- The Washington Times - Monday, October 21, 2002

GREEN BAY, Wis. A second straight rough performance by Patrick Ramsey might have earned him the hook.
Washington Redskins coach Steve Spurrier left the starting status of his rookie quarterback in doubt following Ramsey's 10-for-24 effort for 135 yards in yesterday's 30-9 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Spurrier said Matthews practiced well leading up to yesterday's game and will consider starting him this weekend against Indianapolis.
Ramsey, just two weeks after torching Tennessee and sparking talk that he might be the organization's next great quarterback, missed a number of throws, including four from the Packers' 12 or closer. He also was sacked six times and lost two fumbles three if you include a botched exchange with running back Stephen Davis in the first quarter.
"I know I have the talent to get it done," Ramsey said. "Today there was just some critical throws I didn't make and I know I can make."
Ramsey won praise for hanging in the pocket against Tennessee and making last-second throws, but he was sacked seven times in last week's loss to New Orleans. Thus, his focus yesterday was to dump off the ball occasionally and scramble at times to elude the rush, endeavors with which he had mixed success.
"A couple of times I [got a chance to do those things]," Ramsey said.
"More so, we tried to go downfield because I didn't have as much pressure this week. It was kind of a different animal today."
Matthews declined comment on his status this week. Ramsey said he needs to perform better and that he will continue to work to improve even if he's a backup against the Colts.
"Whatever the situation is, I'm going to learn from it," Ramsey said. "I learned on the sidelines throughout the preseason and throughout the first three games, and if necessary I can do it again."

Samuels banged up
Pro Bowl left tackle Chris Samuels missed much of the second half after re-spraining the left ankle he originally injured during the preseason. Those on the sideline said he seemed to be in extreme pain immediately following the injury, but he later said he didn't think it is serious and could need further tests this week.
"I've just got to deal with it," Samuels said. "If it gets better, then that will be great. If not, I've still got to push on through."
The injury came on the "third or fourth play of the game," Samuels said, adding, "I tried to keep pushing on it, but it only got worse." He also suffered a shoulder stinger during the game, but he later said that was of no concern. The Redskins did not appear to incur any other injuries of significance.
It's been a rough third season for Samuels, who stepped right in and played as a rookie in 2000 and then made the Pro Bowl last season. He has battled injuries to his groin and thigh, as well as his ankle, and played two of the worst games of his career (Sept.22 at San Francisco and Oct.13 against New Orleans).

Failed fourth down
The Redskins failed on a fourth-and-1 conversion in the second quarter when quarterback Patrick Ramsey tried to stretch across the line but came up an inch short. The Packers were leading 14-6 at the time and got the ball back at their 45 with 3:26 left before halftime. Not surprisingly, quarterback Brett Favre directed a quick drive for a field goal.
Ramsey, for his part, thought he made the first down based on what teammates were telling him.
"I felt like I did and I was told I did, but there's no way for me to know that," Ramsey said. "I can just get the ball as far as I can and hope that it was enough."

The Redskins weren't able to reverse calls on either of two challenges by coach Steve Spurrier in the second half.
The first challenge came when Fred Smoot dropped an interception in the end zone; Washington contended Smoot had control of the ball before losing it. The second occurred on the final fumble by Patrick Ramsey; the Redskins said Ramsey's arm was moving forward and thus he threw an incomplete pass on the strip by Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila.
"I felt like [my arm] was [moving forward]," Ramsey said. "Obviously it's hard to tell. It's such a split second from when you bring the ball back to when you start going forward. I felt like my arm was going forward; I know I followed through on my motion. But I don't know. Those guys, they had a replay, and obviously my arm was not going forward."

Favre can't finish
Green Bay's Brett Favre has started a quarterback-record 164 straight games, but he couldn't finish yesterday's. On the Packers' second play of their second series of the second half, linebackers LaVar Arrington and Jeremiah Trotter sandwiched Favre for Washington's first sack of the day. The three-time NFL MVP had to be helped from the field with a sprained left knee and didn't return after an uncharacteristically quiet afternoon. Favre finished 10-for-12 for 85 yards with no touchdowns, no interceptions.
"I was trying to get my foot out from under me," Favre said. "It wasn't as bad as it looked. It's stiff now I expect to play [when Green Bay plays Miami Nov.4 after its off week]."
Veteran Doug Pederson replaced Favre, who didn't finish a game for just the fourth time during the streak. The others came against Minnesota in 1994 (Mark Brunell took over) and 1995 (T.J. Rubley), and Tampa Bay in 2000 (Matt Hasselbeck).

