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USA Today: Four downs: Teams at the top could be ripe for a fall


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2nd down: How ya like me now?

About a year ago, Joe Gibbs declared Patrick Ramsey would enter the 2005 season as his starting quarterback — no matter how much veteran Mark Brunell was paid.

The Washington Redskins coach stuck with his pledge at minicamps, through the draft and even when Ramsey was clearly outplayed by Brunell during the preseason.

Ramsey indeed began the season as the starter — but never even finished the opener. He hasn't started since.

Now with knee-injured Brunell considered day-to-day, it is Ramsey who could make the difference in whether the Redskins get that one victory at Philadelphia on Sunday needed to make the playoffs.

It's weird how these things can happen.

Ramsey, the 2002 first-rounder, can perhaps ignite an offseason quarterback controversy or juice his value in the trade market if he is called upon and delivers a big performance. He can make a case that Gibbs was too quick to judge him.

Can he beat the blitz? The Eagles, the fifth consecutive Super Bowl loser not to make the playoffs or have a winning record the following season, can have a final say in the NFC East race after all.

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REDSKINS should do fine with or without Brunnell. Overconfident? I don't think so. Watch them play thier hearts out saturday afternoon. This is it! It's all or nothing and I don't see any kind of a let down.

Watch the master (JOE GIBBS) at work.

Merry Christmas. Happy New Year and HAIL TO THE REDSKINS!

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I think the only overconfident people are some of the fans. I doubt Gibbs is going to let them get too confident. He only has to point to what the Ravens did to Minnesota.

As for Ramsey versus Brunell. I'd love to see Brunell get the rest. I agree with whoever said that perhaps we start Ramsey, see how he does.. put Brunell in if needed, but rest him if possible.

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I think it would be wise to suit up Brunell and throw him on the bench. Let PR start the game...but if things get ugly...Brunell can come in and hopefully save the day. However, if PR does well...let him play the whole game and allow Brunell to have his own BYE.

Well said, I agree if Patrick can handle the Eagles, that means Brunell will be even more rested for the playoff run. :eaglesuck

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