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Sunday, January 06, 2008

January 7-- Skins season ends in Seattle

The Redskins season ends with a 35-14 loss in the wild card round of the playoffs at Seattle.. Mike Holmgren became only the second coach in history to beat Joe Gibbs twice in the postseason.. The Seahawks have ended two of the last 3 Redskins seasons, beating the Skins in the divisional round of the postseason in 2005, and this time in the wild card.. Joe Gibbs had never lost a wild card playoff game before Saturday and falls to 17-7 overall in the postseason (1-2 in his second stint as Redskins coach)..

Todd Collins threw his first two interceptions of the season, I believe first two in a decade, both were returned for touchdowns.. The first one, a 78 yard return by Marcus Trufant was a ball that was never found when in the air by Santana Moss.. The receiver said he didn't break off his route, he just didn't see the ball coming his way and didn't think it was thrown for him.. ..
Collins and the Skins offense was having a lot of difficulty with the crowd noise (and electronically created noise) that they had to adjust by going to silent snap counts and hurry up opportunities.. The Seahawks contend they do not pump in noise, however they do use a horn like noise when their team is on defense.. By league rule, noise blared trhough the speaker system is not allowed to be used when a team breaks the huddle.. Seattle broke this rule numerous times in the first half with noise obviously being played even as the Skins offense was at the line of scrimmage.. The Seahawks limited their overuse of this in the second half.. Still, and this is just my opinion, but understand I have an ear for this stuff, it sounds like the Seahawks open microphones throughout the stadium, in turn, the noise (which is very prevalant by the fans alone) gets then reverberated through the speaker system.. There is an obvious hum that is audible when the Seahawks fans begin cheering.. They are loud, no doubt, and their venue might be the best of the new stadiums in the league, but their contention that the noise is human generated and human generated only is simply not true..
Regardless, the offense line had trouble getting off the ball, and to be fair and not be nit picky about noise levels, the Seahawks defense line and front seven overall dominated the Skins protection.. They were playing at a different speed and intensity then the Skins and were the aggressor throughout..

Washington had enormous issues with special teams throughout the day.. Shaun Suisham missed a 30 yard field goal after a bizarre kickoff recovery by the Skins that gave them field position after taking a 1 poitn lead early in the 4th quarter.. Derrick Frost punted 8 times, with 43.5 average, not a bad number except for the couple of times the he left Seattle with fabulous field position.. Suisham's kickoffs were consistently short and the Skins were called for a running into the kicker foul..

Defensively, Washington allowed 21 points and 304 total yards.. Not a bad effort conisdering the Seahawks offensive exploits.. Shawn Springs said the biggest issue was not getting pressure on Matt Hasselbeck.. he called Hasselbeck (his former teammate) the best QB in the NFC and said "if you don't hit him, he'll kill you."

LB London Fletcher said he said he may give a personal nudge to Joe Gibbs to return for the fifth and currently final year of the original contract he signed when he returned.. Fletcher joked he may tell Gibbs, "See you next year so he gets the message."
T Chris Samuels called Gibbs, "the best coach I have ever had. He puts the players first. He's a character man and we always play for him."
Gibbs has never said he would not return for a fifth and possibly final season as Skins head coach, but there seems to be some snetiment that he may renege on his promise of five seasons.. I suppose we'll know more when he speaks to the media at 5PM Monday..

Putting the season in context following the loss was tough for the players with the scoreboard fresh in their mind.. A few said they were proud of the accomplishment of reaching the playoffs despite the murder of Sean Taylor and the other injuries the team fought through.. Many including Santana Moss said he doesn't want a "moral victory. You want to win. We can hold our heads high but we ain't playing next week. I wish we could be talking about next week." London Fletcher said the "The Cowboys knew what we were going to do to them."

Gibbs said it's going to be hard to separate this group after what was a trying season.. many players called this the closest group they've been a part of.. He described them as an unusual group of guys, "you could hear them getting emotional."

No major injuries occurred in the Seattle that would be any cause for concern heading into next season.. Clinton Portis injured an ankle, but not seriously.. Stephon Heyer was dinged, but said he was fine.. James Thrash missed the game due to a sprained ankle..

I'll have a detailed report on the off-season to come later this week..

OK men


Blogger alexchilton said...

Hi Bram,
For some reason I can't post to the skins forum. I just wanted to put in my vote for the defining play of 2007 - to me it was opening against Buffalo with 10 men on D.

5:44 PM  
Blogger Covering The Redskins said...

Not a bad choice.. Thanks

5:21 PM  
Blogger Haterade said...

Can you elaborate on the piping in of extra noise?

Were you at the game or watching on TV?

12:35 PM  

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