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Late morning Saturday I grumbled and sighed as I crept along in Beltway traffic. SUV’s with Virginia Tech Hokie banners surrounded me, destination College Park. I wondered aloud who would drive three to four hours to watch a lopsided contest between Tech and another beleaguered beltway loser the University of Maryland. Sunday, true fans and gluttons for punishment my brother and I waited for the 1pm kickoff. I remarked that I hoped the traffic would not snare me the same way on my return trip home. My brother’s reply, “the way the Redskins have been playing a lot of people will probably be on the road early.” Less than a couple minutes in the Skins were down 7-0. There’s a memo circulating around the NFL. Note to all quarterbacks: The Redskins cannot defend the bomb—go deep! Indeed with the continued yet puzzling Three Stooges play in the Washington secondary it seems anyone with an arm and minimum JV football experience can loft it over our heads for a score. I can only imagine that Denver’s huddle must have been an ode to the old backyard Nerf football games of my youth—“you block, everybody else go long on 2.”

Fortunately, the sun continued to shine at Fed Ex Field. “We’re driving the football” I exclaimed to my brother as Rock Cartwright and Ladell Betts ripped up good chunks of yardage. Lo and behold we got into the redzone and Jason Campbell executed the play action pass for a score! No sooner than I excused myself from the room and quickly returned we were behind again, the play, a Denver deep bomb, the victims—Moe, Larry, and Curly. But wait, there was trickery to cover the treachery, first confusion amongst the Redskins—shocker, and then the Broncos confused by the Redskins confusion and wait a minute it’s a fake punt! Hunter Smith hits Mike Sellers for a touchdown, it's 14-14. Way to go Zorn after all even a condemned man deserves a last request. Zorn and Sherman Lewis may want to empty the playbook of every misdirection, fake punt, double reverse, statue of liberty and tackle eligible play in existence. Physical play by the defense put Denver quarterback Kyle Orton out of the game before the half.

The third quarter was nothing to talk about but we controlled the fourth quarter. Ladell Betts played inspired football in place of injured Clinton Portis with tough north and south running that wore down the Denver D. I say go with the Betts/Cartright one two combo again next week until it fails. Washington scored more points in the fourth quarter than in a few previous games. Hail to the Redskins, hail victory, we won, we won! Leaving Maryland headed home Sunday evening there was more traffic, but it’s always a better ride when your team wins. Voice mail at Redskins Park Monday blared a single message—how bout them Cowboys!” Note to Deangelo Hall: play centerfield; don’t let those Nerf Football backyard tosses whistle over your head.

Jdon Howard


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