My first five quarter awarding since The 5th Quarter's inception. Sure it was against the expansion Houston Texans, but when you have two running backs gain over 100 yards in the same game, there is little choice. Ladell Betts carried the ball 20 times for 116 yards, and Kenny Watson added 110 yards on an equal 20 carries. Both backs were getting huge holes from the offensive line, especially Chris Samuels, and were often not being touched until reaching the secondary. The punishing play of the line allowed the Redskins to win the time of possession battle by an astounding 14 minutes, including a demoralizing 11 play drive late in the 4th quarter consisting of 10 straight run plays, and ending with a field goal. Injured Stephen Davis must have been wondering where this dedication to the run was when he was healthy as the Redskins registered 46 running plays to just 31 passing plays. The encouraging performance by both rookie backs didn't help decide who the back of the future is, but it did probably decide that it wouldn't be Davis.
Note: The last time the Redskins had two 100+ yard rushers in the same game was Nov. 3, 1985 when Keith Griffin (164) and George Rogers (124) achieved the rare milestone.
Rookie Patrick Ramsey earned his first win as an NFL starter as he threw 2 touchdown passes in a 14 of 31 for 190 yard performance. The kid is really starting to look like the future at QB despite the average numbers and small mistakes. He earned the most important stat, a win, and had two other important numbers -- 0 sacks, 0 interceptions. This space has been used the last several weeks to note the improvemnet and play of Derrius Thompson. This week is no exception. Thompson again led all receivers with 73 yards on 5 receptions in another good performance and had another TD (his fourth of the season) . Rod Gardner had 4 catches for 53 yards and Darnerian McCants had 3 catches for 50 yards.
The expansion Houston Texans' offense looked like.... well, like an expansion team's offense as it manged only 166 total yards. David Carr managed only 99 yards on 12 completions and was sacked for an NFL record breaking 73rd time this season. "I was trying to break some NFL records when I came into the league, but hopefully not that one,'' Carr said. Bruce Smith registered the sack, as well as Carr's 72nd this season, and the two sacks put Smith just four behind the NFL career record of 198 held by Reggie White. Daryl Gardener also added a sack and his solid play inside was a big reason for Houston's paltry 67 yards rushing. Houston's offense managed just 3 points with the other 7 coming off of special teams.
It's beginning to get repetitive but the special teams stunk yet again. Two missed field goals, 2 'huge' 10 yard punts and one punt blocked and recovered for the Texans' only touchdown. All of a sudden Craig Jarrett is again the 'interim punter' and Jose Cortez is the 'interim kicker' and Cortez isn't liked any more now in Washington, than he was when he was booed out of San Francisco. When Coach Spurrier was asked after the game if ST coach Mike Stock's job would be in jeopardy, he joked that Stock was 'having trouble catching the balls out there for guys.' All joking aside, something drastic needs to be done to special teams in the offseason.