- The Washington Times - Monday, December 23, 2002

The Snore 'n' Bore met the Fumble 'n' Stumble yesterday, and plenty of viewers didn't wake up until after this game was over and another already was on. At least, the lucky ones didn't.
What a mess. The Houston Texans were awful. Poor Charley Casserly. How did this team win four games? There ought to be a congressional review. They looked like an expansion team. The Redskins should have hammered them, but instead they ended up with a mediocre 26-10 win. But, hey, they'll take it.
At least we know the Redskins can beat the Little Sisters of the Poor. This shouldn't even count as a full victory. It was about as enjoyable as getting socks for Christmas.


Q: So now just winning isn't enough? Does this prove that the Redskins can build for the future around their young nucleus?
A: The victory means they aren't the worst team in the league, and that's about it. The Redskins didn't dominate offensively against a mediocre defense that couldn't stop guard Tre Johnson from blasting holes for the running game. The Redskins were hindered by their lousy special teams play and didn't create turnovers to set up scores.

Q: At least they beat somebody from Texas. Can the Redskins finally beat the Cowboys on Sunday to finish 7-9?
A: Who cares? It's still a losing season. The Redskins should end their 10-game losing streak to the Cowboys on Sunday, but they should have won plenty of the earlier matchups, too. Look for Dallas to somehow, some way, win.

Q: Do the Redskins even care about this rivalry? Are their bags already packed for the offseason?
A: They were mentally gone before this game. The Redskins just happened to find a team that's even worse than they are. Players don't care about beating Dallas. They're just beating it out of town.
Q: What is wrong with special teams? They were awful again. Is special teams coach Mike Stock going to get fired? Will punter Craig Jarrett find coal in his Christmas stocking?
A: Stock is a good coach who didn't get much backing on special teams. That said, there will be a change. As for Jarrett, if the Redskins signed another punter they would just be reshuffling a losing hand. However, it wouldn't hurt to use the last game as a tryout for another punter since Jarrett obviously won't be returning next season.

Q: How did the combination of running backs Ladell Betts and Kenny Watson fare? Are they the successors to Stephen Davis? Which one starts in 2003?
A: It was a standout effort by each, partly because Johnson looked like his old Pro Bowl self yesterday. The Redskins probably will run by committee next year. Betts has more potential, but Watson is a hard-nosed runner. Each probably will start some games next season.

Q: So the Redskins won't miss Davis next season after he is made a salary cap casualty?
A: Oh, they'll miss him greatly; he's a two-time Pro Bowler. Having two good runners is not the same as having one Pro Bowler. Not even close. But considering that the Redskins may throw 60 percent of the time next year, a prime running back is not the biggest priority.

Q: Johnson looked terrific. Will the Redskins re-sign him in the offseason?
A: It would be a commonsensical move. Johnson still lives in the area, likes the Redskins, is a fan favorite and, most importantly, should come cheap. The Redskins need more cost-efficient players, and Johnson can plow the road.

Q: What happened to quarterback Patrick Ramsey on all those tipped passes? Did the Texans steal signals?
A: More like they read Ramsey's eyes. He stared a hole through his receivers. It wasn't a problem beforehand, but Ramsey has to learn to fool defenses with misdirectional glances.

Q: Receiver Derrius Thompson played well for the fourth straight game. Will the Redskins keep the unrestricted free agent, who they spent the last three years developing?
A: There probably won't be a big market for Thompson considering that he's a little-known player, but the Redskins would only take him back as the No.3 receiver. The offseason plan is to acquire a marquee receiver via free agency or the draft, but the Redskins certainly could benefit from keeping Thompson.

Q: Why didn't the Redskins sack Texans quarterback David Carr more than three times? Houston was allowing an average of five sacks per game.
A: The Redskins certainly smacked Carr enough, but the rookie quarterback is getting rid of the ball better than he did earlier in the year. He avoided several sacks by throwing the ball away.

Q: The stadium looked a little empty. Did the rain chase them out?
A: They were never inside to start. The pizza delivery guy almost had to cross three sections to find someone in the upper deck. It appeared to be the smallest crowd in six seasons at FedEx Field, though the stats can say whatever they want. Still, it was a pretty festive crowd, with plenty of Santas. There even was one Texans fan who drank so much beer that two vendors fought over his business. He simply chugged down one beer and then bought another several times.

Q: Who is Wayne Curry and why was he inducted ito the Ring of Fame? Didn't he play linebacker in the '50s?
A: He is a former executive of Prince George's County, and including him in the ring is an insult to Ken Harvey and all of the inductees of the past. Only football people should be chosen. It was a political move that devalues the ring. What's next? Retiring the number of Jeff George, owner Dan Snyder's favorite quarterback?

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