The Browns came to Washington for the first time since 1991. The game unfolded much like one from 1981. Clinton Portis was running like the Redskins' top back from 1971.
This was not a game for those who love high-scoring affairs. The first half was scoreless, the first time the Redskins have been involved in a scoreless first half since the Giants came to RFK Stadium on September 13, 1981. I like a good defensive struggle but this was more a case of bumbling offense than rib-rocking defense.
On the rare occasions when Derrick Anderson's passes found their targets, the Cleveland receivers usually dropped them. Anderson was three for 14 in the first half. That's a 21% completion rate.
Jason Campbell was better, but not by much. Jim Zorn's play calling was very conservative and somewhat puzzling. He seemed determined to get Fred Davis involved in the offense, to the point where he called the rookie tight end's number on an end around. Speed is not one of Davis' main attributes nor is he particularly elusive. You could have left your seat to get a cold one—hell, you could have gone out and brewed a cold one—in the time it took Davis to make his way across the field.
Clinton Portis picked up 75 yards in the half. He was a latter-day Larry Brown, hurling his body through cracks in the line, making something out of nothing time after time.
The scoring picked up in the second half as the Redskins put together two nice touchdown drives. After the second one took it up to 14-3, the Redskins had a pair of great goal-line stands. I'll go into them in detail in another post, but although the Browns ultimately scored, they had to burn off over five precious minutes of clock after their initial first and goal at the one.
This game won't burn up much space in the Redskins' 2008 highlight show except perhaps for a few Portis runs to show how he led the NFL in rushing. But there are no style points next to the "W" column.