For weeks now, football fans across the nation have been patiently awaiting the kickoff of the 2008 NFL season.
After watching the New York Giants host the Washington Redskins in the premiere game, one thing became evident: Jason Campbell is not ready to lead the Redskins offense under head coach Jim Zorn's offense.
The fourth-year quarterback out of Auburn appeared to be a couple of weeks away from knowing the new West Coast system put in place by Zorn. Campbell threw for just 133 yards on 27 attempts and went for the deep ball only a handful of times.
While some credit has to go to the Giants' defense for keeping the short routes in check that the West Coast system relies so heavily upon, much of the blame has to fall on the shoulders of the quarterback in this situation. In nearly every third down the Redskins faced, Campbell failed to find a receiver open beyond the first-down marker. The 'Skins converting on 3-of-13 third downs is evidence of this.
With a new head coach and system for the offense to learn, there is expected to be a learning curve. After Campbell and the rest of the offense's showing tonight, the Redskins proved they are still behind that learning curve.
In order to compete in a division as tough as the NFC East, the offense will need to catch up quickly. With a home match against the Saints up next, the 'Skins will once again face a tough defense and playoff-caliber team. To win this game, Campbell will need to work the ball more down the field and find the open receiver with room to run after the catch.
In the Redskins' lone scoring drive, Campbell completed two passes for 25 of the 45 yards needed to get into the end zone. This drive was the only time the offense moved the ball successfully on the Giants' defense and the lone glimmer in a dismal showing by the offense.
For the team to be succesful in the coming weeks, Campbell will need to continue to make those completions that move the sticks.