Gameday Graphic for Game on 10/24/2010
CHICAGO – The third time has always been the charm. In DeAngelo Hall's case, so was the fourth.
The Redskins forced three turnovers in the third quarter on Sunday and the last one made the difference. DeAngelo Hall's interception and 92-yard return for a score gave the Redskins a hard-earned lead and they survived their own gaffes for a 17-14 victory.
That was Hall's second pick of the period, which also saw the Redskins (4-3) turn away the Chicago Bears (4-3) at the 1-yard, forcing a fumble by quarterback Jay Cutler. Hall would add another two more interceptions in the fourth quarter, one that put the Redskins at the Bears' 13 but ultimately produced only a field goal attempt that caromed the wrong way off the upright, the last cutting off a Bears' late possession that showed some promise.
Hall's four interceptions tied a club record for a single game. The Redskins defense, which came in ranked last in the NFL in yards allowed, produced four sacks, six turnovers and allowed only one offensive touchdown.
Hall became the first Redskins defender to score two touchdowns in a season since Andre Collins in 1994. It was Hall's fumble return for a score that lifted the Redskins to their opening-day victory over the Dallas Cowboys.
The Redskins offense? Mostly along for the ride. A bumpy one. One that Donovan McNabb may consider as turbulent as any flight that ever landed at O'Hare International Airport.
McNabb threw one interception for a touchdown, saw another wiped out by a penalty, and the offense generally hiccupped and sputtered when it need a spark to roar to life. His late fumble cost the team five yards, pushed Graham Gano's field goal try back to 37 yards and that kick failed when it hit the upright. The offense became its own worst enemy with its own collection of fumbles and foibles and never gave the defense room to exhale.
McNabb's 24-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss evened the score at 7-7. Blessed again with excellent field position (another start at midfield), the Redskins quickly added Gano's 46-yard field goal for a 10-7 edge.
It didn't last. In part because the Redskins did so little to build on it.
Make your bed with penalties and you may sleep with a loss under your penalty. This hard lesson never seems to quite seep into the Redskins' conscious minds and it caused them to play from behind.
With a first and 10 from the Bears' 22, after a nice drive comprised mainly of passes, the Redskins returned to the run and right tackle Jammal Brown got caught holding defensive end Julius Peppers.
The penalty made it first and 20 and caused McNabb to overcompensate. With cornerback D.J. Moore untouched and about to sling him to the ground, McNabb tried to fling the ball anyway. Defensive end Israel Idonije blocked the pass and the deflection sailed right into the hands of Moore, who went 53 yards for a touchdown.
Look at Chicago's last drive of the first half. Two calls against Brian Orakpo for being offside gave the Bears 10 yards and one first down as they drove for the go-ahead touchdown, a 9-yard pass from Cutler to Johnny Knox. Orakpo put great pressure on Cutler but Cutler spun away and stepped up and made the throw with 24 seconds left before halftime.
The Redskins had the Bears where they wanted from the outset but couldn't take advantage of the chances they created. So often this season condemned to start drives within shouting distance of their own end zone, the Redskins had three starts from midfield in the first half but punted twice and kicked one field goal. Not quite the opportunism so often discussed.
In the early going, McNabb's receivers betrayed him. Anthony Armstrong didn't extend enough to haul in one pass, another banged off Chris Cooley's hands and Santana Moss slipped running a route. Later, McNabb reverted to the form that will keep him from ever being a knife thrower in traveling carnivals.
In one dismal stretch, six of his seven pass attempts fell incomplete, one of them after being smacked down by Idonije again. Early in the third quarter, Moore picked him again and returned it for a touchdown, only to see the entire play erased on a delay of game call against the Redskins. If not for Ryan Torain rushing for 125 yards, there'd have been no consistency whatsoever. Torain gave the Redskins back-to-back 100-yard performances for the first time since Clinton Portis in mid-October 2008.
The Bears, meanwhile, continued to fail miserably at protecting their quarterback in the early going. The Redskins sacked Jay Cutler three times in the first half alone and the Bears never got any rhythm because they almost never extended a drive past three plays.
