*If Washington Redskins cornerback DeAngleo Hall and his defensive coordinator Jim Haslett did indeed slug it out verbally this past week at practice, owner Daniel Snyder ought to seriously consider putting the two of them in a MMA octagon and having them actually exchange blows. Hall tied an NFL-record with four interceptions (all in the second half) as the Redskins topped the Chicago Bears, 17-14 in a wacky, mistake-filled game. Trailing 14-10 with just over a minute left in the 3rd quarterback , Hall stepped in front of a Jay Cutler sideline floater and raced 92 yardsÂ for the winning margin.
The Redskins stumbled out of the Windy City gate as Bear cornerback D.J. MooreÂ Â picked offÂ of a Donovan McNabb pass and took it to the Soldier Field house 54 yards, putting Chicago up 7-0. MooreÂ had another pick-six taken off the board by a delay-of-game penalty. McNabb would even the score at seven with a 24-yard strike to wide receiver Santana Moss with 1:08 left in in the opening period. It was one of the few highlights for McNabb (17 of 32 for 200 yards with 2 interceptions). He committed two of the team’s six fumbles (Luckily only one was lost) and finished with a woeful 56.8 quarterback rating.
After Graham Gano’s 46-yard field goal put Washington up by three early in the third, Chicago had its only true drive of the day. The Bears marched 70 yards, culminated by a nine-yard TD tossÂ from Cutler to Johnny Knox. Chicago led 14-10 heading into the fourth. The damage could have been far, far worse. As critical as Hall’s game-altering interception was in late in the 3rd quarter, it was a stunning goal-line stand that turned the game around. Chicago completed a long 48-yard pass to Earl Bennett to theÂ goal line. The Bears contested it was a touchdown but instant replay upheld the ruling on the field, placing the ball at the one-yard line. Disaster befell the Bears on the next play. Cutler was stuffed by Albert Haynesworth on a sneak attempt causing a fumble that the Skins’ London FletcherÂ recovered. This was truly the turning point of the contest. And this was by far Haynesworth’s best game as a Redskin. After missing the last two, he was a force in the middle, including a huge ten-yard sack.
Both teams had chances in the 4th quarter to take control of the game. Graham Gano, who misses at least one critical field goal a week, clanked a 37-yard field goal off the left upright. But Cutler’s fourth interception to Hall on a questionable long bomb in the fourth quarter was the sixth Bear turnover of the 2nd half and the backbreaker. A critical pass from McNabb to tight end Chris Cooley just before the two-minute warning and hard running from Ryan Torain (21 carries for 125 yards) sealed the deal. Both teams are now 4-3.
Pic’s Perspective: Last week vs. the Colts I nailed the final score exactly right (simply reversing the teams). In this week’s preview article, I predicted that a critical pick-six interception late would clinch a narrow Redskin victory. I am available for privateÂ psychic readings and birthday parties…….Strangest play of the game? In the fourth quarter, Cutler fired one of his many off-target bullets. It bounced off the helmet of safety LaRon Landry back down the field nearly twenty yards where a Bear lineman made the grab. When you have 20 inch biceps, it is sometimes difficult toÂ raise your arms over your head to make the pick……The Bears came into the game a remarkable 0 for 9 from the one-yard line. Cutler’s critical fumble upped that mark to a perfect 0 for 10…….Chicago finally converted a third-down in the 2nd half, their first in 28 possessions. They hadn’t converted a 3rd down play since Richard M. Daley’s first-term as mayor. The Bears ended up 2 of 10. The Skins were worse: 2 of 13. Former mayor Marion Barry remains active in DC politics. His former girlfriend Hazel “Rasheeda” Moore, who is not related to the Skin’s Kareem or the Bears’ D.J., took the 5th when asked about 3rd down efficiency….Is there a reason Joey Galloway is still getting meaningful playing time? He turns 39 next month and is the oldest receiver in the league. He was shut out again today. His only positive play was falling into a Bear’s defender after McNabb’s second interception….The Redskins’ rushing attack did amass 121 yards in the game. After piling up 33 rushing yards on seven carries in the first quarter, the Redskins had only 1 rushing yard on 6 carries in the second and third quarters. Torain was most fortunate that only one of his two fumbles was lost. He ran hard, got some key first downs late but must learn to hold on to the pigskin. ….The Skins’ “bend-but-don’t-break” defense yielded 322 yards. This is about their league-worst average. But Chicago still could muster just two scoring drives…..Chris Louis is a talented musician out of South Carolina who does a weekly song/video salute to his beloved Redskins. His week seven tribute was aptlyÂ called “Breath”. This error-filled game certainly did drain the oxygen out of the stadiumÂ at times. In this week’s tune. LouisÂ accu-rapped aboutÂ Jay Cutler’s errant passing and the fact that Chicago is lucky to be a hockey town. His new album is called “Diamond” and is indeed a jewel.
The Washington Redskins can finally exhale as it heads to Detroit next week. The Lions (1-5)Â are no longer the NFL’s laughing stock. The “Motor City Kitties”Â have actually been competitive in all six of their games. The LionsÂ will be well-rested coming off their bye week, but who will quarterback for them?Â Former Terp quarterback Shaun Hill was injured in their last start andÂ former #1 overall pick Matthew Stafford hasn’t played since an opening week shoulder injury. Look for my preview by mid-week. Until then, let out a sigh of relief and get ready for the work week ahead!