Redskins turn one over, 19-10 5 interceptions, 2 fumbles aid Miami

August 15, 1993|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Staff Writer

MIAMI -- The Washington Redskins got a reality check last night.

After crushing the Cleveland Browns, 41-12, in their exhibition-game opener Monday night, the Redskins got a reminder last night that they're not ready to open the regular season on Sept. 6.

They were guilty of seven turnovers while losing to the Miami Dolphins, 19-10, at Joe Robbie Stadium before 49,896 fans.

The Dolphins intercepted five passes and the Redskins fumbled twice -- one a Brian Mitchell bobble from the Miami 1 that went out of the end zone for a touchback.

Mitchell's fumble cost the Redskins a chance to go ahead 14-3 in the second period and take control of the game.

Although the Dolphins got a helmet on the ball to knock it out of Mitchell's hands, coach Richie Petitbon said, "You can't take points off the board like that. First-and-goal on the 1, you've got to get it in."

The loss, though, might help the Redskins focus on the season.

"Last week was just so overwhelming in terms of success. This week brings about some of the reality in preparation for the real games: fumbles, turnovers, mental errors," cornerback Darrell Green said.

"We have to be jolted back to reality and now we go back and study some of the negative areas and get to work on them. It was almost unrealistic to score 41 points the first game out. From a coaching standpoint, they're going to use this one," he said.

Petitbon will certainly use it.

"You're not going to win too many football games when you turn it over seven times, get sacked three times and have eight penalties," he said.

He wasn't even pleased with the Redskins taking a 10-9 lead midway in the fourth period on Chip Lohmiller's 40-yard field goal.

"For a while, I thought we were going to wind up winning the game and that would have been the worst thing to happen to us. We certainly didn't deserve to win the football game. That would have been terrible [to win playing poorly]. You can't win playing the way we played. We have a lot of work to do," he said.

Petitbon wasn't going to use the fact the Redskins were playing for the second time in six nights as an excuse.

"It didn't help, but you have a schedule. You have to play the schedule," he said.

The Redskins actually played well at the outset when Mark Rypien drove them on a 12-play, 54-yard touchdown drive on their first series. It was climaxed by Mitchell's 3-yard touchdown run.

Rypien also led the Redskins on touchdown drives on their first two series in the Cleveland game before coming out.

This time, he played four series and had a pass intercepted when he tried to force a throw to Ricky Sanders.

He still finished with 8-for-11 for 90 yards. His statistics were virtually identical to last week when he completed eight of 12 for 123 yards and a touchdown.

For the first two games, Rypien is 16 of 23 for 213 yards and one touchdown and one interception.

But both Cary Conklin and Chris Hakel struggled in place of Rypien. "They didn't play that well," Petitbon said.

Conklin completed five of 14 passes for 44 yards and was intercepted once. Hakel completed two of 11 for 29 yards and was intercepted twice.

Hakel's two completions, a 12-yarder to Frank Wycheck and a 17-yarder to Desmond Howard, helped fuel a 58-yard drive that set up Chip Lohmiller's 40-yard field goal that put the Redskins ahead, 10-9, in the fourth quarter.

But Troy Taylor connected on a 37-yard pass to Mike Williams on a third-and-12 play from the Miami 33. The officials tacked on 15 more for a roughing-the-passer penalty on rookie Lamont Hollinquest that put the Dolphins in range for Pete Stoyanovich's fourth field goal -- a 24-yarder -- that put them ahead to stay, 12-10.

Issiac Holt then intercepted a Hakel pass and ran it 37 yards for the touchdown that wrapped it up.

Even though four defensive starters (Tim Johnson, Kurt Gouveia, Shane Collins, Brad Edwards) were missing, the Redskins played well on defense at times and held Dan Marino to five completions in nine attempts for 28 yards. On offense, the Redskins were missing one starter,Jim Lachey.

The most encouraging note for the Redskins was the play of Howard, who caught five pases for 87 yards and made a diving, 39-yard catch on the Miami 1 in the second quarter before Mitchell fumbled.

Howard, who still hasn't completely recovered from a groin injury, said, "These are preseason games and a lot of guys get the opportunity to play so you want to make the most of it."

Unfortunately for the Redskins, he was one of the few players to do that last night.

NOTES: Elewonibi started at left tackle for ailing Lachey and had trouble containing Marco Coleman. Lachey will have an MRI exam to determine the extent of the injury to his right knee, suffered in last Monday night's game.

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