No game is a gimme. Especially on the road. But here was one made for the Redskins. The Bears came into this game having started two left tackles, two left guards, two right guards and three right tackles and made another change at right guard in this game. Even when they got themselves organized, the Redskins applied sufficient pressure to force mistakes in judgment by Cutler and physical errors in holding onto the football.
It's said there are no ugly victories. Don't take a second look at this one and risk changing your mind.
The Redskins resume their road schedule on Sunday, Oct. 24, with a trip to Chicago to take on the Bears at Soldier Field. Kickoff is 1 p.m. ET.
Soldier Field is a natural grass surface. The stadium seats 61,500.
The Redskins are 1-1 in road games this year. They lost to the St. Louis Rams 30-16 in Week 3 and defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 17-12 in Week 4.
The Redskins' game against the Bears is the second of four against the NFC North this season. In Week 5, they defeated the Green Bay Packers 16-13 in overtime.
The Bears are 1-1 against the NFC East with a 27-20 victory over the Dallas Cowboys and a 17-3 loss to the Chicago Bears.
The Redskins are coming off a 27-24 loss to the Indianapolis Colts at FedExField.
The Bears lost to the Seattle Seahawks 23-20 at Soldier Field.
The game will be televised on FOX. Joe Buck handles the play-by-play with color commentary by Troy Aikman. Pam Oliver is the sideline reporter.
On radio, the game will be broadcast locally on ESPN 980 and the Redskins Radio Network. Larry Michael calls the play-by-play with former Redskins and Hall of Famers Sonny Jurgensen and Sam Huff adding color commentary. Former Redskin Rick 'Doc' Walker reports from the sidelines.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS
|WR||89 Santana Moss||13 Johnny Knox|
|LT||71 Trent Williams||74 Chris Williams|
|LG||78 K. Lichtensteiger||63 Roberto Garza|
|C||61 Casey Rabach||57 Olin Kreutz|
|RG||75 Artis Hicks||60 Lance Louis|
|RT||69 Jammal Brown||68 Frank Omiyale|
|TE||47 Chris Cooley||82 Greg Olsen|
|WR||13 Anthony Armstrong||23 Devin Hester|
|QB||5 Donovan McNabb||6 Jay Cutler|
|FB||45 Mike Sellers||86 B, Manumaleuna|
|RB||46 Ryan Torain||22 Matt Forte|
|DE||94 Adam Carriker||71 Israel Idonije|
|NT/DT||96 Ma'ake Kemoeatu||75 Matt Toeaina|
|DE/DT||64 Kedric Golston||95 Anthony Adams|
|LB/DE||97 Lorenzo Alexander||90 Julius Peppers|
|LB||59 London Fletcher||55 Lance Briggs|
|LB||52 Rocky McIntosh||54 Brian Urlacher|
|LB||98 Brian Orakpo||59 Pisa Tinoisamoa|
|LCB||23 DeAngelo Hall||35 Zack Bowman|
|RCB||22 Carlos Rogers||33 Charles Tillman|
|SS||30 LaRon Landry||38 Danieal Manning|
|FS||41 Kareem Moore||48 Chris Harris|
|P||17 Hunter Smith||4 Brad Maynard|
|K||4 Graham Gano||9 Robbie Gould|
|H||17 Hunter Smith||4 Brad Maynard|
|LS||57 Nick Sundberg||65 Patrick Mannelly|
|KOR||16 Brandon Banks||13 Johnny Knox|
|PR||16 Brandon Banks||23 Devin Hester|
The Bears-Redskins series is one of the oldest in NFL history. Chicago holds a slim edge in the all-time series at 23-22-1, including postseason.
The longest win streak for the Redskins in the series was six straight from 1989-99, duplicated by the Bears between 1946 through 1953.
The Redskins have controlled the series recently, winning 11 of 14 since 1986.
In the postseason, the Redskins hold a 4-3 edge.
The Redskins won their first NFL championship, in their first season in Washington, in 1937 at the expense of the Bears. The final score of that Dec. 12, 1937 matchup was 28-21.
Three years later, the Bears got revenge in a big way, routing the Redskins 73-0 in the 1940 title game.
