In Depth: The Plays of the Game

Editor-in-Chief
Posted Sep 12, 2005


From the hit on Ramsey through the triple play by Griffin, here are the game's key plays with audio commentary by the key players.

You can reach me by email at rtandler@comcast.net

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Patrick Ramsey’s long completion to Santana Moss (Second Quarter)

1-10-WAS28 (14:27) P.Ramsey pass to S.Moss pushed ob at CHI 20 for 52 yards (J.Azumah).

Ramsey is often accused of being unable to look off a defender, but he did a great job of it this time, pumping to his right before turning and firing to Moss, who was between the numbers and the hash mark on the left side. Moss had a step on his defender and Ramsey hit him right in stride just past the Washington 45. With safety Mike Green poised a few yards away to make the tackle, Moss immediately changed direction, heading for the right sideline. It appeared that he had a chance to take it the distance, but Azumah was ahead of the play, got an angle and ran Moss out of bounds.

The play gained 52 yards. In 16 games in 2004, the Redskins longest pass play covered 51 yards.

Gibbs likes Moss’ playmaking ability Audio

The oass interference call on Chris Cooley that nullified a touchdown (Second Quarter)

3-6-CHI6(11:14) P.Ramsey pass to C.Cooley for 6 yards, TOUCHDOWN NULLIFIED by Penalty. PENALTY on WAS-C.Cooley, Offensive Pass Interference, 10 yards, enforced at CHI 6 - No Play.

This call is hard to understand. Mike Brown and Cooley made contact and Cooley spun away from him to make the catch. Brown did stumble backwards when the two separated but that appeared to be more from the momentum of the contact and not from a shove by Cooley. I didn’t think that a DB was supposed to engage a receiver past five yards and this was at the goal line, anyway. This cost the Redskins six points and their starting quarterback.

Gibbs didn’t think that that Cooley pushed off Audio

The hit on Ramsey that knocked him out of the game and caused a fumble (Second Quarter)

3-16-CHI16(11:08) P.Ramsey sacked at CHI 19 for -3 yards (L.Briggs). FUMBLES (L.Briggs), RECOVERED by CHI-T.Harris at CHI 19. T.Harris to CHI 19 for no gain (C.Samuels).WAS-P.Ramsey was injured during the play.

Briggs came in quickly from the right of the offense. Jansen had to choose between blocking him and Ogunleye and chose Briggs, but it was too late. He got a piece of Briggs as Ramsey went back to pass but it barely slowed Briggs’ momentum. It was a classic clothesline tackle, with the inside of Briggs’ elbow right on Ramsey’s Adam’s apple.

"I don't recall hitting him in the head,'' Briggs said. "I came across the body. It was clean, as far as I could tell. He ducked to avoid it. I came in tight, and when he ducked, I came up right under his chest.”

Well, no you didn’t, unless Ramsey’s neck is under his chest. And he didn’t have a chance to duck. It may not have been intentional but it sure should have drawn a flag. Briggs might think it was “clean” but it will probably end up cleaning about 20 grand out of his wallet.

“It was what we call one of our hot protections, where Patrick has to get rid of the ball in a hurry,” said Joe Bugel. “That was a flagrant hit. Any time you use your elbow, your arm or forearm to hit someone in the neck that’s a flagrant foul, that should have been 15 yards. Somebody’s going to take some heat for that.”

Ramsey would not return to the game. "That was coach's call," Ramsey said. "I was obviously dinged. I tried to come off the field and I was a little woozy."

Joe Gibbs didn’t think much of the non-call by the officials Audio
Mark Brunell didn’t think it was a clean hit Audio
Brunell said Ramsey wanted to return Audio

The pass interference call that set up the Redskins’ first score (Second Quarter)

3-10-WAS35(8:43) (Shotgun) M.Brunell pass intended for S.Moss INTERCEPTED by N.Vasher at CHI 27. N.Vasher to WAS 18 for 55 yards (C.Rabach).
PENALTY on CHI-M.Green, Defensive Pass Interference, 36 yards, enforced at WAS 35 - No Play.

