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Skins Openers, 2006-2007

C.P. and Santana before the 2007 opener. (By Toni L. Sandys - TWP)

Continuing the D.C. Sports Bog's special seven-and-a-half hour kickoff show. Spotted: the day's first mixed couple: man in Giants jersey, woman in Redskins jersey, walking together through Union Station.

While we count down the seconds in front of our lifeless computers, or while we give up and leave work early to start drinking doing whatever responsible fans do, let's review some openers of recent vintage. There will be smiles, and there will be tears, and there will be copious use of the phrase "hard fought."

2007: Redskins beat Miami, 16-13 (OT)

WaPo gamer lede: During pregame warmups yesterday, Washington Redskins tailback Clinton Portis was a vortex of emotion, adrenaline pumping, his mind racing. He said he spent the first half of the season-opening game against Miami in that overheated state, treating each handoff as an opportunity to declare himself back from an injury-marred 2006, always in a sprint.

Washington's offense sputtered for much of an error-filled game, with quarterback Jason Campbell's play varying by the series and the Redskins and the Miami Dolphins lamenting a litany of missed opportunities on a hot, sunny day. Neither squad could manage more than a four-point lead and both were desperate for a victory after slumping last year, but as fatigue mounted it was Portis, his tailback mate Ladell Betts, and a makeshift offensive line that carried the Redskins to a 16-13 overtime win before 90,163 at FedEx Field.

Jason Taylor: "They drove it down our throat and scored."

Joe Gibbs: "At different times we got put in a hole, one way or another, either defensively or offensively, I think everybody could feel it. We were out there fighting. That was the key thing."

Chris Cooley: "The win is huge. Season openers set a big standard for the team."

Joe Gibbs: "In a game like that you go through emotion after emotion after emotion. At the end you're emotionally worn out."

Ladell Betts: "It was critical to win the first game. Doesn't matter how. At the end of the season, nobody cares."

20072006: Redskins lose to Minnesota, 19-16

WaPo gamer lede:
The glitz was worthy of a Super Bowl, with 90,608 fans waving flags on the fifth anniversary of 9/11, a national television audience tuning into the first Monday night game of the regular season, and Redskins owner Daniel Snyder hobnobbing at FedEx Field with his new Hollywood pals, actors Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx. That pageantry was the backdrop for the Washington Redskins' grand unveiling of another record-setting offseason splurge -- from associate head coach Al Saunders to a bevy of prized free agents -- and the start to a season of great expectations.

From an entertainment standpoint, America was not disappointed, but to the Redskins, the evening was a failure. They lost, 19-16, to the Minnesota Vikings last night, distinguishing themselves neither on offense nor defense, with Vikings place kicker Ryan Longwell connecting from 31 yards in the final minute, and beleaguered place kicker John Hall missing wide left from 48 yards, with much improvement required when the Redskins open their grueling NFC East schedule Sunday night at Dallas....

Gibbs called the game "hard fought" and found no fault with any player

Mark Brunell: "They were just a little better than we were tonight."

John Hall: "You've got to go out there and make that kick, and I just didn't. I take full responsibility. You throw yourself out there in the middle of the ring like that, and you're going to get knocked down. I just have to get back up."

Joe Gibbs: "It's never one play that beats you. It's everybody, including me. We have to find a way to fight our way out of it."

Clinton Portis: "The only thing we messed up tonight was our perfect season."

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 4, 2008; 12:11 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Next: Skins Openers, 2004-2005


Typo.... You mean "2006" against Minnesota

Posted by: joe blazin | September 4, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

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