Props to the Redskins

Offensive player of the game: Running back Kenny Watson. He wasn't spectacular, but when the Redskins needed a boost, he provided one. On the last drive, Watson carried 10 times for 43 yards, helping the Redskins run out the clock. Watson took advantage against a smaller defensive line. Against lines like Philly and New York, we doubt he'll be effective. But he was Sunday--and he could probably do damage against Seattle, too.

Special nod to: center Larry Moore. Despite his ugly shotgun snap, Moore played a solid game against his former team. Moore constantly shoved open holes, turning the defender whichever way he wanted.

And another one to: left tackle Alex Sulfsted. Had he struggled, it could have gotten ugly. But Sulfsted adjusted to the speed of the game and had a strong debut. At least he gives Washington confidence that he can play in a pinch.

Defensive player of the game: Linebacker Jeremiah Trotter. LaVar Arrington made the big plays, but Trotter bailed out Arrington on a few occasions, cleaning up his missed tackles. Trotter wrapped up Edgerrin James on one play after Arrington missed, which could have led to a disaster. And Trotter nearly had an interception late in the game. Trotter is starting to play relaxed, which is a good sign for the Redskins.

Special nod to: The defensive line. We can't single out one of them because they played so well as a group. And their efforts allowed the linebackers to get to the ball often unblocked, which enabled them to make plays.

Learning on the run: Maybe Steve Spurrier has learned that life in the NFL means being patient. Which is why it's good for him to start Shane Matthews at quarterback. He won't make the crucial mistake and rarely gets sacked, meaning the offense won't be stuck in a bad situation with him in control.

Did you notice: How well tight end Walter Rasby blocks in the slot? It's a new set up for him. Usually, a tight end will go out for a pass in that situation, but Rasby is often asked to block down, either cracking back on the end or tangling up the defensive back. He says this role scares him, but he does it well. And no other tight end on their roster can master this tactic.

How about: James Tuthill. When the Redskins signed him, most figured it was the start of another kicking carousel. Instead, he's solidified the position and made four field goals against the Colts. He's nine of 10 and his kickoffs are solid. Nice pickup. After his signing, one GM called him a terrible kicker. But Tuthill's proven him wrong.

Banga: The Redskins rotated in guard Tre Johnson, signed earlier in the week, at left guard with Wilbert Brown. That will continue until Johnson gets in shape--which could take at least two to three weeks.

Nifty catch: Rod Gardner made an impressive 16-yard grab on a hitch route in the first quarter. Gardner was leaning to his right, but the ball was thrown to his left. He adjusted, reached out and hauled it in, one of his better catches of the season.


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