Redskins vs. Bears Pregame/First Quarter
Live from the press box at FedEx Field
Right now, just about an hour before kickoff, there are more media members in the stadium than fans.
It's right around freezing now and I can vouch for that. As I made my way through the media parking lot to the bus that takes me, the Redskins Band, the beer vendors and the luxury box servers, there were many patches composed of part water and part ice. It made the going a bit tricky.
The field looks like it's in great shape. They either have the greatest groundskeepers in the world or some damn fine painters. Whichever it is, the Steelers should look into borrowing them.
Suisham is nailing field goal tries from 40 with plenty to spare—he just nailed one that went just a few feet below the top of the goal posts as it went through. It seems that he's over that midseason slump he was in. You never know with a kicker, but he looks like he's a keeper.
There was some talk that Sean Springs would miss tonight's game with the back injury he suffered last week—make that four days ago—against the Bills. But he's active and out there warming up in the end zone just in front of me.
One somewhat surprising name on the inactive list is Todd Wade. It looks like Stephon Heyer is going to get yet another opportunity to make the Redskins wonder if they need to keep spending all of this money on Wade. Or on Jon Jansen, for that matter.
Starting next to Heyer will be Randy Thomas, seeing his first action since Week 2. His left arm is in a brace. It will be interesting to see what kind of form he's in. It's not as though Jason Fabini has done a horrible job by any stretch, but you have to think that Thomas is an immediate upgrade, kind of like making a December trade to shore up the O-line.
I've been coming to this stadium since it opened, sitting in the same end zone either in the stands or in the press box. I just found out that this is the West end zone. It's the one to the left as you're watching on TV, in case anyone cares.
After a week off, apparently out of respect for Sean Taylor, the pregame fireworks are back. Hopefully the smoke will clear prior to kickoff.
No surprise, the greatest play in Redskins history, by a vote of some fans, was John Riggins' fourth and one run in Super Bowl XVII.
We have a new press box announcer. I don't know if he's a fill in or if the other guy got the axe. Maybe the old guy finally got the name of the ball carrier and the yardage of the play right on the same play and retired.
14:50—The Bears get the ball at the 34 and it feels like a major victory.
13:36—Chicago is operating without a huddle until a third and nine. The huddle apparently was insufficient as the Bears had to burn a timeout.
13:31—Rex throws both low and short of the first down line.
13:24—How did Cartwright miss blocking that punt?
13:00—Portis gains two yards, maintaining his average from last week.
12:33—An unimpressive three and out for the Redskins on their initial series.
12:00—A good punt by Frost, netting 39 as he angled it straight out of bounds. If he can do that all day, we'll take it. In fact, if he can do that for the rest of the year, we'll take it.
11:37—The tackling has not been very solid for the Redskins so far. Adrian Peterson broke a few to get a first down.
10:58—The Bears are huddling up on this series.
10:53—Grossman is down, he took a pretty good smack after firing an incompletion. Leg or knee got bent the wrong way, and there was an audible "ooh" in the press box when it was shown on replay. Rex is limping off.
10:44—The Bears had the screen called against a Redskins blitz and McIntosh got through quickly enough to prevent a cold Brian Griese from completing it. Bears punt down to Washington eight yard line.
10:31—Grossman is out for the rest of the game with a knee injury.
10:00—Skins in no-huddle now.
9:26—No gain for Portis on third and two. Skins will punt from their own 16.
8:45—Hester is influencing field position. 46-yard punt with 16 on the return and the Bears are in Washington territory at the 46.
8:30—Another missed tackle, this time by McIntosh. A loss of one becomes a gain of three.
5:43—Berrian had a step on Springs, but it didn't look like he made much of an effort to drag the second foot in.
5:32—Kedric Golston gets a hand on Gould's 47-yard field goal attempt and gets the block. That keept the Bears off the board and gives the Redskins their best field position of the day.
5:23—Another two-yard gain for Portis.
4:26—Back to back first downs on passes to Portis and Cooley. The no-huddle is rolling.
3:06—It stalls outside of the Red Zone as Cooley is a yard short.
2:36—I spoke too soon about Suisham. He was just well short from 47.
2:00—A third-down sack of Griese by Carter and a gang of others.
0:00—22 yards to ARE and the Skins convert after a sack.
End of first quarter
Redskins 0, Bears 0
15:00—It took nine security guards to subdue and remove some clown who ran onto the field and to where the players were about to snap the ball.
13:45—A great blitz pickup by Portis allows Campbell to Cooley for 22.
12:04—Another Red Zone trip ends with a field goal attempt—it's a miss, wide left. I'll never say another nice thing about Suisham again.
9:26—This time the Chicago screen against the blitz worked for nine. Third and one.
7:11—A sack by M. Washington slows a steady Chicago march. Third and 10. Griese misfires and the Bears punt.
5:01—Campbell goes out after taking a blow to the arm on a scramble. It looks like he's going to go back in, but it's not certain.
3:42—A three and out for the Bears. Griese is awful.
2:49—Campbell is down again, this time the cart is coming out. It's a knee or something very painful in the lower leg. It has season-ending written all over it.
2:49—Chris Cooley is going to the locker room, too. Appears to be an ankle injury.
2:23—Leigh Torrence makes a good play to knock a punt out of bounds at the one.
