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Opening Loss to Giants Has Fans of Burgundy and Gold Seeing Red

Redskins Coach Jim Zorn, right, has a word with running back Clinton Portis during Thursday night's 16-7 loss to the Giants in Zorn's head coaching debut.
Redskins Coach Jim Zorn, right, has a word with running back Clinton Portis during Thursday night's 16-7 loss to the Giants in Zorn's head coaching debut. (By Jonathan Newton -- The Washington Post)
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By George Solomon
Sunday, September 7, 2008

For me, Washington's summer of good cheer, low humidity, politics and an inviting new baseball park came to a resounding end Thursday at 10 p.m.

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That's when the Redskins walked off the field in the Meadowlands soundly beaten, 16-7, by the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants in an opening game that wasn't nearly as close as the score suggests.

So put down the patio awning, cover the grill and stash the lawn chairs. As former Redskins special teams star turned shoot-from-the-hip commentator Brian Mitchell said on Comcast SportsNet, "I'm steamed."

Steamed at:

· The Redskins being outgained in the first half, 241-51, and for the game, 354-209.

· The Redskins converting on just 3 of 13 third downs, mostly because quarterback Jason Campbell's receivers ran routes that usually were two yards short of first downs -- with Campbell performing like a rookie uncomfortable with Coach Jim Zorn's West Coast offense. (Question: What's so great about the West Coast offense?)

· The Redskins, down nine in the fourth quarter, displayed no urgency and produced zero points, with NBC commentator John Madden observing in the final minutes, "They're taking way too much time."

· The Redskins' defense dropping interceptions, missing tackles and blowing coverages. "We had nothing in the first half," said defensive coordinator Greg Blache, whose guys at least shut out the Giants in the second half.


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