Gaffney, Stallworth pace revived Redskins offense

Gaffney, Stallworth pace revived Redskins offense
November 20, 2011, 11:44 pm
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It was pretty modest production by NFL standards, really. Against the Cowboys today, the Redskins scored 24 points and compiled 336 yards of total offense. Rex Grossman, the quarterback, passed for 289 yards and one wide receiver, Jabar Gaffney, got over the century mark in receiving yards with 115. Again, pretty pedestrian numbers. Many of the better offenses in the league, in fact, might be embarrassed by such low production. But for the Redskins, their performance in their 27-24 overtime loss to the Cowboys represented a virtual offensive explosion. Given that they had scored four touchdowns in their previous five games, three of them when the outcome had essentially been decided, they had reason to be pleased with their offensive performance despite what was showing on the scoreboard. Grossman threw for two touchdowns, one to Gaffney and the other one to Donte Stallworth. He had not thrown a touchdown pass since the first quarter of the Redskins game in St. Louis on Oct. 2. When the Redskins lost to the 49ers at home two weeks ago, Gaffney voiced frustration that John Beck, who took over at quarterback for three weeks after Grossman was benched, was not able to find him when he was open. There were no such issues today. It was different, Gaffney said. Rex came to me. I was able to make plays. Hopefully we can build off of that and make more plays. On of the biggest plays he made was a 16-yard touchdown catch on a pass from Grossman. It came with 14 seconds left in the first half and gave the Redskins a 14-10 lead, their first lead in the last six games. The Redskins were out of timeouts prior to the play and it came on third down. The Cowboys knew that the play had to go into the end zone. Gaffney and Grossman, who were teammates at the University of Florida in the late 1990s, got into synch to make the play. I ran a little corner post on the safety and Rex just delivered a great pass and I caught it, Gaffney said. We worked that play in practice and we were able to have success with it today. Ive always felt good about Jabar and his routes, Grossman said. You could tell pre-game he was ready for a huge game. He made some amazing catches in some huge situations. Gaffney finished the day with 115 yards on seven receptions. The Redskins have had two wide receivers surpass 100 yards in a game twice this year. The first came last week when Leonard Hankerson gained 106 yards receiving. That game in Miami also marked Grossmans return at quarterback after that three-week hiatus. The touchdown pass to Stallworth was the most dramatic play of the year. It came with 14 second left in the game and after the extra point the game was tied at 24 and headed into overtime. Stallworth made the team coming out of training camp but he watched last weeks game at home on TV after having been released earlier in the week. But Hankerson suffered a season-ending injury against the Dolphins and Stallworth was headed back to Washington. We had some guys go down and I think Donte did a heck of a job. He was very physical, snatched a couple of balls, made a couple of big plays. It really was a credit to him taking advantage of an opportunity Stallworth, who finished the day with six receptions for 51 yards, said that he didnt expect the ball to come to him on the tying touchdown but he was ready. The cornerback had been positioning himself inside of Stallworth on the play prior to the touchdown and Grossman had a hunch he would do it again. It was third and goal at the four and Stallworth ran a fade pattern to the left corner. The defensive back did the same thing and Rex put it in the corner, Stallworth said. He gave me an opportunity to make a play on the ball. Stallworth gathered it in and the referee signaled touchdown. There was a replay review to see if his feet were inbounds. It was confirmed and the game went into overtime. But after having their chance to win go by the wayside when Graham Gano was wide right on a 52-yard field goal attempt, the Redskins lost on Dan Baileys 39-yard kick. That certainly took the edge off of the offenses performance. Yeah, Id rather talk about silver linings on Wednesday or something, said Grossman. Its just frustrating right now.