Debugging the Redskins

Whatever happened to Left tackle Chris Samuels? Injuries have clearly taken a toll on the former Pro Bowler. In five games he's played two clunkers, allowing two sacks against Darren Howard on Sunday. Howard is a strong player, but he just sped around Samuels, who used to be able to handle manuevers with ease.

Samuels has battled knee and groin injuries, as well as stomach ailments. He can't rest--the Redskins have no one better--but he is bothered by the injuries cumulative damage.

Offensive player of the game: Running back Kenny Watson. He didn't do anything special on his 62-yard screen pass, but who else could it be? Center Larry Moore threw a good block on the play.

Defensive player of the game: End Bruce Smith played his best game this season, with several pressures. He showed he can still be dangerous in backside pursuit. Smith looked old the first four games, but finally played like the old Bruce Smith Sunday.

Kudos: To the defense for holding New Orleans to field goals, despite the Saints starting drives at the Redskins' 5 and 9 on consecutive series. Though the defense eventually gave up touchdowns, these are the types of stops off which the Redskins can build.

Rookie mistakes: Patrick Ramsey too often failed to account for the safeties. On two of his interceptions, he never saw the safety, intent on throwing to an area. Ramsey also made a crucial mistake, rolling to his left then throwing back to the middle of the field--where all the danger lurked. Ramsey will be a good quarterback. But it will take time.

Negative stat: Washington is 9-10 in its last 19 home games.

What could have been: The Redskins closed to 26-21 on a 78-yard interception return by Ifeanyi Ohalete. At that point, who didn't think the Redskins would complete a stunning comeback?

Subtle play: Ohalete deserves kudos for his touchdown. But he deserves jeers for his third-down taunting penalty on the Saints' first drive, spoiling an outstanding series. New Orleans would have been forced to punt from its own 15. Instead, the series continued and the Saints eventually punted from Washington's 47. Where would it have been better for Patrick Ramsey to start his first series: midfield or near his own end zone? This penalty put a rookie quarterback in a bad hole. Not smart.

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