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Monday Morning H-Back

Unbelievable finish. Great win. Dallas was intent on giving that game away and the Redskins, thanks to a huge special teams play, found a way to eventually take the gift. Maybe it was a season-changing afternoon, but after reflecting on the day it seems to me a lot of things muct still change with this team for it to actually get out of this hole and start playing good football again, because yesterday the Cowboys out-played them. The Skins lost the turnover battle and time of possession and still won. Up here, you don't see that too often.

Style points don't matter and it's a huge win. But I think they've got a lot of issues to sort out still. Had they won with a blueprint that can be duplicted and something of a chart for a future progress, I might reign some glowing adjectives upon them. But they aren't at that point yet and this is one you could not re-created in a million attempts.

Let's start with the good:

They got the ball downfield a bit - how about Randle El's sideline pass to Lloyd? - and finally carved out some yards over the middle in the passing game.

Ladell Betts looks like Marshall Faulk catching all those balls out of the backfield. On pace for 50 catches, already has 11 more grabs than in any season before.

They don't win that game without James Thrash. That dude is a game with sure hands and a knack for getting beyond the first-down marker, something the team has problems with at times.

Troy Vincent makes the play of the year and our guy Novak, is resilient as heck if nothing else.

The O Line did a good job with the a Dallas front that killed them in Texas a few weeks back.

Getting Griffin back was big, and Golston continues to impress me.

The linebackers may have had their best game of the season. Then again, the defense still gave up 378 yards.

Brunell staved off the wolves again (I know some will take this as a bad thing, but the dude was very efficient).

The Bad:

If TO concentrated more on catching the ball than he does on his silly TD celebrations, the Cowboys would have won and the defense would have allowed over 400 yards - again.

If Fasano decides to run upfield instead of walking like an Egyptian on that screen pass on the final drive, the Cowboys probably would have won and the defense would have allowed over 400 yards - again. (ended up yielded 378 - the norm now and unthinkable 2 years ago).

Dallas gave away 153 yards in penalties and it still took a once-in-lifetime sequence of events to beat them at home.

The Tuna might want to start swimming away to retirement right now. Had the replay flag in his hand on that safety that did not appear to be a safety, but stuffed it back in his pocket. Throw it there. I don't care what the guys upstairs said. Then he goes for 2. Fails to use timeouts as the Skins are marching to Novak's first attempted game-winner. He allows TO to get away with that ridiculous stunt sleeping on the ball - a sure 15-yard penalty.

Adam Archuleta is struggling even as the nickel and dime guy. Got put into man coverage once from what I saw and gave up what should have been the deciding play of the game with Witten over the middle. Troy Vincent is a stabilizing force, but that remains one of the worst secondaries in the NFL. Skins now rank 30th overall and 30th against the pass. They are 32nd in interception percentage.

The third-down defense is awful. Dallas converted 9 of its first 12 attempts, including third-and-13.

They have now gone 17 full quarters without getting a turnover.

If T.J. Duckett doesn't get a shot with 8 plays run inside the 10 on that one drive and four around the goal line, why is he still here?

Okay enough of me, let's see whatcha got. Who's out there?

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 6, 2006; 11:09 AM ET
 
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