Redskins look bad on Monday Night

GREEN BAY, WI.,--The Redskins planned to use Monday night to restart their season, proving their first game was an aberration. Turns out it was a trend--an ugly one.

Washington once more proved it had no offense, not to mention a quarterback who can't operate its attack. The Redskins also have proven it won't threaten for any playoff chase. Not unless something changes in a hurry.

The Packers handed the Redskins their second straight loss, drilling them, 37-0, in front of 59,771 fans at Lambeau Field on Monday night. Redskins coach Marty Schottenheimer is 0-2 for the first time in 14-plus seasons as a coach. It's an unsightly 0-2 as opponents have outscored Washington 67-3.

The Redskins ran four plays in Green Bay territory, one of which resulted in a false start. Want more ugly numbers? Here they are: The Redskins were shut out for the first time since a 3-0 loss to the Jets in 1993 and Monday's loss was the second largest margin of victory in Monday Night Football's 31-year history.

''It's embarrassing,'' Redskins receiver Michael Westbrook said. ''We look like a bunch of idiots running around out there. I'm at a loss for words.''

Washington continued its offensive ineptitude that started in the preseason. The Redskins once more showed no signs of life, save for a few Stephen Davis runs. He at least managed two runs of 17 yards--the Redskins entered the fourth quarter with only 15 yards passing. And they gained only two yards in the third quarter. They didn't cross midfield until their second drive in the fourth quarter.

 ''Offensively we're killing ourselves,'' Redskins tight end Stephen Alexander said. ''I've never been part of an offensive struggle like this.''

The bad part: linebacker LaVar Arrington (sprained right knee), end Marco Coleman (dislocated left elbow) and corner Donovan Greer (knee) all left the game with injuries. Greer appeared to be the most serious and Coleman probably will miss at least a few games.

 In Week One, Schottenheimer pulled quarterback Jeff George. But he did not consider doing so versus Green Bay. George completed 15 of 24 passes for 102 yards and one interception. The Redskins managed eight first downs. But there was more than just bad offense. The defense surrendered big plays, though, in fairness, it had no help. And the special teams committed its usual share of blunders, including a silly personal foul on Michael Bates when he bumped returner Antonio Freeman after a fair catch. Later, Bates fumbled a kickoff return that Rondell Mealey returned 27 yards for a touchdown.

''The effort is there,'' Schottenheimer said. ''But we're not making enough plays offensively and we're not coaching well enough and the kicking game isn't where it needs to be. I don't know where to start [to find answers], but that's my job.''

Green Bay ended any drama in the third quarter by scoring 10 points for a 20-0 lead. George helped Green Bay get that lead, throwing a poor pass that linebacker Nate Wayne intercepted. Receiver Rod Gardner was open about 10 yards behind him. Wayne returned the pass 18 yards to the Washington 16-yard line. Four plays later Ryan Longwell converted a 32-yard field goal with 13:29 to play.

After another futile offfensive series, in which the Redskins actually crossed midfield only to lose 19 yards on the next three plays, Green Bay struck again. This time, the Packers moved 64 yards, helped by a pass interference penalty on linebacker Antonio Pierce and a holding penalty on corner Champ Bailey. On first and 10 from the Redskins' 41, quarterback Brett Favre connected with receiver Bill Schroeder. He cut inside Bailey and, with safety David Terrell having slipped, he raced all the way to the end zone.

''I hate to make excuses,'' Bailey said, ''but I had it covered. I can't slip coming out of my break. Of course, we got a couple of calls that went against us. I don't understand it one bit, but I've got to live with it.''

The Packers completed the scoring with a five-yard scoring toss from Favre to tight end Bubba Franks followed more than 11 minutes later by a 30-yard Ryan Longwell field goal. The Redskins, though, were finished off long before then. Green Bay only led, 10-0, at halftime though it could have been worse. The Redskins' defense constantly was challenged thanks to an inept offense and an inconsistent special teams. But, with the Packers threatening late in the first half, safety David Terrell blitzed and forced quarterback Brett Favre to hurry a throw into the end zone, where corner Fred Smoot intercepted the pass.

Green Bay capitalized on yet another poor special teams play by the Redskins. This time it was punter Bryan Barker who put the defense in a hole by shanking a 12-yard punt to the Redskins' 42-yard line. But the defense nearly escaped, forcing Green Bay to go for it on fourth and 2 from the 34. There, Favre had plenty of time on a play-action pass, hitting his third option, receiver Corey Bradford. He was wide open, easily fooling safety Sam Shade for a 22-yard gain. Two plays later Shade allowed slot receiver Antonio Freeman to get inside, and behind him, for a 12-yard touchdown catch from Favre with 6:23 left in the first quarter. The Packers used a 12-play, 64-yard drive to take a 10-0 lead on a 28-yard Longwell field goal.

The Redskins' linebackers, minus starter LaVar Arrington, had a rough series, constantly getting blocked to create openings for running back Ahman Green. He had runs of 13, 10 and nine yards on consecutive plays, helping move the ball to Washington's 10. But, on third and seven, Coleman stuffed Green on a shovel pass for no gain. Longwell then kicked a 28-yard field goal.

 ''We've got things we've got to solve,'' Schottenheimer said. ''We have to experience success and until we do it will be hard to keep going.''

THE KEY PLAY Washington struggled in the first half, but only trailed 10-0 when it started the second half. One good drive would catapult the Redskins back into the game. Instead, one drive just about ended their hopes. On the second play from scrimmage, quarterback Jeff George saw receiver Rod Gardner breaking open over the middle. So he rifled a pass. Too bad linebacker Nate Wayne stood in its path, intercepting it and returning the ball 18 yards to the Washington 16-yard line. The Redskins' defense stiffened and held the Packers to a 32-yard Ryan Longwell field goal, but those points were enough to stifle any momentum Washington thought it could get.

 ''The linebacker just made a good play,'' Redskins coach Marty Schottenheimer said. Good enough to damage the Redskins' psyche, but not enough for Schottenheimer to yank George. ''Jeff did fine,'' he said. ''But we've got to make more plays.''

FAST FACTS --Marty Schottenheimer has started 0-2 for the first time in his 14 full seasons as a coach. --The Redskins failed to score an offensive touchdown in the season's first two games for the first time in their history --Running back Stephen Davis averaged five yards a carry on 13 runs. --The Redskins were shut out for the first time since Dec. 11, 1993 against the Jets.


Breaking Burgundy Top Stories