Redskins take steam out of Jets in final preseason game, 17-3

August 28, 1993|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- In a sauna bath cleverly disguised as RFK Stadium, the Washington Redskins sweated out a 17-3 victory over the New York Jets last night.

With the temperature a stifling 84 degrees at the kickoff, it wasn't a setting for crisp football in the final exhibition game before 50,695 fans.

"That was a sloppy football game," coach Richie Petitbon said.

Petitbon also was concerned about the team's injury situation.

Tight end Frank Wycheck of Maryland was lost for two weeks with a mild concussion and both offensive tackle Joe Jacoby and linebacker Andre Collins are expected to undergo magnetic resonance imaging exams today for knee sprains. Both think their injuries are minor.

The Jacoby injury was a particular concern because the Redskins are thin at tackle now that Jim Lachey is out for the year with a knee injury.

Petitbon, who was pleased with Sunday night's 10-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, didn't see much he liked in this one.

"I thought when the first group was in there, we did pretty good, [but] I thought in the second half, both teams really fell off. But it's over and now we start playing for real. We're obviously going to have to play a heckuva lot better if we have any thoughts of beating Dallas," he said.

The Redskins open the regular season on Monday night Sept. 6 against the Super Bowl champion Cowboys, who may be missing running back Emmitt Smith because he's still holding out.

When Petitbon was asked what the team had to work on, he said, "Everything, everything, everything. We got a lot of work to do."

Petitbon did concede the hot weather was a factor in sloppy play.

"I'm probably overreacting right now, but as a team I just don't think we played very well," Petitbon said.

"There's no question the weather had probably a lot to do with the football game. I hate to make excuses, but it really soaked everybody's stamina. It was really hot and sticky out there. It definitely played a part in the football game."

Evaluating the game, Petitbon said, "At times, we did some good things. It wasn't a total disaster. We got cranking pretty good on that one drive and we looked like a football team. At times, our defense played well, but we made a lot of mistakes. A lot of our young guys are making mistakes and you just don't know if they're going to be ready."

Even the fact the Redskins finished the exhibition season with a 3-1 record and the defense didn't give up an offensive touchdown in the last 13 quarters of the exhibition season didn't stop Petitbon from looking for improvement.

"I think we're going to have to play a lot better defense if we're going to be successful," he said.

On the first three series, the Redskins had a minus-8 yards as Moe Elewonibi, playing for Lachey, had trouble containing linebacker Jeff Lageman, who knocked down two passes and had a sack.

Elewonibi, who also gave up a sack to Marvin Washington, said it took him time to get settled down.

That happened on their fourth series when the Redskins finally put together their first drive. They took over on their 11-yard line and moved the ball 89 yards for the touchdown on a methodical 16-play drive.

Lageman helped to keep the drive alive when he jumped offsides on a third-and-four play at the Jets' 35.

The Redskins got down to a fourth-and-goal play at the 1 where Petitbon lived up to his reputation as a coach who likes to take a calculated gamble. He passed up the field goal and quarterback Mark Rypien faked a handoff, rolled to his right and threw a pass to tight end Ray Rowe, wide open in the end zone.

Rowe bobbled the ball, but held onto it for the touchdown to give the Redskins a 10-3 lead.

Rypien, who completed seven of 13 for 57 yards and a touchdown, then gave way to Cary Conklin.

Conklin got a touchdown on a 11-yard pass play to Earnest Byner late in the second period, but wound up completing only seven of 16 for 66 yards before coming out so that Rich Gannon, who completed just one of four passes for 9 yards, could make his Redskins debut.

It wasn't much consolation for the Redskins, but the Jets, who went 0-4 in the exhibition season, had even more problems.

Boomer Esiason, who completed only 14 of 32 passes for 141 yards and was sacked three times, said, "If there's anything good about this, we won't go into the season with a false sense of security."

NOTES: DB Johnny Thomas (ankle) and TE Terry Orr (back) were held out of the game. . . . Besides Wycheck, Jacoby and Collins, the other injured players were C Jeff Bostic (knee), S Danny Copeland (knee), S Brad Edwards (hip pointer) and CB Tom Carter (hamstring).

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