Packers pound Skins

GREEN BAY, WI.,--When they knocked Brett Favre from the game, the Redskins' defensive players left the field feeling good. Much better than the Packers quarterback, whose injured knee caused the stadium to hush as thousands held their breath.

 ''That was a momentum builder,'' linebacker Jeremiah Trotter said.

 Once again, they had done their jobs.

 Once again, they gave the offense prime field position.

 And once again, the offense failed to capitalize.

 So the day went for Washington in its 30-9 loss to Green Bay. The Redskins received every break a road team could imagine. Yet they bungled just about every one, which is why they're 2-4.

 ''We should be playing a lot better than we are,'' Redskins coach Steve Spurrier said. ''We've played two solid games and four lousy ones and nothing in between.''

 They had their chances against Green Bay.

 You want breaks? How about the Packers playing without two key members of their secondary. Not to mention their starting ends already were out. No matter: Redskins quarterback Patrick Ramsey managed to complete only 10 of 24 passes for 135 yards. His starting status was in jeopardy entering the Colts game.

 How about Favre leaving the game early in the second half, replaced by journeyman Doug Pederson? It should have mattered, but, because of the Redskins inept offense, it didn't.

 The Redskins fumbled six times, losing four, and blowing one chance after another. They committed 11 penalties for 129 yards. Guard David Loverne was even called for holding twice in one series.

 ''We had our opportunities and we blew them,'' Redskins left tackle Chris Samuels, who left the game with a sprained ankle in the second half, said. ''It's tough to deal with the penalties. We've gotta keep the team together and right now we're the only one's believing in ourselves. Right now people are laughing at us.''

 None of that laughter could be heard in the tiny, crammed locker room after the game. Only talk of grave concern for a season that could be lost soon, if the Redskins don't change their bad habits. In the past two weeks, Washington has turned the ball over nine times and.

 ''It's very frustrating,'' Redskins defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson said. ''We have to find a way to quit shooting ourselves in the foot. We're playing ourselves and the opponents. It's gotten in our heads. Eventually we're going to make a mistake; sooner or later something is going to happen and not in our favor.''

 Which is exactly what happened Sunday, especially in the second half.

 Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington caused a fumble on Green Bay's first possession of the second half, punching the ball free from running back Ahman Green. Safety David Terrell recovered it at Washington's 47.

 A 47-yard Ramsey pass to receiver Derrius Thompson put the ball at the 6. Bad plays followed: Ramsey recovered his own fumble on first down, threw incomplete on second down and overthrew a wide-open Rod Gardner on third down.

 Then kicker James Tuthill banged a 30-yard field goal off the left upright, leaving the score 17-6 in the Packers' favor.

 The defense came through again, however, setting up another chance. This time, Arrington and Trotter blitzed Favre up the middle, sacking him for an eight-yard loss. Favre sprained his lateral collateral ligament on the play, ending his day.

 ''Any time their star player is out,'' Trotter said, ''that's a positive for you.''

 It should have been.

 The Packers punted one play later, giving Washington the ball on its own 49. The Redskins converted than into a 31-yard field goal, but it could have been more.

 Loverne was flagged for two holding penalties. The first left Washington in a first and 20 from the Packers' 44. The Redskins recovered from that one, but not the second, which occured on second and goal from the 3.

 ''Consistently putting up three points helps keep us behind also,'' Redskins receiver Kevin Lockett said.

 ''The scoring opportunities were there,'' Gardner said. ''But they stopped us. One time two of us were on the goal line waving our arms, but we didn't get the ball.''

 Washington's next two drives ended in fumbles. First, Ramsey was sacked at his own 37, losing the ball.

 The Redskins' defense forced a punt, which should have been a morale boost. Instead it turned out to be the beginning of the end.

 The next series ended in a fumble--Lockett coughed it up at his own 39--and led to a 41-yard Ryan Longwell field goal 5:39 into the fourth quarter.

 ''At that point in the game, that' something I can't do,'' Lockett said. ''We really fell apart in the fourth quarter.''

 Spurrier said, ''Lockett was fumbling in the preseason, too, but he was recovering them.''

 The ensuing drive was worse. Ramsey fumbled when end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila hit his arm as he was about to throw. Green Bay running back Ahman Green scored on an eight-yard run three plays later.

 ''It got ugly at the end,'' Spurrier said. ''We had our chances and it didn't work out. . . We didn't even make it close. . . We should be playing a lot better than we're playing.

 ''We've played two solid games and four lousy ones and not much in between. But I can't get all mad and yell and scream every week. We've got to find who our best players are. We're still trying to figure that out.''

 The Redskins started well, driving 64 yards on their opening series before Tuthill kicked a 25-yarder.

 But they surrendered the lead quickly as Green capped the Packers' first possession with a 24-yard run, breaking tackles from safety Sam Shade and Arrington.

 Tuthill made it 7-6 with a 53-yard kick, but Green scored on a two-yard run and Longwell added a 36-yard kick with 1:23 left in the half.

 It wasn't enough. Now the Redskins wonder if there's enough time to fix this season, which has quickly gone awry.

 ''Right now this is a crucial time,'' Gardner said. ''We've gotta go deep and turn it around quick.''

 

 


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