12.04.2011 / Blog Posts Redskins
By Brian Tinsman
Sunday’s loss to the Jets showed how physical and competitive this Redskins team is capable of being, and also how far they have to go to close out wins.
With a little under eight minutes left in the game, Graham Gano put the Redskins on top with a 46-yard field goal. This was a great moment for the much-maligned kicker, and put the Redskins in a comfortable situation to end the game. If the Jets march down the field and score on their next possession, there should be time left on the clock. If they don’t, the Redskins are leading and have a chance to add to that.
But it was the ensuing kickoff that altered the momentum of the game. Gano, prized for his strong kickoff skills, booted the ball to only the opposing 20-yard line, which is 25-to-30 yards short of where he normally kicks it. Receiving the ball at the 20, the Jets returner got good blocks and brought it out to midfield, where Gano was forced to make a saving tackle.
[“Saving tackle”: Kickers and punters are not known for their tackling skills and are usually the last line of defense on returns. A saving tackle is anyone that makes the last tackle before a score, but in this case refers to Gano, the last line of defense.]
The Jets had a short field to tie or take the lead, and that’s precisely what they were able to do. The defense, which had played so well for three and one-half quarters, suddenly got caught out of position.
With a first-and-10 at the Redskins 30-yard line, Jets receiver Santonio Holmes ran a deep route, and his defender Josh Wilson bit on a fake to the tight end over the middle. Holmes, known for his speed, got behind Wilson and the safety help, making an easy grab for the score.
This would put the Jets ahead, 20-16.
The Redskins would manage another field goal in the game, and the Jets would rush for two more touchdowns, but the game was decided on the Holmes catch. Even before that play, it appeared that the momentum of the game had swung away from the Redskins.
FINAL SCORE: Jets 34 - Redskins 19
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