Washington Wins Season Opener: 'Do You Believe Now?'

Washington 28 - New York 21

Perhaps the Redskins should have saved their "Are You In?" slogan, used last year during the Donavan McNabb season, for the 2011 Rex Grossman season.

After Washington won their season opener over the New York Giants - with their controversial quarterback Rex Grossman at the helm - the slogan could either be Are You In? or Do You Believe Now?

Rookie Ryan Kerrigan high fives a fan after the Skins beat New York 28-14 in season opener. Photo/CD Brown.

With the season opening game coin toss being administered by former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and the National Anthem being sung by national recording artist Ne-Yo on a day commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attack on the U.S., FedEx Field was brimming with emotion.

Included in those emotions was also worry. Worry about whether a not-so-great quarterback could carry the team in a real NFL game.

While some say Grossman, with limited NFL experience, couldn't possibly be a starting NFL for the Redskins, let alone in the NFL, Grossman showed his naysayers otherwise on Sunday.

Grossman connected for 305 yards and 2 touchdowns on the day, begging the question of his naysayers - do you believe now?

Yes. We know it's only the first game. Yes, the Giants played without their star play makers Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Prince Amukamara, but you have to give props to the team for winning three of its four preseason games, and winning on opening day.

That's a lot better than in years past. (A not too distant years past).

Here's how the game transpired, that left a 'confident' Grossman happy with his performance.

The Giants got it in first, scoring a touchdown off a Manning 68 yard TD pass to Hakeem Nix to give NY at 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

But wait. The Skins didn't take long to answer the Giants' TD reciprocal call.

Grossman found an open Anthony Armstrong, passed for 18 yards to the Skins' consistent play maker sending Armstrong diving for the 1 yard line, just short of rendering the home team a touchdown that would have tied the game. But it would be the Giants' defense that blocked any chance of that taking place.

Not to fear.

The Redskins have plenty of weapons this season, one quite notably in former Arizona running back, Tim Hightower. Hightower, who played brilliantly during this preseason, got open allowing Grossman to find him for a 28 yard touchdown.

Game tied, 7-7. The scoring went back and forth, and by half time the game was tied for a second time, 14-14.

Bad Fumble. Good Recovery.
There would be several good plays for the Redskins on the day that made the sack in the 4th quarter on Grossman by Giants' DE Jason Pierre-Paul seem inconsequential. Almost. (No fumble is a good fumble, after all - especially when the opposing team recovers it).

But a Brian Orakpo blocked field goal, Jabar Gaffney's 34 yard TD pass, and perhaps the most talked about play by rookie Ryan Kerrigan, overshadowed the one serious blunder by Grossman. Skins' DE Ryan Kerrigan tipped an Eli Manning pass, secures the ball and runs in for the touchdown.

That's great football folks. At least for the Redskins it is.

Other play makers on the day for the Redskins included Fred Davis' five catches for 105 yards. Davis stands a good chance of securing the number one tight end spot, replacing an injured Chris Cooley who saw limited action Sunday and is still nursing an ongoing knee injury.

Giants' coach Tom Coughlin said the game was "competitive", but wasn't too excited about his team's performance in the second half, calling it "disappointing" and his players "disorganized".

"We had a delay of game, again", said Coughlin. "That was totally unacceptable."

Giants QB Eli Manning said Washington "played a great game", and "made a lot of great plays." When asked his opinion on the newly formed Washington team, Manning said, "they've always been a great team".

Well, hold on now. We wouldn't say that. But we will, however, agree with Skins' London Fletcher on this year's rebuilt Washington Redskins.

"We have a team", said Fletcher after stating the various pieces of the Redskins team are coming together. Fletcher also said it "feels good" to be able to just play football and not have to worry about outside distractions.

One distraction that did come up before the game was the announcement that team owner Dan Snyder has dropped his lawsuit against The City Paper for what he claimed were anti-semitic remarks about him, and remarks about his wife Tanya Snyder's breast cancer recovery.

When we asked Skins PR director, Tony Wyllie why the announcement at this time, his reply was, "It's time to move on. It's time to just play football."

The 'team' plays football against Arizona next week, before facing another rival, the Dallas Cowboys the week after.

New York faces off against Mike Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles next week. The Eagles defeated Saint Louis 31-13.

Our Game Day photos. (Really a good game, good weather, great crowd, good festivities, good job).