Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo

WP: Redskins Come Back for Seconds


Recommended Posts


Redskins Come Back for Seconds

Interception Saves Day; Samuels Out 2 to 3 Weeks

By Mark Maske

Washington Post Staff Writer

Sunday, August 11, 2002; Page D01

CHARLOTTE, Aug. 10 -- One of the last things the Washington Redskins wanted to see during a preseason game was left tackle Chris Samuels being helped to the sideline, unable to walk off the field alone because of an ankle injury. They had to endure that sight tonight but were relieved to find out that Samuels had only a sprained left ankle, and they won for the second time in two exhibition games, 37-30, over the Carolina Panthers.

The Redskins led by two touchdowns early but trailed by a touchdown late. Quarterback Danny Wuerffel got them even with a five-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Reidel Anthony with 1 minute 55 seconds remaining, and the winning touchdown came from the Redskins' defense. Ifeanyi Ohalete, on a safety blitz, tipped a pass by Carolina quarterback Mike Watkins, and defensive end Carl Powell got the interception on the carom and ran 21 yards for a touchdown with 1:09 left.

"We were very fortunate to come out ahead in that one. The Panthers probably outplayed us, and probably outhustled us a little bit," Redskins Coach Steve Spurrier said. "We had a lot of breakdowns, a lot of errors somewhere. Our defensive coaches weren't real happy. But fortunately at the end there, we got a big defensive play. . . . Winning beats losing."

X-rays of Samuels's ankle showed no break, and he probably will be sidelined for two to three weeks, team officials said. Learning that Samuels's injury was not more serious was the best news that the Redskins received all night.

"I'll be back in a couple weeks," Samuels said. "I thought it was broken at first, but I'm fine."

Said Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington: "I just dropped to my knees and started praying. We don't need to lose him. He and Jon [Jansen, the Redskins' right tackle] are the anchors of the line. I was scared, to say the least."

The second-best news was that Spurrier's offense had another good night. The Redskins have totaled 75 points in two preseason games.

Things were more ragged this time, but in the first half, starting quarterback Shane Matthews completed 17 of 27 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns, 22 yards to wide receiver Kevin Lockett and five yards to Anthony.

"I played well at times," said Matthews, who also had an interception. "I made some mistakes at times. I made some bad check-offs. It felt good to just get out there and play. We moved the ball pretty well, but we made some mistakes and had to settle for some field goals."

The Redskins led 17-3 in the second quarter, but the Panthers didn't wilt in new coach John Fox's preseason unveiling. Rookie tailback DeShaun Foster ran 61 yards for a touchdown the first time he touched the ball in the second quarter, and rookie quarterback Randy Fasani threw for one second-half touchdown and ran for two more. Fasani's five-yard touchdown scamper with just more than 41/2 minutes to play put the Panthers in front, 30-23.

The Redskins' starting defense played two full series and allowed only 13 yards. The defense was without end Bruce Smith and cornerback Champ Bailey, but recently signed tackle Daryl Gardener wasted no time having an impact. On the Panthers' second offensive play, Gardener and fellow defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson got deep into the Carolina backfield on a running play and threw tailback Lamar Smith for a five-yard loss.

The Panthers got a first down on a third-and-seven completion by quarterback Chris Weinke, but Weinke followed with an incompletion and then was sacked by Arrington. The Pro Bowl linebacker rushed from the left defensive end spot on passing downs, with regular left end Renaldo Wynn shifting to tackle. Carolina's first possession ended when wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad dropped a well-thrown pass by Weinke after getting good position on a deep pattern against cornerback Darrell Green, who started in Bailey's place.

The Redskins were trying to provide an encore to their crisp offensive performance in their 38-7 triumph over the San Francisco 49ers a week ago in Osaka, Japan, in their preseason opener, a game in which they made few mistakes and rolled up 441 passing yards. They certainly looked good on their first drive, on which they held the ball for 18 plays and 9:43.

Spurrier opted to leave his offense on the field and go for a first down on a fourth-and-one play from the Redskins 47-yard line. Tailback Stephen Davis ran for three yards to keep the drive going. Matthews connected with wide receiver Rod Gardner for gains of 19 and 11 yards, but threw wide of an open Jacquez Green in the end zone for an incompletion. The Redskins had to settle for place kicker Brett Conway's 20-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead.

The next time the Redskins had the ball, Matthews tried to force a throw toward Lockett along the sideline into double coverage. Cornerback DeRon Jenkins made the interception for Carolina, which took over at the Redskins 33. Muhammad got away from Ohalete and caught Weinke's throw for a 28-yard gain on the Panthers' first play. Carolina faced fourth and goal from the 1 when Redskins defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis waved his starters back into the game. The Panthers called a timeout amid the confusion, and Fox decided to kick a field goal to tie the game at 3.

The Redskins scored touchdowns on their next two possessions. Carolina helped out by being penalized for having 12 players on the field on a punt, giving the Redskins a first down at the Panthers 37. Matthews needed two passes to get the Redskins into the end zone. He started with a 15-yard completion to Anthony, then put a well-placed lob into Lockett's hands in the back of the end zone. Lockett dragged his feet to stay inbounds, then held on to the ball as his right shoulder crashed into the padded goal post.

The Redskins got the ball back and moved down the field again, but little that happened on the field mattered after they watched Samuels unable to put weight on his left foot while being helped to the sideline just less than five minutes before halftime. While the club's trainers tended to Samuels, who was seated on a cart behind the bench with his ankle heavily wrapped, and his teammates looked on worriedly, the Redskins increased their lead to 17-3. Anthony got free in the end zone when Jenkins slipped and fell, and Matthews got the ball to him easily.

© 2002 The Washington Post Company

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"We were very fortunate to come out ahead in that one. The Panthers probably outplayed us, and probably outhustled us a little bit," Redskins Coach Steve Spurrier said. "We had a lot of breakdowns, a lot of errors somewhere. Our defensive coaches weren't real happy. But fortunately at the end there, we got a big defensive play. . . . Winning beats losing."

Gotta love this quote. He's ALL about winning, and he makes NO excuses for losing. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...