In 1942, the Redskins stopped the Bears 14-6 at Soldier Field to win their second NFL championship.
For the Redskins, perhaps the most exhilarating play in the series came in the NFC playoffs following the 1987 season.
At Soldier Field, the temperate read minus-21 factoring in the wind chill. The Redskins were trailing, so Joe Gibbs summoned Darrell Green for a punt return.
Green caught the ball near the sideline, amazing hurdled over tackles to stay on his feet--injuring his ribs in the process--and then cut back across the field and out-ran pursuit for a 52-yard touchdown run.
The touchdown gave the Redskins the lead en route to a 21-17 victory.
Each of the last five meetings between the two clubs have been decided by eight or less points.
In 2001, the Bears used a fake field goal to win 20-15 at FedExField. Holder Brad Maynard tossed a short pass to Brian Urlacher, who ran 27 yards for a score.
Two years later, the Redskins were nipped by the Bears on a 45-yard, last-second field goal by Paul Edinger at Soldier Field.
The last time the Redskins and Bears played at Soldier Field was in 2004. Clinton Portis rushed for 171 yards on 36 carries in a 13-10 Redskins victory.
The last time the Redskins and Bears played was in 2007, when Todd Collins replaced an injured Jason Campbell and completed 15-of-20 passes for 224 yards and two TDs in a 24-16 Redskins win. Portis caught a team-high six passes for 86 yards, including a 54-yarder to set up a touchdown in the third quarter.
TALE OF THE TAPE
|REDSKINS 2010 RANKINGS|
|BEARS 2010 RANKINGS|
FAMILIAR FACES ON THE BEARS
Offensive coordinator Mike Martz served as Redskins quarterbacks coach from 1997-98. He was key in the development of quarterback Trent Green during that span.
Offensive line coach Mike Tice played tight end for the Redskins in 1989.
Wide receivers coach Darryl Drake played wide receiver for the Redskins in 1979.
Pro scout Dennard Wilson played defensive back for the Redskins in 2004-06, although he did not appear in a regular season game.
Backup quarterback Todd Collins was the Redskins' backup quarterback from 2006-09. In 2007, he stepped in for an injured Jason Campbell late in the season and guided the Redskins to four consecutive wins and a Wild Card playoff berth.
Guard Edwin Williams played for the Redskins in 2009 and was on the roster through training camp. He started two games for the Redskins last year.
Wide receiver Devin Aromashodu was on the Redskins' practice squad in 2008.
Fullback Eddie Williams was a 2009 7th-round draft pick by the Redskins. He was on the Redskins' practice squad and 53-man roster that year but finished the season on injured reserve.
REDSKINS-BEARS NEWS & NOTES
-- 'High Five' All Around
Donovan McNabb is a Chicago native, starring at Mount Carmel High School in the city.
It has not taken long for McNabb to make an impact in Washington. In just his second game in the burgundy and gold, McNabb threw for 426 yards, the fourth-highest single-game passing total in franchise history and the third-highest total in McNabb's career.
Already this season, McNabb has moved past Hall of Famers Troy Aikman and Steve Young on the NFL's all-time passing yardage list with 33,831 career passing yards. With 2,871 completions, he also surpassed Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas on the all-time completions list.
In his NFL career, McNabb has a winning percentage of .645 (95-52-1), a figure that ranks third among active quarterbacks with at least 100 starts. He trails only Tom Brady (.763) and Peyton Manning (.680).
A major factor in the success of McNabb's teams has been his ability to take care of the football. McNabb is the NFL's all-time leader in terms of interception percentage (2.10 percent) and ranks third in NFL history in TD/INT ratio (2.15).
-- Grossman Returns to Chicago
Quarterback Rex Grossman played six years for the Chicago Bears and to be sure experienced plenty of ups and downs.
The ups? He led the team to a 13-3 record in 2006 and an appearance in Super Bowl XLI. The downs? Costly turnovers and a series of injuries.
How does Grossman expect to be received by Bears fans?
"I'm not sure," he said. "I would expect them to probably boo...I'm not going to anticipate people's reactions if I play, but if I don't play I'm sure I'll hear some heckling on the sidelines."
