For 'Skins, Cowboys, a turnaround game

NFL Notes

Both teams are searching for momentum for 2nd half

November 22, 2009|By From Sun news services

The argument could be made that the Washington Redskins are playing better than any other team in the NFC East right now.

Yes, those 3-6 Redskins without Clinton Portis. Better even than the division-leading Dallas Cowboys, who they play today in Arlington, Texas, in the 99th game of their bitter rivalry.

Simply put, the last-place Redskins are the only NFC East team that won its last game. Could it be the sign of a turnaround toward a late-season surge?

"I just sense that we won one game; we won our third game of the season. That's really all I can sense," coach Jim Zorn said. "Being 3-6, it's not a record that just bodes of competitiveness, but our players have not thrown in the towel. We're just trying to climb our way out of this hole we've dug."

Washington took a positive step with a 27-17 victory over the AFC West-leading Denver Broncos, scoring their most points for Zorn since his second game as coach last season. Ladell Betts ran for 114 yards in place of Portis (concussion) even with the Redskins' fifth different starting offensive line combination this season.

The New York Giants haven't won in more than a month - a four-game losing streak since their 5-0 start - and the Philadelphia Eagles have lost two in a row. Even Dallas (6-3), which had won four straight, needed a late touchdown just to avoid being shut out last weekend by the Green Bay Packers.

"It's going to be a tough challenge for us," Cowboys receiver Roy Williams said. "They're pretty much in the position of Green Bay last week. They're looking for this game to be their momentum swing, and we just can't let that happen two weeks in a row."

After an impressive recovery from their 2-2 start that included a loss in Denver, the Cowboys have to make sure a downward spiral doesn't continue after the 17-7 loss in Green Bay. Williams' touchdown catch came with 38 seconds left.

"It was a lonely feeling in the end zone because it didn't matter," he said.

Saints: Running back Reggie Bush and defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis are not traveling with the team for its game against the Buccaneers.

Both players were downgraded on the official injury report from questionable to out with knee injuries.

Lions: Detroit placed right guard Stephen Peterman on injured reserve with an ankle injury and signed wide receiver Eric Fowler to take his spot on the roster.

Packers: Tight end Spencer Havner has been fined $5,000 for a late hit out of bounds in last week's victory over the Cowboys.

Bills: Defensive tackle Marcus Stroud has been ruled out with a knee injury, and linebacker Keith Ellison was placed on injured reserve with a quadriceps injury.

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