Archive for Monday, November 26, 2001

Redskins upend Eagles

Washington wins fifth straight, 13-3 over Philly

November 26, 2001

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— Suddenly, the Washington Redskins are playoff contenders.

Ki-Jana Carter scored his first touchdown in two years and Washington shut down Donovan McNabb as the surprising Redskins won their fifth straight game, 13-3 over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

Washington kick returner Michael Bates (20) gets upended by
Philadelphia linebacker Barry Gardner (52). The Redskins upended
the Eagles, 13-3, on Sunday in Philadelphia.

Washington kick returner Michael Bates (20) gets upended by Philadelphia linebacker Barry Gardner (52). The Redskins upended the Eagles, 13-3, on Sunday in Philadelphia.

Washington is the first team in NFL history to go 5-0 after starting the season with five consecutive losses. The Redskins moved within one game of the first-place Eagles in the NFC East.

"Coming from where we came from, we're in the driver's seat," Redskins defensive end Bruce Smith said. "I don't know how many people thought we'd win, but we knew it in the locker room."

Washington plays four of its last six games at home, including another matchup against the Eagles on Dec. 16.

Philadelphia (6-4) had won three straight, including its last two by a total of 64 points. But the Eagles couldn't do anything on offense against the Redskins.

They went three-and-out on their first five possessions, punted on the first seven and didn't get a first down until the two-minute warning of the first half.

Washington controlled the ball for 37:47 and held the Eagles to 186 total yards and seven first downs.

"I can't say that we weren't ready to play, but that's the way it seemed," Eagles Pro Bowl linebacker Jeremiah Trotter said.

After stopping Philadelphia on fourth-and-3 at their own 35 with 9:25 left, the Redskins held the ball for almost nine minutes before Brett Conway kicked a 32-yard field goal for the 10-point lead with 30 seconds left.

Redskins quarterback Tony Banks completed 12 of 18 passes for 96 yards, and Stephen Davis ran for 79 yards despite a sore back that forced him to miss part of the game.

McNabb was 15-of-27 for 92 yards. Duce Staley had 50 yards rushing on 15 carries.

"The atmosphere was electrifying," Banks said. "It was like the playoffs. To get to 5-5 and back to mediocrity I'm not saying we're mediocre because we're better than that, but that's what the record is there's a lot of football to be played."

Carter, who entered the game when Davis left in the first quarter, gave the Redskins a 7-0 lead on a 5-yard run 63 seconds into the second quarter.

Carter broke a tackle by Hollis Thomas and ran up the middle for the TD. He finished with 56 yards rushing on 18 carries.

Selected by Cincinnati with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1995 draft, Carter never established himself with the Bengals. He dislocated his right knee in the third game of the 1999 season and sat out until this year.

"Everybody wrote me off, but I knew what kind of player I am," Carter said. "I had confidence in myself. I knew I'd get another shot."

Steelers 34, Titans 24

Nashville, Tenn. Kordell Stewart threw for two touchdowns and ran 48 yards for another score as Pittsburgh won for the first time in five trips to Tennessee.

Stewart tossed touchdown passes of 4 yards to Plaxico Burress and 25 yards to Amos Zereoue. Stewart's TD run gave Pittsburgh its first lead 17-14 in the third quarter.

He was 19-of-31 for 254 yards passing and ran eight times for 54 yards for the Steelers (8-2), off to their best start since opening 9-2 in 1983. The Titans dropped to 4-6.

49ers 40, Colts 21

Indianapolis San Francisco scored 23 points off turnovers, Garrison Hearst ran for 106 yards and two touchdowns, and Jeff Garcia threw for two scores to lead the 49ers.

It was the third consecutive loss for the Colts (4-6) their fourth straight at home and this one was of their own making.

Peyton Manning threw three second-half interceptions, and the 49ers turned each of those gifts into a touchdown. He was 31-of-51 for 370 yards and one touchdown but threw a career-high four interceptions and was pulled in the final two minutes.

The turnovers weren't the Colts' only miscues Indianapolis was called for two personal fouls in the first half and both led to scores for San Francisco.

Dolphins 34, Bills 27

Orchard Park, N.Y. Jay Fiedler threw three touchdown passes, including a 32-yarder to Chris Chambers with 48 seconds remaining, to lead Miami.

The Dolphins overcame a 27-17 deficit in the final eight minutes, helped in part when Patrick Surtain recovered Nate Clements' fumble on a kickoff return, setting up the winning score.