Helping hands
The guys in the black and white shirts certainly did their part for the Washington offense in the first half. On the opening drive with the Redskins facing third-and-18 at the Green Bay 39, Packers safety Marques Anderson was called for illegal contact. Although the penalty was only five yards, it's an automatic first down. Six plays later, James Tuthill's 25-yard field goal put Washington on top 3-0.
When the Redskins got the ball back trailing 7-3, they had second-and-10 at their 25 when blitzing linebacker Na'il Diggs was called for roughing quarterback Patrick Ramsey. The drive ended four plays later only because Stephen Davis fumbled at midfield.
On Washington's third series, the blitzing Anderson was penalized for a supposed hit to Ramsey's head even though it seemed the safety had hit only the ball. The 15-yard penalty on third-and-7 gave the Redskins a first down at the Washington 47. With the Green Bay fans booing loudly two plays later on second-and-9, cornerback Tod McBride was flagged for illegal contact. Again, it was just a 5-yard walkoff but an automatic first down. Three plays later, defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila jumped offside on third-and-4, giving Washington its fifth first down by penalty. The series ended four plays later with Tuthill's 53-yard field goal that narrowed the deficit to 7-6.

Double-negative Smoot
Green Bay had second-and-4 at their 45 late in the second quarter when Washington nickel back Darrell Green was called for holding and cornerback Fred Smoot was penalized for both interfering with wideout Donald Driver and grabbing his facemask. The first penalty went for 36 yards, the second for four. Ahman Green scored on a 2-yard run shortly thereafter to make it 14-6.
"We keep beating ourselves," Smoot said. "That's the first time I've ever seen them call three penalties on one play. I know I did my pass interference. I thought they could only charge one at a time, but they spotted the ball and then moved it again. The refs have been against us since the season started. So it's nothing new to us."
The Redskins were penalized 11 times for 129, the Packers 11 times for 95 yards.

Thompson justifies start
Redskins receiver Derrius Thompson began the season as a starter, but coach Steve Spurrier benched him after he caught just five passes for 54 yards in the first two games. Although Thompson caught only five passes for 65 yards the past three games, he was back in the lineup yesterday and he responded with his best game. Thompson caught a game-high five passes for 89 yards including a gorgeous 47-yard grab and carried four times for 48 yards.
"I didn't expect to run the ball so much, but we were trying to get the ball to the corner and I guess that was the quickest way," said Thompson, who raced 26 yards on the game's second play.
"Derrius had a good game," Redskins coach Steve Spurrier said. "He caught about everything. He ran the ball well."
Spurrier also praised wideout Rod Gardner (three catches, 35 yards), whom he had benched on Thursday, but criticized Kevin Lockett, who had been demoted on Wednesday, for fumbling after picking up a first down on his only catch (a 9-yarder) with the Redskins still trailing just 17-9 early in the fourth quarter. Chris Doering, who made his first career start in a two-wide set, didn't step up nearly as well. Doering's only catch was a 2-yarder midway through the fourth quarter, and he dropped the ball on the next play.

Tut's day
After attempting (and making) only two field goals during his first five games with the Redskins, kicker James Tuthill finally played a prominent role yesterday. Tuthill made field goals of 25, 31 and 53 yards while hitting the left upright on a 30-yard attempt. Tuthill's miss was Washington's first since Brett Conway failed to convert a 42-yarder in Week 15 last season at New Orleans.
"I was glad to have the opportunity to score some points for my team," said the 26-year-old Tuthill, who replaced the injured Conway in Week 2. "I wish I had gone 100 percent, but I made the next one. The one I banged off the upright I felt I hit well. Maybe my line was off a little. Making the 53-yarder was a good feeling. I hadn't made one that long since high school."

Guards Brenden Stai and Ross Tucker, defensive ends Otis Leverette and Greg Scott, linebacker Antonio Pierce, receiver Darnerien McCants and tight end Leonard Stephens were Washington's inactive players. Stai, who's suffering from tendinitis in his left knee, had started 77 straight games over the last five seasons for Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, Detroit and Washington. Danny Wuerffel was the third quarterback.
David Elfin and Jody Foldesy

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