Rams out-switch Redskins, 10-6 It's Rubley over Gannon in battle of backup QBs

November 22, 1993|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Staff Writer

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Chuck Knox's quarterback move worked and Richie Petitbon's didn't.

That was the difference in the Los Angeles Rams' 10-6 win over the Washington Redskins yesterday before 45,546 at Anaheim Stadium.

Knox, in his 21st season as a head coach, brought in T. J. Rubley late in the third quarter for Jim Everett and he engineered the game's only touchdown drive -- although he did it with the help of what the Redskins said was an illegal play.

Petitbon, in his first year as Redskins coach, benched Mark Rypien for Rich Gannon, but Gannon struggled and admitted he was rusty and bothered by the foot he broke on Oct. 4.

"I didn't feel I had the confidence I normally do to make the big plays as far as pulling the ball down and running a couple of times," Gannon said. "If I was 100 percent, I could probably make a guy miss or break a tackle or whatever. Here, I got defensive ends catching me on the sidelines."

Petitbon agreed. "He showed signs of rust. That happens when you lay off. It takes a little while to get in a groove," Petitbon said.

Gannon added: "I don't think my conditioning was where it should have been. It's tough when you haven't been able to run in six weeks."

Petitbon, though, said he started Gannon because he thought the move would spark the team.

"I think we needed somebody who could run. That's a talent that we need. That's obvious," Petitbon said. Asked if Gannon will start next week against the Philadelphia Eagles, Petitbon said, "I think so."

Gannon, who's noted as a scrambler, ran only three times for 17 yards and passed for 172 as the Redskins were held to two field goals for the second straight game.

Petitbon said the Redskins offense is handcuffed by the makeshift offensive line that is having trouble pass blocking.

"Until we can stay healthy for a while, it's going to be tough for us. The quarterback's not the problem," Petitbon said.

The loss dropped the Redskins to 2-8 for the first time since 1963, and it was the most devastating one yet this year.

After all, the Rams had lost five straight and have a lot of distractions because rumors are rife the team may be moving to Baltimore in 1995. There was a sign that seemed professionally made hanging in a corner of one end zone that read: "Please Georgia [Frontiere] Sell the Team."

There's even a joke at Rams Park that the team will be playing at "Ramden Yards" in the future and the restless fans spent much of the game booing Everett.

The Redskins couldn't take advantage of the Rams' problems and kept sputtering on offense. Brian Mitchell was thrown for 1-yard losses on fourth-and-one and third-and-one plays to kill two drives.

In the fourth quarter, they had the ball on the Rams' 43, 39 and 27 in three different drives and came up with nothing more than a 57-yard field-goal attempt by Chip Lohmiller that just missed.

On their last offensive play, Gannon tried to throw in down the middle to Art Monk, who was triple-covered. Anthony Newman tipped the ball and Michael Stewart intercepted it.

Monk, who had been benched the first half, said in his first post-game interview since he set the all-time receiving record last year, "It's very disappointing. I would say it's probably our worst loss."

Cornerback Darrell Green said: "This is the worst from my perspective. For some reason, this was really devastating in my heart. From the human side of things, it's definitely painful. For some unknown reason, today is just even greater from my perspective. It just hit me in a different way. I can't tell you where, how, whatever, but something about this game here just really hit me in a hard way."

It's probably because the Redskins really thought they were going to win.

Even Monk said: "Not taking the Rams for granted, [but] we really figured we could come in and win this one as long as we didn't turn the ball over and make mistakes. It's hard to figure out how come we didn't play better."

Linebacker Carl Banks said: "This is very difficult. This is the most difficult one I've ever [had] . . . this year anyway. This is a real hard pill to swallow. I really don't even know what to say. I'm a little baffled on this one."

The Redskins seemed to have it under control until Rubley, who started in a 40-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers two weeks ago and then gave way to Everett, came in.

On his third play, a third-and-17 situation at the Rams' 37, he scrambled to his right and threw to tight end Pat Carter for a 38-yard gain. The Redskins said Rubley crossed the line of scrimmage before he threw the pass, but the officials disagreed.

Cornerback A. J. Johnson said he let Carter run free and came up to make a play on Rubley because he thought he was over the line.

On the next play, Rubley threw a screen pass to Troy Drayton, who rambled 25 yards for the game's only touchdown.

Later in the quarter, Rubley threw a pass that Redskins cornerback Tom Carter touched, but it bounced to Flipper Anderson, who batted it himself and then caught it for a 29-yard gain. That set up Tony Zendejas' 23-yard field goal that wrapped it up.

On the Redskins' last offensive play at second-and-10 from the Rams' 27 with 49 seconds left, the Rams had three players on Monk in a zone.

That's the kind of day it was for the Redskins. It's the kind of season it's been for the Redskins.

Monk, who didn't get a chance to make a play on Gannon's last throw, said, "The game is based on a matter of inches here and there and, obviously, we came up short."

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.