1:50—Griese scrambled and chose to dive a yard shy of the first down. Of course, we haven't seen Collins in action yet, so we don't yet know who the worst QB on the field is yet.
1:07—Collins gets blindsided and stripped, trashing decent field position for the Redskins. Now the Bears have a shot at getting on the board.
0:24—Interception and big return of 53 yards by Springs. Now the Redskins have a shot from the 21.
Yoder 21 pass from Collins (Suisham kick)
Redskins 7, Bears 0
A nice pass by Collins, who had all kinds of time to throw. Yoder did a nice job of hanging on to the ball as a defender tries to strip it away around the one.
0:04—After getting no interceptions all year, Springs gets two in the half. Both were on passes intended for Hester.
End of first half
Redskins 7, Bears 0
With the injuries, this could be a pyrrhic victory for the Redskins.
Off the top of my head, this is the first time that the Redskins have held the opposition scoreless in the first half. Having a halftime lead, however, is no guarantee of success as we well know.
Campbell is out with a torn patellar tendon.
14:57—I don't know if the Bears think that Rock Cartwright is Hester, but they sure kicked away from him there.
13:02—A great run on a little screen to Portis, as he dodged and weaved for 54 yards on third and two. The dreaded first and goal at the one.
Sellers 1 run (Suisham kick)
Redskins 14, Bears 0
11:50—Landry drops a sure pick after it rolled out of the TE's hands.
10:38—An offside call against M. Washington nullifies a third down stop. Third and two from the 21. Then the play clock ran out on the Bears
9:26—A nice catch by Berrian followed by a circus job by Olson has the Bears in scoring range.
7:42—The Bears commit their second false start of the drive, first and 15.
6:56—A false start negates a third and nine stop. Then another delay of game pushes them back five more.
5:59—Torrence makes another play, a good tackle to force a field goal attempt.
FG Gould 30
Redskins 14, Bears 3
The Bears ate up 6:28 to get just three points. If the Redskins don't give them a short field it will be tough for Chicago to catch up.
Of course, I remember typing something similar at this point in the Bills game.
4:33—A three and out, of course, does not help the Redskins' cause in the least. Nor does a punt and penalty that gives the Bears the ball just past midfield.
3:23—The Bears might just have put together a three-play, 48-yard TD drive. A pass to Berrian in the end zone was ruled incomplete but it looks like Chicago may have a good case in its challenge.
Yes, they did.
Berrian 17 pass from Griese (Gould kick)
Redskins 14, Bears 10
3:04—Portis is back in after missing a series with what was announced as a stomach virus. He immediately picks up seven.
1:26—A holding call against Heyer negates a 13-yard completion on first down into Chicago territory. First and 20.
End of third quarter
Redskins 14, Bears 10
A big third down conversion attempt as the fourth quarter opens. A pass to Betts a few minutes ago got the Redskins their third third-down conversion in 11 attempts.
14:55—Cooley with a 33-yard grab to convert. Collins threw a nice pass to his TE in the seam of the zone.
12:44—Cooley again for 20 yards on second and 15. First and goal at the 10.
FG Suisham 23
Redskins 17, Bears 10
It's getting old. First and goal, you might as well just line up and go for three right there and eliminate the risk of the turnover.
10:16—A couple of passes to Hester have the Bears into Redskins territory, and that's after they did a nice job on kick coverage on him, nailing him at the 30.
9:57—An illegal motion call on Hester negates a third and 9 conversion, setting up a key third and 14.
9:32—Illegal contact against Torrence converts the third.
8:08—The Bears have found a target the like, John Eubanks, and they are on the one.
6:57—Third and goal at the five now after a run stop and good coverage by Doughty.
FG Gould 22
Redskins 17, Bears 13
That was a good job of tightening up as they got to the goal line, but the earlier part of the drive was just too easy. The Redskins will need a touchdown if they are going to win.
6:00—Stop the presses. The Redskins have thrown on consecutive first downs with a four-point lead. And they both were complete.
4:00—A great throw by Collins again converts a third and four after two runs.
2:45—Third and six at the 16. I've got to think that the Bears will bring the house and that if Collins can get the ball off the result will be a touchdown.
Betts 16 pass from Collins (Suisham kick)
Redskins 24, Bears 13
I love being right.
I do type this stuff real time, folks. I go back and add or correct nothing (as anyone could easily see by all the times I'm wrong).
2:41—That time the kick went out of bounds. Not what you want to do, but not all that damaging, either.
2:00—The Bears are making a little noise but they're still 40 yards away from the end zone.
1:42—A Griese scramble gets the Bears down to the 26.
1:24—A pass to Wolf gets the first down and the Bears spike the ball at the 19.
1:19—Landry drops another interception, which would have been a game-clincher. Still, he did a great job of swooping in to break up what looked like a sure TD.
0:45—They get another first down on a fourth-down sneak. A spike makes it second and goal at the nine.
0:34—Fourth and goal at the four. The Bears will try the FG and then the onside kick.
FG Gould 21
Redskins 24, Bears 16
30 seconds left. It'll come down to the onside kick. Let's go hands team.
The Bears ran 14 plays in a little over two minutes and they still have a timeout left.
0:30—The kick went out of bounds. Game over.
The Redskins have now allowed two touchdowns in their last three games and they are 1-2 in those games.