No matter the reaction from fans, Grossman said he loved his time in Chicago. He called the 2006 season the "most special year of my life."
"That was my only full season there," he said. "I had a couple injuries before that season and I didn't play much after that season. That was an unbelievable year. We had a lot of good things happening and to be able to experience that with my teammates, the coaches, even the city really, it was a special thing."
-- How the Redskins' 53-Man Roster Was Built
The Redskins have 15 players on the roster that the team drafted, including 2010 first-round pick Trent Williams and 2009 supplemental draft pick Jeremy Jarmon.
Mike Sellers is the longest-tenured Redskins. He had a stint with the Redskins in 1998-2000 and rejoined the team in 2004.
Washington has used unrestricted free agency to acquire 27 players, including Casey Rabach in 2005, Andre Carter in 2006, London Fletcher in 2007, DeAngelo Hall in 2008, Albert Haynesworth in 2009 and Ma'ake Kemoeatu in 2010.
Five Redskins players were acquired as undrafted rookie free agents. This group includes offensive linemen Stephon Heyer and cornerback Byron Westbrook, both local products.
The team has acquired six players via trade: Clinton Portis, Santana Moss, Donovan McNabb, Adam Carriker, Jammal Brown and John Beck.
-- First-Year Redskins Head Coaches
Entering Sunday's game vs. Green Bay, Mike Shanahan is 3-3 in his first season as Redskins head coach.
Looking back at Redskins head coaches in their first season, five have gone on to have winning seasons (excluding Dick Todd, who was 5-4 in taking over three games into the 1951 season.)
Twelve first-year head coaches suffered losing campaigns, including Joe Gibbs's return in 2004. Additionally Herman Ball coached the final seven games in 1949 and finished 1-4, while Terry Robiskie finished 1-2 while coaching the last three games of 2000.
Eight first-year head coaches ended their seasons with a .500 record, including Marty Schottenheimer in 2001 and Jim Zorn in 2008.
-- Redskins' Strength of Schedule
The Redskins have the NFL's eighth toughest schedule in 2010, according to the NFL.
The Redskins' opponents this season produced a 134-122 record last year, a .523 winning percentage.
The Houston Texans (.547), Tennessee Titans (.547), Dallas Cowboys (.543), Cincinnati Bengals (.539), Jacksonville Jaguars (.535), New England Patriots (.531) and New York Giants (.527) have tougher schedules.
The Redskins play 11 games against teams who finished .500 or better last year. They play seven games against 2009 playoff opponents.
-- London Calling
Heading into Sunday's game vs. Chicago, London Fletcher has posted 157 consecutive starts, a figure which ranks fourth among active players. (Brett Favre is at 290, Peyton Manning is at 198 and Ronde Barber is at 172.)
Fletcher has not missed a game since entering the league as an undrafted rookie free agent with the St. Louis Rams in 1998.
His 198 consecutive games streak is tied for second with Manning among active players behind Minnesota's Brett Favre (292).
Since joining the Redskins in 2007, Fletcher has led the team in tackles each of his three seasons with the club. He earned his first Pro Bowl selection following the 2009 season.
-- Shanahan's Moving Up
With the Redskins' Week 5 win over the Green Bay Packers, Mike Shanahan recorded his 157th career win (regular season and postseason) as a head coach.
Shanahan's career record is 157-105. That win total is 16th best among all-time NFL head coaches.
He needs five wins to surpass Bill Cowher, who has a 161-99-1 career record.
-- Super Signal-Callers
The Redskins are the only team in the NFL to feature two quarterbacks on their roster that have started in the Super Bowl.
Donovan McNabb led the Philadelphia Eagles to Super Bowl XXXIX in 2004.
His backup Rex Grossman took the Chicago Bears to Super Bowl XLI in 2006.
-- What's Next?
The Redskins stay in the NFC North with a matchup against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Kickoff is 1 p.m. ET.
It's the third time in as many seasons that the Redskins are playing the Lions at Ford Field.
Last year, the Lions dealt the Redskins a 19-14 loss. Two years ago, the Redskins won 25-17.