Jason Campbell Season Opener in Review By Alex V
September 6, 2008 by sportsroids
I’m gonna start things off with Jason Campbell. He’s honestly got a lot of the physical tools that can make for a great quarterback; mobility, a pretty strong arm (as shown when he overthrows it deep), and he’s also six feet and five inches tall.
However, he hasn’t got the smarts. What is up with the five yard passes when you need six on third down while a defender is ready and waiting to make the tackle after the catch. He threw a yard short on almost every third down in the game when the Redskins called a pass. Surprisingly, the one time his “short-comings” actually worked came on third down and eleven with 20 seconds to go in the first half; The Skins were on the Giants 14 yard line and needed to get down to the eleven so they could move the chains, and lo-and-behold, what does Mr. Campbell do? He throws the ball to Santana Moss at the ten!… who then actually manages to break for 13 yards into the end zone. I mean, you gotta figure that one of his short third down passes would have resulted in a first down eventually. Too bad they all couldn’t. After that touchdown, the Redskins continued with more nowhere marches down the field. The Giants pounded the ball down their throats and Brandon Jacobs received 21 handoffs for 116 yards, and Derrick Ward performed more than admirably with 9 caries for 39 yards. Each runner had 5.5 and 4.3 yards per carry respectively.
Now don’t overlook the Redskins’ running game last night. Clinton Portis managed 84 yards on 23 carries. Most good backs should be closer to, if not over, a 100 at that point, but the Redskins sporty new west-coast offense was of no help what so-ever save for just after the Rock Cartwright 50+ yard kick return before the end of the first half. But when your aerial attack is not helping you, 84 hard-earned yards is somewhat admirable. Eli Manning on the other hand looked good. I don’t care about his one interception. Not because the Redskins would inevitably go three-and-out as a result, but mainly because he just looked sharp. (You see, I have always viewed Eli Manning as such; I call him something I made up about a year ago… an “Interception Quarterback.” He’ll get his fare share of picks while maybe lingering atop the league in that category, and he might just be barely hovering above or just below a 60% completion percentage, but he’ll be getting the job done on third down, and most of the time when the game matters.). He hooked up with Plaxico on big gains, and used Steve Smith on third downs, perhaps showing that Smith might become a possession man on thirds down.
Bottom line, people want to talk up Jason Campbell for his attributes, and also because I personally believe that for whatever reason, a lot of NFL fans seem to sympathize with him since he’s got the “He’s a good kid” look. But let me tell you something, so does Alex Smith and Joey Harrington, and so did guys like Tim Couch and Akili Smith. Cute faces… ugly games.
Anyways, the Giants may want to work on turning more of those field goal drives into touchdowns, and the Redskins may want to start getting Campbell to look just a yard or two further down the field, and try to get Chris Cooley involved, who finished the game with one catch for seven sorry yards. Bottom line, the G-Men did what they were supposed to do. They didn’t blow out the Redskins, but their efforts ultimately culminated into a dominant performance, and a resoundingly convincing win.