Some highlights from the second quarter:
The Redskins started the second quarter off with a bang, running an end around pass from Brandon Banks to Santana Moss for a 49 yard touchdown. On the play James Ihedigbo bought the fake completely and had to complelely turn around to go racing back down the field to try and catch Moss as he was making the reception. Unfortunately he completely whiffed on the tackle and fell down, and Matthew Slater tripped over Ihedigbo while trying to chase him down and Moss scored easily. It was an ugly play, and it gave Washington the lead at 17-10 just :11 seconds into the quarter.
It was quite a second quarter for Brady and the Patriots. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
New England then answered with a long drive 16 play drive that was highlighted by a very erratic series by Tom Brady. He was just 3-of-9 on that series and badly threw the ball either behind or overthrew them completely. They were unable to get a touchdown after Brady attempted an endzone throw to Rob Gronkowski, who took a helmet-to-helmet shot from DeJon Gomes that knocked him to the ground after Gomes’ helmet caught Gronkowski on the chin. His next attempt was a pass to Aaron Hernandez that went off his hands and he couldn’t hold on. As a result they had to settle for a 23 yard field goal to knot the score at 17-17 with 8:56 to go in the half.
The ensuing series for the Redskins contained a controversial call that negated what could have been a crucial turnover. Washington drove down to the Patriots 19 yard line, but Brandon Deadrick got his first sack of the season, sacking Rex Grossman to set up a 3rd and 9 from the New England 22. On the next play Grossman appeared to be picked off by Devin McCourty, but the officials called Andre Carter for going low on Grossman and threw the flag, negating the turnover. Julian Edelman would make the next third down stop, tackling Jabar Gaffney on a slant pattern short of the first down marker, and they would settle for a 25-yard field goal to put them up 20-17 with 2:13 to go in the half.
The first offensive play on the ensuing drive for New England saw a quick pass to Kevin Faulk, who got completely blown up after making the reception by Redskins linebacker Perry Riley. That took them to the two-minute warning.
However, they went right at Riley on the next play. Brady found Rob Gronkowski, who was matched up on Riley, over the middle. When Riley caught up to him, he grabbed Gronkowski from behind, but he dragged Riley from the 40 down to the 30 yard line for what ended up being a 50 yard pass play by the Patriots tight end.
Two plays later Tom Brady took off running on a 2nd and 4 play, and as he went into his slide took quite a shot from London Fletcher, who was called for unnecessary roughness for a “forearm to the head”. Replays showed that wasn’t the case, but nevertheless the Patriots took the penalty. After an incompletion to Gronkowski where Brady threw at his feet left :01 on the clock, Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 24 yard field goal to knot the score at the half.