Redskins Win Home Opener despite Offensive Struggles

Gary €Digital€ Williams | 9/20/2009, 5:45 p.m.

If football fans saw the stats of a team that had three drives that totaled 13, 13 and 14 plays, averaged 73 yards in those drives and took anywhere from six to seven minutes off the clock, they would probably expect that team to not only win, but blow out their opponent.

In the case of the Washington Redskins, however, the only common factor was a victory that evened their record at 1-1. The Redskins won their home opener at FedEx Field on Sun., Sept. 20, defeating the St. Louis Rams, 9-7 in front of 87,780 fans, many of whom did not seem totally pleased with the outcome, serenading the home team with a smattering of boos.

The Redskins offense managed just three Shaun Suisham field goals, despite controlling the ball for more than 30 minutes.
€We knew we underperformed in some areas but we did well in others,€ said Redskins Head Coach Jim Zorn. €I€m very pleased about how we€re progressing, but I€m concerned about not scoring [touchdowns].€

Redskins DeAngelo Hall tries to stop Laurent Robinson in the second half. Photo by John De Freitas
The Redskins did move the ball with some efficiency. Quarterback Jason Campbell went 23-35 for 242 yards. Tight end Chris Cooley caught seven passes for 83 yards. Cooley was an early Campbell target as the two connected four times for 40 yards in the first quarter alone.

Defensively, the front line had a solid outing, led by defensive lineman Cornelius Griffin who had four tackles and a sack. Defensive back Chris Horton had seven tackles and broke up a long pass play on the Rams€ last drive of the game.

Although, the Redskins€ locker room was rather quiet after the contest, many were content with getting the victory.

€Of course, we€d like to run for 300 yards, pass for 600 yards and score 50 points,€ said center Casey Robach. €But a win€s a win and I€m going to take this one and be happy with it.€
€We did very well,€ said Cooley. €We just couldn€t punch it in.€
Rams quarterback Marc Bulger is sacked by Philip Daniels of the Redskins. Photo by John De Freitas
The Redskins will get another opportunity for the offense to get healthy as they travel to Ford Field in Detroit to take on the Detroit Lions on Sun. Sept. 27.

The Lions looked like they were going to break their now 19-game losing streak as they led the Minnesota Vikings 10-0 early in their Sun., Sept. 20 contest. But the Vikings came back and scored 27 unanswered points, before winning the game 27-13. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was 18-30 for 152 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Running back Kevin Smith ran for 83 yards on 24 carries and wide receiver Calvin Jackson scored a touchdown and caught five passes for 51 yards.

"Jason Campbell sprained his ankle in the second quarter, and he was kind of limited with what he could do," Zorn said. "I was really proud of how he played with that. He had to suck it up." Photo by John De Freitas
Tight End Chris Cooley (#47) sails past Rams center back Jonathan Wade in the second quarter. Photo by John De Freitas