Well the Redskins finally did something in the preseason to get excited about -- they won a game.
After two luckluster efforts against both Carolina and New England that resulted in losses, Washington came out on Saturday and played with intensity and sharpness. They treated the over 70,000 in attendance at Fed Ex Field to a well played preseason game. More importantly, the Redskins 'starters' were dominant beating the Ravens starters 17-3 at the half. It was still a preseason game, and therefore of no significance, but the win gave Redskins and Redskin fans some much needed confidence.
Patrick Ramsey was 8 of 13 for 100 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown came on a flea-flicker that resulted in a 39 yard TD bomb to Laveranues Coles. Coles was covered by both Ed Reed and Ray Lewis on the play, but just went up and snatched the ball much to the delight of the fans in attendance.
Ramsey played despite his sore finger and gave Redskin fans a performance that will undoubtedly have the next Redskin bandwagon pulling up out front very soon. Chad Morton told reporters, "I didn't know if he was going to play [last night], it turned out that he did an outstanding job for us." Despite having not practiced until Thursday of this week, there were no signs of any rust.
The sophomore quarterback was aided by a solid effort from the tailbacks. Trung Canidate showed signs of emerging as the 'go-to' guy. While averaging only 2.5 yards per carry in an 8 for 20 yard effort, he made some tough inside yards including his 3-yard TD run. The Redskins grinded out 110 total rushing yards as a team, and showed that they can indeed run the ball when they need to. Sultan McCullough had another stupendous outing tainted by a bad fumble, but other than that, once again made a strong claim to make this team or at least the practice squad.
Perhaps the biggest reason for the improved performance of P-Ram was the offensive line. Despite injuries, and a lot of media questioning this unit's ability, Ramsey had all day in the pocket on many plays. When Larry Moore returns and the offensive line rolls into midseason form, this unit will be one of our strongest, and will have everyone chanting Hogs 2K3.
"It was good to win a game -- it's just a preseason game; it doesn't mean a lot," Washington coach Steve Spurrier said. "Hopefully we learned something about how we can compete and play. We weren't real pretty the whole time. I think we can still play a lot better. ... We didn't have a bunch of boo-boos there until the end."
Next game... Jacksonville. Hopefully the Redskins can put together a similar effort and go into the regular season with a confident tone.
There is a complete play-by-play of the game in the message boards thanks to skinsfanno9, who reported the game to the board as it happened. Click here to view the thread.
Click here for the official NFL Gamebook summary from NFL.com