Studs & Duds

Offensive player of the game: Quarterback Danny Wuerffel. He did what everyone thought he couldn't do: lead the Redskins to victory. The game plan helped considerably, but Wuerffel still had to execute and he did. Also, his mobility helped open the playbook, too. Wuerffel made a few mistakes and his lack of arm strength showed on two deep passes, which would have resulted in touchdowns with stronger throws. But that's quibbling.

But that's quibbling. Had James Tuthill not missed two field goals and had holder Bryan Barker not dropped a snap, Wuerffel would have led Washington to 27 points.

And a special nod to: Left guard Alex Sulfsted. He wasn't amazing, but he appeared steady. Considering he was making his first start at guard, Sulfsted played well. Others played strong games offensively, but this could have been a trouble spot and it wasn't.

Defensive player of the game: Defensive tackle Daryl Gardener. Not only did he recover the fumble at the end of the game, he also caused an interception when he pressured Kurt Warner. The Rams were driving for certain points, too. Gardener also made plays because of his ability to pursue. He gets double teamed; he also beats double teams.

And a nod to: Linebacker LaVar Arrington. When the Redskins needed a big play, Arrington made it. He did it with savvy, too, getting inside right tackle John St. Clair, then going for the ball instead of the hit. Fortunately, had he missed, Gardener was about to swallow Warner.

Tough day: Corner Darrell Green didn't fare well, even before his bruised hip. Rookie Rashad Bauman replaced Green in most nickel situations Sunday, though Green played in dime packages and when Fred Smoot got hurt. Green also was badly burned on an apparent 31-yard touchdown that was nullified by a penalty. He looked good on his last play, swatting away a pass for Torry Holt. Now we're wondering when he'll play again--it could be another month if he ends up having a hip pointer.

Smart call: Redskins coach Steve Spurrier has established that he'll go for it on fourth down whenever possible. So it wasn't surprising that he did so with Washington facing a fourth and one on the Rams' 5. The play call showed just how much the Redskins had St. Louis off-balance all game. The Rams cheated their linebackers inside, playing for an up-the-middle handoff to Stephen Davis. Instead, Davis went outside and scored easily.

Did you see: Left tackle Chris Samuels take out two defenders on that Davis run? And a third tripped over the other two. . . And how about Champ Bailey returning a punt 39 yards? That's why everyone has been excited about him being deep. We just wish he wouldn't hold the ball so loosely.

Telling stats: The Redskins now are 3-1 when the run more than they pass. . . . Danny Wuerffel established career highs in completions (16) and yards (235). . . . Running back Stephen Davis tied a career-best with three touchdowns. . . .The Redskins also are 3-1 when they don't throw an interception. . . Sunday marked the first time Washington's line held the opposition without a sack.

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