From the shotgun, Brunell rolled right and launched one. It looked like he heaved it as far as he can and, if that’s the case, his range is 49 yards as he launched it from the Washington 24 and Vasher caught it at the Bear 27. Mike Green was covering and Vasher was providing deep help. Green almost took Moss’ jersey off as the ball was coming down. It’s hard to say if Moss would have caught the ball if not for the grab by Green, but he almost certainly would have prevented the interception.

Two Mark Brunell comments on the play Audio 1 Audio 2

Antonio Brown’s fumble of the second-half kickoff (Third quarter)

D.Brien kicks 66 yards from CHI 30 to WAS 4. A.Brown to WAS 20 for 16 yards (B.Ayanbadejo). FUMBLES (B.Ayanbadejo), RECOVERED by CHI-J.Odom at WAS 23. J.Odom to WAS 23 for no gain (R.Boschetti).

Brown was holding the ball like the proverbial loaf of bread. He had it far from his body as he made a cut and he was just starting to tuck it back in when Ayanbadejo knocked it away. The ball went right to Odom, who tucked it away uncontested.

The Bears went on to score their only points of the game, driving for a touchdown, disappointing Gregg Williams. “We should have been able to shut them out after the turnover at the beginning of the third quarter,” said Williams. “We didn’t play very well in the red zone there. We had two third-down opportunities down there and we’re better than that. We need to get them off the field after a red-zone turnover.”

Gibbs comments on change in kickoff returners after Brown’s fumble Audio

The fourth-down conversion on a QB Sneak (Third Quarter)

4-1-CHI43(8:24) M.Brunell left guard to CHI 42 for 1 yard (M.Haynes). QB sneak

This was not a very difficult decision after Brunell’s first attempt to pick up a first down with a sneak on third and about two came up just inches short. They were in Bear territory and, although Chicago had just scored, there was good reason to have confidence in the defense if the attempt failed.

There was no opening at all on the sneak and Brunell had to sort of burrow behind Dockery and Samuels to gain about six inches to keep the drive alive.

Lamar Marshall’s interception (Third quarter)

1-10-WAS22(:17) K.Orton pass intended for M.Muhammad INTERCEPTED by L.Marshall (W.Holdman) at WAS -1. L.Marshall to WAS 6 for 7 yards (M.Muhammad).

Right after the Redskins got a field goal to make it 9-7, Chicago was responding with a drive. The Bears had just converted a third and six to get to the Washington 22 and they were well within field goal range. Orton dropped back and had plenty of time and a huge lane to throw through. He apparently didn’t see Warrick Holdman standing in the middle of the field or he didn’t get enough air under the ball. In either case, the ball deflected off of Holdman high into the air where Lamar Marshall was waiting for it.

“My eyes got real big,” said Marshall, making his first NFL start at middle linebacker. “I didn’t want people to say, 'See the play Lemar could have made? That was a missed opportunity.’ ”

It wasn’t as Marshall gathered the ball in at the goal line. Unsure if he had caught the pass in the field of play or in the end zone, he decided to try to run it out and got tackled at the five.

What was the middle linebacker doing back so deep in coverage? I asked Marshall that: Audio

Clinton Portis’ 41-yard run (Third quarter)

1-10-WAS6(:06) C.Portis right tackle to WAS 47 for 41 yards (To.Johnson).

Portis was the single back in a formation that was double strong left as both Cooley and Royal were lined up tight on the left. The Chicago linebackers cheated heavily that way, with the left outside linebacker lining up almost directly in front of the ball. They had fallen into a trap.

Ogunleye made his outside pass rush move, Thomas blocked the man in front of him and with the surge of the offensive line the linebackers were trapped inside. He got a good block from Moss about ten yards downfield and he was off to the races. It looked like he had a shot at taking it the distance but Azumah and Todd Johnson were able to catch him from behind and bring him down.

