lot of 'zero blitz' looks to try and confuse Cam Newton, with plenty of guys dropping out pre-snap or with their assignments.
**It's reasonable at this point to think most Redskins fans and some critics are either a card or two short of a full deck OR just so frustrated with the consistent offensive problems over the last decade that they are just looking to blame someone, anyone -- even if it the wrong guy, for the problems. Put the blame for the turnovers on Rex Grossman and in some cases, maybe Fred Davis,Santana Moss (twice) and the offensive line. Do not put the blame on Mike or Kyle Shanahan. The more criticism I hear about Kyle, the more frustrated I get. I will explain more in a separate post. As coaches, you can ONLY put your players in position to make plays, you can't execute for them. Can Mike and Kyle Shanahan be blamed for believing in Rex Grossman? Yes, to some degree. However, I think they were simply 'hoping' not believing. Take away Tim Hightower as an effective option, Anthony Armstrong for the last 3 games, and then take away Trent Williams, Kory Lichtensteiger and Chris Cooley from the equation early against Philadelphia, and it easy to see why SOME of the problems have occurred. You can't rebuild Rome overnight, and you certainly can't rebuild and reload the Redskins overnight. It takes time to build a sustainable winning product. The Shanahan's inherited a mess, and have made mistakes - yes -- but name me one coaching staff outside of when the Patriots were in their glory days, that doesn't make personnel mistakes.
**It's reasonable to think that if Cam Newton breaks contain, and runs to the edges -- the Redskins are in big trouble. Newton is fast, big and strong. He might not be as 'slippery' as Michael Vick is or even LeSean McCoy for that matter, but the Redskins willstruggle in space to take him down. They must re-direct him in traffic to the middle of the field, and hit him on the hips and in the mid-section. Kedric Golston and Oshiomogho Atogwe combined for a sack last Sunday by hitting Michael Vick from each side on the hip and bam he went down. Very simple right? Rocky McIntosh has played really good in some games this year, and not so good in others (Arizona, Philly) but if he is matched up in space against Cam Newton, I am taking the Panthers all day.
**It's reasonable to think that the Redskins win this one 23-20, and Brandon Banks with either a long return or a touchdown is a huge factor. Carolina has allowed several long returns this year, and Banks -- while he has not broken a long one -- is getting Washington in good field position (referenced in 'Notable') and had a huge kickoff return to start the 2nd half last week.
Can John Beck play at an NFL starting QB level? Despite how bad the Carolina defense is, we'll find out on Sunday. As fans, we'll be able to observe the obvious. Does he throw the ball well and how much does his mobility help the team. The other stuff like calling plays, getting the team to the line of scrimmage on time, making the right adjustments at the line of scrimmage, making the right reads on the play, etc. is just as important but success will be determined by coaches. My guess is we'll see what see saw last week at the end of the Philly game. His mobility inside and outside the pocket will lead to more positive plays than negative and his passing accuracy will be inconsistent.
The Redskins will beat the Panthers if...
1. they make Cam Newton uncomfortable. Carolina has moved the ball against everyone but they've also turned the ball over. Cam Newton threw 3 interceptions last week and it could've been 5. He's going to be a tremendous QB down the road but he's looked human the last few weeks. The Redskins need to confuse him and force typical rookie mistakes which Newton wasn't making early in the season but has recently.
2. run the football. They had no success doing it last week but this week they must establish the run. If they run it well on first down, the Shanahan bootleg off the stretch will be back in full force with Beck behind center. Run the football and their chances are good this week.
3. they protect the ball. You could argue that this is the #1 reason Rex is on the bench and Beck is getting the start. I personally believe that it's a combo of the interceptions and lack of mobility but regardless, the formula for winning NFL games includes protecting the football. A no turnover game would go a long way to beating Carolina.