He threw some poor throws, behind a few receivers, or too wide and too strong. But he displayed all sorts of poise and maturity, playing well above his years. Ramsey did an excellent job keeping his eyes downfield when he was pressured. When he stepped up, he still looked at his receivers instead of looking for running room. He also withstood many hits without flinching. He might not play like this every week, but he showed why he was a worthy selection. Tennessee helped by playing lots of man coverage, making it easier for him to read the defense.
Bottom line: Great opener, but his development is far from over.
Stephen Davis pulled himself off the trainer's table and back into the game after a first-quarter knee sprain that looked bad. But he re-entered in the third quarter and showed his worth to the team, rushing for 59 of his 90 yards after his injury. Davis showed tremendous toughness and provided the entire team a lift. Kenny Watson rushed for 62 yards, with a long of 24, but he's not an everydown runner. Fullback Bryan Johnson was OK, catching three passes for 28 yards. He's an improved blocker, but he missed at least one, leading to a loss for Davis. Fullback Rock Cartwright also played.
Bottom line: Davis is the heart of the offense and, when he runs like this, the heart of the team.
Washington's wideouts took advantage of a secondary that's struggled against the pass. But give them credit for getting open. Rod Gardner again made some nice catches, leading the team with five for 81 yards. He ran a nice post pattern on his 20-yard touchdown and he also hauled in a strong catch on a hitch, beating Samari Rolle. Kevin Lockett was solid with four catches for 58 yards and he even threw a touchdown pass, lofting a nice spiral to Davis. Chris Doering chipped in with four catches, including three on third downs that resulted in first downs. Jacquez Green caught a 44-yard pass, but otherwise wasn't a factor. Derrius Thompson threw one nice block, but played very sparingly.
Bottom line: They did what they should against a porous pass defense.
Walter Rasby's return from a knee injury lifts this unit, though Rasby still looked gimpy and didn't play that much. He did help in pass protection, a necessary boost. Zeron Flemister was shoved back into Ramsey on one pass block. But Flemister caught two passes for 22 yards. He's serviceable. Leonard Stephens was inactive for the first time this season.
Bottom line: Flemister made key grab, but Rasby's blocking is what this unit needs.
They did a nice job opening holes in the running game against a solid run defense. The Redskins seemed to get the yards when they needed them, thanks to the front. Not that they were perfect. Tennessee still applied more pressure than we'd like to see. Guard David Loverne allowed some pressure and was flagged for holding, but also threw some good blocks in the running game. Wilbert Brown replaced the injured Loverne late in the third quarter and held his own. Chris Samuels threw a great block on a 23-yard Davis run, taking out two defenders. Jon Jansen showed his versatility by pulling on occasion. Center Larry Moore was all right, though he allowed a little pressure.
Bottom line: Not pretty, but effective.
Once the Redskins took command of the game, the line finally applied some heat. The line combined for three sacks of Steve McNair and harassed him on other occasions. Tackle Daryl Gardener has played very well, much better than expected. He beats double teams. Gardener had a sack, showing excellent speed. End Bruce Smith looks every bit of 39, though he got a sack late thanks in part to pressure by tackle Dan Wilkinson (who earlier in the game drew a holding penalty). Carl Powell tipped a pass. Del Cowsette played and was OK. Ladairis Jackson had a sack, spinning back into the play. Jackson also lined up as a linebacker, something he had done in the preseason but not much of during the season. LaVar Arrington still didn't do much at end, though he wasn't used in that role as much. Renaldo Wynn had a nice tackle early, but he doesn't apply any pressure.
Bottom line: Plugged the running lanes early, beat the pass blocking later.
Jessie Armstead continues to play well. He forced, and recovered, a fumble--the Redskins first of the season. And he showed excellent burst while making a tackle for a six-yard loss. Arrington had only one tackle, but played with a sprained wrist. He was OK on the blitz. He allowed a touchdown pass in zone coverage. Middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter was suckered big time on McNair's 11-yard touchdown run, but overall he was fine. Trotter drilled McNair on one blitz and finished tied nine tackles, tied with Armstead for team high.
Bottom line: Getting better, but still need big plays from Arrington.
Corner Champ Bailey was active, especially early. That was both good and bad as Tennessee picked on him at times, completing a few receptions. He also missed a tackle. But Bailey applied pressure with some blitzes from the slot and he made a diving interception late. Corner Fred Smoot picked off two passes and made four tackles. Safety David Terrell took another bad angle on a deep pass that could have resulted in a touchdown. But Terrell made one nice hit and was strong against the run, often walking up near the line of scrimmage. Ifeanyi Ohalete split time with Sam Shade at safety because of Tennessee's three-receiver sets. Both were fine. Darrell Green played well in spurts, especially in zone coverage.
Bottom line: Starting to make plays, but didn't face good receivers.