Five W's Carolina

Who out there didn't think back to the Dallas game two weeks ago after the Redskins got just three points from three first-half turnovers? At least the Redskins were competitive in this one until the end, hardly the case in Texas Stadium. Still, a struggling offense can't ask for more than a short field to work with and that's exactly what they got yesterday.

Who out there didn't think back to the Dallas game two weeks ago after the Redskins got just three points from three first-half turnovers? At least the Redskins were competitive in this one until the end, hardly the case in Texas Stadium. Still, a struggling offense can't ask for more than a short field to work with and that's exactly what they got yesterday. Their worst field position after the first-half Carolina miscues was the Panther 39. You've just got to punch it in, or at least get a field goal. The Redskins are defying the odds here; teams with a turnover ratio of plus-three or better in a given game lose only about 10% of the time and they've done it twice in three weeks.

What was wrong with Patrick Ramsey yesterday? To be sure, Ramsey made some good throws against Carolina, but you'll rarely see a receiver more wide open than Laveranues Coles was on the Redskins' first play and you'll rarely see a pass that badly overthrown. Rod Gardner was also wide open for a touchdown, this time on a short fade from the Carolina five, but Ramsey missed him badly. The answer, of course, is that he's a second-year quarterback. Next Sunday in Miami he'll start his 16th NFL game, so he doesn't have quite a full season under his belt. He's a quick study and will learn from his mistakes. Give him time and he'll be a good one, maybe a great one.

When will Bruce Smith get that one more sack he needs to break the record? He didn't even get a whiff of Jake Dellhome yesterday. Perhaps it will come next week in Miami on national television, but that doesn't seem likely. Miami has allowed 18 sacks, a decent performance and they held the vaunted Baltimore defense sackless in yesterday's defensive struggle. He'd better get it done at some point; Dan Snyder has already collected money for sales of shirts and other gear commemorating the record-breaking sack and the team has already paid him the bonus for breaking the record that his contract called for.

Where do you find defensive linemen like Kris Jenkins? I'll take a couple of guys with his power and his motor any day. OK, the easy answer is that the Panthers found him at the University of Maryland and selected him in the second round (44th overall) of the 2001 draft. We don't know if Marty Schottenheimer would have drafted him or not; the Redskins had the next pick and took Fred Smoot. Still, there are gems like Jenkins out there and the Redskins just can't seem to find them. (Fill in diatribe about Snyder's failure to hire a true GM and keep himself out of the player-selection process.)

Why hasn't Chad Morton been able to break off a kick return for a touchdown? Earlier in the year, he just wasn't getting the blocking and most of what he made he made on his own. Going back to yesterday, it seemed he had openings on a couple of occasions but just couldn't quite get the burst of speed needed to break into the clear. It appears that the high ankle sprain he suffered against Dallas isn't quite healed yet. Perhaps the blocking and the full speed will come together in the next couple of weeks and we'll see why the Jets fought so hard to keep him.

Trends: The Redskins are now undefeated against only one NFL team, the second-year Houston Texans. Going into 2001 they were unbeaten against San Diego, Jacksonville, and Carolina. They lost to the Chargers in the '01 opener, Jacksonville beat them in the ninth game last year.


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