With 2nd chance, QB Green directs 'Skins to first win He runs, throws for scores in beating Giants, 21-14

November 02, 1998|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

LANDOVER -- A woman dressed as a nun in Washington Redskins burgundy and gold stood up in the first row of the stands yesterday at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium and flashed a sign that read, "I believe in miracles."

Quarterback Trent Green and the Redskins produced at least a minor miracle against the New York Giants, a 21-14 victory that gave Washington its first win of the season after an 0-7 start, driving the bagheads away and silencing the boo-birds at least temporarily.

"It's sure great not to look up in the stands and see all those bag- heads," said Washington kick returner Brian Mitchell. "I saw enough of that with the Saints or Aints."

Even embattled Redskins coach Norv Turner suddenly walked with a bounce in his step, smiled a little and applauded his players in the final seconds of the game.

Turner said, "I know a lot of people are going to focus on me, but I'd rather talk about the guys in that locker room who go out every day and sacrifice their bodies in practice and in games."

Some of those players continued to commit the same mental errors they have been making all season, but the difference yesterday was no turnovers for the Redskins.

Also, the Giants (3-5) lost talented defensive left end Michael Strahan with a strained lower back in the opening minutes of the game.

And Green, given a second chance to start, played the game of his NFL life.

The 28-year-old quarterback was 0-5 as a starter this season, and Washington had been shoved around in three games at home by a margin of 114-36, but Green gave the disgruntled fans something to cheer about with the first victory of his career.

He completed 21 of 31 passes for 225 yards and one touchdown and danced around the right side for a 1-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter. Green's favorite target was fullback Stephen Davis, who caught five passes for 65 yards and one touchdown.

The Green touchdown run worked perfectly as he faked a handoff to Terry Allen and then took off for the end zone. The Giants went for the fake and left Green wide-open.

The jubilant quarterback spiked the ball in the end zone, and all his teammates celebrated with him.

There was only one problem: They must have still been celebrating on the ensuing kickoff.

They watched in disbelief as New York's David Patten returned the kickoff 90 yards for a tying touchdown with 1: 37 left in the first quarter.

However, Green and the Redskins recovered for the victory. They played the entire game without leading receiver Michael Westbrook and high-profile defensive tackle Dana Stubblefield and half the game without Allen.

Westbrook is in trouble again with Turner, benched yesterday after missing a meeting and a walkthrough practice Saturday. Westbrook also faces a fine and possibly other disciplinary action.

Stubblefield will undergo knee surgery today and is out three to five weeks. Allen injured his ankle late in the first half and was replaced by rookie Skip Hicks, who rushed 15 times for 65 yards and one touchdown.

Said New York coach Jim Fassel: "There were some things that say we must have thought this team [Redskins] wasn't going to play hard against us. I was very disappointed because I talked to them about it a lot. You can pound at it and pound at it and say it 100 times, but we didn't play with a sense of urgency."

And guess what?

The woman dressed as a nun returned late in the third quarter with a sign that read, "1-7 is Heaven."

Pub Date: 11/02/98

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