Week 15: Eagles
By: Mark Solway
Category: Washington Redskins News
When Stephen Davis had 24 yards on his first 2 carries, it looked as though the Rdskins were going to employ a steady dose of running. Then, Davis fumbled the ball on his third carry and separated his shoulder on the same play. After that, Washington only ran the ball 23 more times. Ladell Betts had 49 yards on 16 carries to lead the team. Betts also had a fumble on a botched handoff (which was charged as a fumble to Ramsey). Kenny Watson had just 9 yards on 4 attempts.
Rookie Patrick Ramsey didn't get a win but he played a good game against the Eagles. Though his numbers weren't spectacular (23 of 35 for 213 yards). he did manage to throw 3 touchdowns against a tough Eagles' secondary. Ramsey showed that he definitely has an NFL arm and drew the praise of Coach Spurrier; "Patrick played very well for a rookie, and against one of the best defenses in the league." Derrius Thompson led all Washington receivers with 7 catches for 70 yards, including a 21 yard TD grab, and continues to be one of the few bright spots of the 2002 offense.
Jeremiah Trotter and Dan Wilkinson looked like they were sorely missed in the first half. Duce Staley ran all over Washington in the first two quarters with a lot of yardaage coming right up the middle. Daryl Gardener buckled down, and again played a strong game inside as the Skins stopped the bleeding and limited the Eagles to just 11 yards on 12 carries in the second half. Unfortunately, the Eagles offensive line kept the Redskins' pass rush at bay all day and rookie AJ Feeley was able to stand in the pocket and make plays. The only sack of the day went to Lavar Arrington (his 10th )on a broken play that was more of a tackle for a loss than a sack.
Same old, same old. Champ Bailey continues his campaign to never touch the football again unless he intercepts a pass. He dropped another punt deep in Redskin territory, leading to an Eagles field goal. After the game Spurrier said that they would find a new solution at punt returner. Not helping Champ is the fact that the coverage on both kick and punt returns seems to get worse and worse with each passing week.
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.
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