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Monday Morning Water Cooler: Missed Opportunities

11.14.2011 / Blog Posts Redskins

AP Image

By Brian Tinsman

Football games usually boil down to taking advantage of opportunities that are presented to a team. Those opportunities may be obvious on the stat sheet, or they may only be apparent on film, but they’re almost always there.

Yesterday, the Redskins had opportunities to take the early lead and weren’t able to capitalize. The defense kept them in the game until late, but a failed opportunity at the start of the fourth quarter sealed it for the Redskins.

With 12 minutes left in the game, the Redskins had driven down to the Dolphins 10-yard line, with the score still 9-13. On first down, quarterback Rex Grossman looked for receiver Jabar Gaffney cutting across the middle of the field, in traffic.

[“In traffic”: This is football jargon, to say that there were a number of defenders playing the pass in the area. On this particular play, there were three Redskins receivers running routes that crossed over the middle near the goal line. But there were also four Dolphins defenders over the middle, and a fifth lurking in the area. Hence, traffic.]

Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby dropped back in coverage and diagnosed the play. He read the route and jumped up for a momentum-crushing interception. Dansby ran the ball back 14 yards to the Dolphins 19-yard line.

On the ensuing Dolphins drive, they marched the length of the field for a Reggie Bush touchdown. This touchdown made the score 9-20 and effectively ended the Redskins chances of getting back in the game.

If the Redskins convert for a touchdown on that play, they have their first lead of the game, 16-13. If they only manage a field goal, they’re still alive with a 12-13 score. But by throwing that interception, they get nothing and miss out on a big opportunity.

Final score from Miami: Redskins 9, Dolphins 20.

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