Although the Redskins were unable to get a first down after this play, it was still a critical change in field position.

Portis on the play Audio

The Bears march backwards (Fourth quarter)

1-10-WAS34(8:20) T.Jones up the middle to WAS 37 for -3 yards (S.Springs).

2-13-WAS37(7:38) PENALTY on CHI-F.Miller, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at WAS 37 - No Play.

2-18-WAS42(7:15) PENALTY on CHI-J.Tait, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at WAS 42 - No Play.

2-23-WAS47(6:56) PENALTY on CHI-R.Brown, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at WAS 47 - No Play.

2-28-CHI48(6:37) K.Orton sacked at CHI 38 for -10 yards (D.Evans).

After playing somewhat soft as Chicago drove to the Washington 34, the defensive turned the aggression up a notch, collapsing the line to blow up a first-down run by Thomas Jones. On second and 13, the Redskins were lined up to blitz both corners and tackle Fred Miller twitched early, getting called for the false start. The crowd had just started to get into it at this point and the false start made them smell blood. The buzz before the Bears got to the line was so loud that Orton even had difficulty hearing the play call through his helmet earpiece.

Again the Redskins were showing blitz but this time it was up the middle. The other tackle, John Tait, moved this time. It got really loud as the lined up again and rather than just getting the snap off, Orton tried to direct some traffic. It was too long for right guard Ruben Brown, who jumped.

On second and 28, the Bears finally got a snap off. They would have been better off with another false start. LaVar Arrington blitzed from the left side and although Orton was able to evade him, Demetric Evans made the sack. From the doorstep of field goal range, the Bears had to punt.

“We were probably within 10 yards of field goal distance and we just came unglued,” said Orton, who completed 15 of 28 passes for 141 yards. “It got real loud and the defense started showing us some different looks.”

Williams: “We were showing a lot of pressure there. (Orton) was a little nervous with all of those corner blitzes coming at him there. With the fans yelling and him trying to check, it threw the timing of things off. The 12th, 13th, and 14th man was the fans here at FedEx Field and they helped at a great time in the ballgame.

Gibbs credits the fans for the sequence Audio

Lamar Marshall also said that the noise helped Audio

Clinton Portis was into it Audio

Brunell pass to Moss to keep clock-killing drive alive (Fourth quarter)

3-5-WAS28(4:21) (Shotgun) M.Brunell pass to S.Moss to WAS 43 for 15 yards (J.Azumah).

Moss lined up as a wing on the right and went in motion and shifted to the slot on the left side. Azumah followed him across the formation and took an outside position in covering Moss. Brunell did a good job of handling a low shotgun snap and saw Moss break free to the inside. He wasn’t quite ready to throw the ball, but he knew that he didn’t have to get everything on it to get the completion for a first down. The throw was accurate and Moss easily gathered it in a few yards past the first down line and turned upfield for a few more yards. The Redskins burned another three minutes off the clock before punting to the Bears.

Brunell talks about the play Audio

Cornelius Griffin’s triple play (Fourth quarter)

2-10-CHI20(1:39) K.Orton sacked at CHI 15 for -5 yards (C.Griffin). FUMBLES (C.Griffin), RECOVERED by WAS-C.Griffin at CHI 15. C.Griffin to CHI 15 for no gain (T.Metcalf).

Griffin looped around to the left and, although guard Anthony Oakley stayed engaged with him, Griffin was clearly in control of the matchup. As Orton started his throwing motion, Griffin reached out and swatted the ball out of Orton’s hand. He dove for it and gathered it in to seal the win.

G. Williams: “It was great to see us end the game on a great defensive play. Marcus Washington collapsed the pocket and here comes Cornelius Griffin, who we thought was very, very underrated last year, he should have gone to the Pro Bowl, and he comes up with a great sack, comes up with a great forced fumble and with a fumble recovery. We end the game that way and it’s nice to see the defense get that done.”



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