Redskins hand Eagles scare in loss

Washington's upset bid ends with interception of Ramsey late in 4th quarter

Nfl Gameday

Eagles 17, Redskins 14

Week Fourteen

December 13, 2004|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

LANDOVER - The Washington Redskins' hopes of injecting some life into the season floated away like Patrick Ramsey's final pass of the night.

Trailing by three points with less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter last night, the Redskins marched inside Philadelphia's 30-yard line, only to watch Ramsey lob a wobbly pass to tight end Chris Cooley that was intercepted by free safety Brian Dawkins in the end zone.

Dawkins' play sealed a 17-14 victory for the Eagles, who improved to 12-1 in winning their fifth straight game before 90,089 at FedEx Field. It also clinched a sub-.500 record for Washington (4-9) for the third consecutive year.

Ramsey, who completed 29 of 45 passes for 251 yards, had played decently for most of the night. He was not sacked and did not throw an interception through the first three quarters.

But the quarterback, who had thrown only one interception in his previous three starts, made perhaps his biggest mistake of the season when, on first-and-10, he inexplicably launched the ball toward Cooley, who was surrounded by Dawkins and another Philadelphia defender in the back left corner of the end zone.

"I was trying to throw a touchdown," Ramsey said. "It was probably not a great decision, but at the same time, I was trying to get us the win ... I felt like he [Cooley] was going to be able to get behind the defender. But it just didn't turn out the way I thought it would."

Dawkins said he knew Ramsey was going to throw the ball. "The whole game we were saying that we were going to have to get an interception, and I was just blessed to be able to do it."

Redskins coach Joe Gibbs tried to deflect any blame from Ramsey.

"We were going to take a shot to try to win the football game," Gibbs said. "I told Patrick that he made the plays to get us down there. It's not any one person. It's not any one play."

The Eagles whittled away most of the remaining time with three running plays and Washington couldn't do anything with the ball deep in its territory on the final possession.

The interception marred what had been a surprisingly tight game. Four weeks ago, Philadelphia humbled the Redskins, 28-6.

Washington, which some had thought had turned the corner when its offense racked up a season-high 31 points and 379 yards in a 31-7 win over the New York Giants last week, tried to rely on that game's hero, running back Clinton Portis.

Although he did rush for two touchdowns last night, Portis didn't enjoy quite as much success, posting just 80 yards on 23 carries.

The Redskins got off to a fast start when Ladell Betts returned the opening kickoff 54 yards to the Eagles' 14-yard line.

After a face-mask penalty on Eagles linebacker Jason Short moved the ball to the 7, Portis needed just two carries to score the game's first touchdown 46 seconds into the first quarter.

But NFC East champion Philadelphia turned around and marched 66 yards on five plays, capping the drive with a 2-yard pass from Donovan McNabb to tight end L.J. Smith in the end zone with 12:49 left in the quarter.

The Redskins aided the Eagles on that possession by committing two penalties for 52 yards, including a 47-yard pass-interference call against cornerback Shawn Springs that moved the ball to Washington's 2-yard line.

Philadelphia opened the third quarter with an eight-play, 45-yard drive capped by a 38-yard field goal by David Akers with 10:43 left in the period.

Four possessions later, the Eagles drove 68 yards on seven plays and Dorsey Levens plunged 1 yard for the touchdown and a 17-7 Philadelphia lead with 25 seconds left in the third.

Portis did score his second touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't enough to catch the Eagles.

NOTES: The Redskins received a huge scare when Springs, who made his fourth interception of the season last night, suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter. Springs, who was hit legally by Philadelphia running back Josh Perry during a play, was carted off the field and his status for Saturday's game in San Francisco is uncertain. Washington also lost backup safety Jason Doering in the first quarter to a sprained ankle.

Philadelphia 7 0 10 0-17

Washington 7 0 0 7-14

First quarter Was-Portis 5 run (J.Hall kick), 14:14. Phi-Smith 2 pass from McNabb (Akers kick), 12:49.

Third quarter Phi-FG Akers 38, 10:43. Phi-Levens 1 run (Akers kick), :25.

Fourth quarter Was-Portis 2 run (J.Hall kick), 12:04. A-90,089.

Phi Wash

First downs 15 19

Total Net Yards 312 312

Rushes-yards 17-67 25-88

Passing 245 224

Punt Returns 5-81 3-16

Kickoff Returns 3-45 4-137

Interceptions Ret. 1-0 1-10

Comp-Att-Int 21-38-1 29-46-1

Sacked-Yards Lost 2-15 3-27

Punts 7-43.1 9-40.9

Fumbles-Lost 2-1 1-0

Penalties-Yards 5-41 12-137

Time of Possession 26:03 33:57

Rushing-Philadelphia, Westbrook 12-59, McNabb 2-8, Levens 3-0. Washington, Portis 23-80, Betts 2-8.

Passing-Philadelphia, McNabb 21-38-1-260. Washington, Ramsey 29-45-1-251, Portis 0-1-0-0.

Receiving-Philadelphia, Westbrook 6-59, Owens 6-46, Pinkston 3-99, G.Lewis 2-29, Smith 2-12, Levens 1-13, Mitchell 1-2. Washington, Coles 12-100, Cooley 5-75, Gardner 4-25, Portis 4-22, Thrash 2-22, Betts 1-6, Royal 1-1.

Missed field goals-Philadelphia, Akers 48 (SH). Washington, J.Hall 43 (WR).

Next for Redskins

Matchup: Redskins (4-9) vs. San Francisco 49ers (2-11)

Site: Monster Park, San Francisco

When: Saturday, 5 p.m.

TV/Radio: Chs. 45, 5/WNAV (1430 AM), WJFK (106.7 FM)

Line: Off the board

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