Coming into the 2010 season expectations for the Redskins and Cowboys were very high. The Dallas Cowboys, who are hosting this years Super Bowl, have been picked by many analysts to go to the big game. The Washington Redskins, made many high profile moves in the off season bringing in veteran QB Donovan McNabb and Super Bowl Champion coach Mike Shanahan. With the Redskins opening up FedEx Field at noon for an 8:30 pm game, an 8 hour tailgate celebration ensued, complete with booze, bbq, football tossing, corn hole, watching the other games on the big screen and of course heckling Dallas fans. This massive tailgate fueled the one of the most anticipated season openers in recent memory.
With the other two NFC East teams playing earlier in the day this game became more and more interesting. The NY Giants had an easy victory in their new stadium over the less talented Panthers. Eli Manning had a mediocre performance throwing three tds but three picks as well. RB Ahmad Bradshaw proved that he will be the number one over Brandon Jacobs with his bursts of speed in the clutch. Perhaps the most surprising was WR Hakeem Nicks, who may be Manning’s new favorite receiver, as he caught all three of Eli’s td passes. The Eagles lost to the Packers in an injury plagued season opener. Philly fans watched in horror as franchise QB Kevin Kolb was sacked and suffered a concussion in the 2nd quarter opening the door for Mike Vick to prove himself. The Eagles also suffered 2 other significant losses with LB Stewart Bradley going down with a concussion and FB Leonard Weaver with a torn ACL.
Back to the Skins/Girls game, after the injury plaqued Eagles and untested Giants played many looked to this game to see who would become the clear cut leader in the NFC East. All eyes were on McNabb, could he lead the new offense down the field? How would rookie tackle Trent Williams fare against Pro Bowl rusher DeMarcus Ware? How would the 3-4 defense do against the Cowboys?
Lets be honest, the first half was disappointing until about 5 seconds left in the 2nd quarter when DeAngelo Williams picked up a fumble by RB Tashard Choice and took it to the house with :00 on the clock to give the Skins a 10-0 lead and all the momentum going into the half. The first drive by the Skins was promising with McNabb leading the troops down to the red zone but had to settle for a field goal. McNabb ended up going 15-32 for 178 yards, no tds but more importantly no interceptions or fumbles.
The offensive line, while not bulletproof, looked impressive against a stout Dallas defense. With rookie tackle Trent Williams making his NFL debut, he would face an early test having to block one of the premier LBs in DeMarcus Ware. Ware was injured late in the game with a neck stinger, but only registered one sack. Williams looked great in his debut and showed fans a glimpse into the future of this offensive line as Williams will anchor this line for years to come.
The Redskins 3-4 defense looked good for the most part. Converted linebackers Brian Orakpo, Andre Carter and Lorenzo Alexander still looked a little shaky out in space. The secondary looked good except for a few breakdowns, scaring us all on the final drive by Dallas. LaRon Landry was a beast, finally coming into his own. Landry was all over the field making plays, tackles and big hits all night.
Yes, it was a sloppy game, but you don’t get games handed to you every Sunday, especially from Dallas. With week 1 in the books and the Redskins coming out with a win and with no injuries, I am excited. Last time I checked the Skins were 1-0, tied for first in the NFC East.