It was Fiedler's fourth fourth-quarter comeback of the season and sixth of his career. And it came at a critical juncture for the Dolphins (7-3), still smarting after last weekend's 24-0 home loss to the New York Jets in which Fiedler threw three interceptions.

Fiedler bounced back, going 18-for-31 for 262 yards and no interceptions. He was especially poised when it mattered most. On the game-winning drive, he waited patiently in the pocket and lofted a perfect touch pass to Chambers, who was covered by Buffalo's Ken Irvin along the left sideline.

Falcons 10, Panthers 7

Charlotte, N.C. Atlanta stopped Carolina six inches from the goal line early in the game, then held the Panthers an inch short on a key fourth-down stop with under 2:00 to play.

The Panthers (1-10) have lost 10 straight games.

In a game of little offense, Atlanta (6-4) got just enough from fullback Bob Christian, a 39-yard field goal from Jay Feely, and more than enough defense to improve to 4-1 on the road. The Falcons beat the Panthers for the fourth straight time.

Christian, whose previous career best was 102 total yards in last week's win over Green Bay, combined for 122 against Carolina. He ran for 78 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, and caught five catches for 44 yards.

Browns 18, Bengals 0

Cleveland Phil Dawson kicked four field goals and Cleveland got its first shutout since returning to the league.

The Browns (6-4) forced seven turnovers, five on interceptions, and got just enough offense to handle the Bengals (4-6).

Corey Dillon came in averaging 144 yards in five games against Cleveland, but was shut down Sunday. Cleveland, despite missing suspended tackle Gerard Warren, held him to 63 yards on 20 carries and forced quarterback Jon Kitna to try to beat them.

Kitna, though, was awful. And his backup, Scott Mitchell, wasn't much better as the Browns got their first shutout since Sept. 18, 1994, when they blanked Arizona 32-0.

Raiders 28, Giants 10

East Rutherford, N.J. Oakland's Rich Gannon threw two of his three touchdown passes to Tim Brown and set up another TD with a 20-yard pass to Jerry Rice. The loss was the second straight and fifth in seven games for the Giants (5-6).

Zack Crockett had a 1-yard touchdown run, Charlie Garner scored on a 21-yard screen pass, and Brown scored on catches of 46 and 19 yards as the Raiders (8-2) opened a three-game lead in the AFC West. Oakland has won seven of its last eight games.

Gannon, the NFL's top-rated quarterback, was 13-of-20 for 221 yards in a game played in heavy rain during the second half.

Ravens 24, Jaguars 21

Jacksonville, Fla. Elvis Grbac drove Baltimore 74 yards in the final 90 seconds, and Shannon Sharpe made a beautiful, foot-dragging catch in the back of the end zone for the winning points.

Sharpe criticized Grbac last week after the quarterback's five-turnover performance in a loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Grbac threw for 259 yards, helping the Ravens (7-4) stay 11/2 games behind AFC Central-leading Pittsburgh.

It ruined quite a comeback by the Jaguars (3-7), who used the no-huddle offense to rally from 17-0 down for a 21-17 lead on Stacey Mack's 3-yard run with 1:32 remaining.

Patriots 34, Saints 17

Foxboro, Mass. Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes in New England's first game since coach Bill Belichick made him the starter for the rest of the season. Antowain Smith ran 111 yards on 24 carries for New England, the third time in four games he's gained at least 100. He also scored on a screen play.

The Patriots (6-5) are 6-3 under Brady since Drew Bledsoe was hospitalized with bleeding in his chest after a hit by Mo Lewis of the New York Jets. Bledsoe has been healthy enough to play the last two games.

Cardinals 20, Chargers 17

San Diego Rookie Bill Gramatica's 42-yard field goal with 1 second left helped Arizona overcome Doug Flutie's two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter.

Gramatica is Tampa Bay kicker Martin Gramatica's younger brother.

San Diego's kicker, fourth-year veteran Wade Richey, made just one of three short attempts in the first half and was booed the remainder of the game even when he lined up for the extra point kicks in the fourth quarter.

Flutie finished 33-of-44 for 308 yards with no interceptions.

Bears 13, Vikings 6

Minneapolis Chicago's defense held the Minnesota Vikings' often-potent offense without a touchdown. It was the first time in 98 regular-season games the Vikings did not get into the end zone. The last time the Vikings went without a TD was last January a 41-0 defeat to the New York Giants in the NFC championship.

Daunte Culpepper was held without a TD pass for the first time this season as NFC Central-leading Bears improved to 8-2 for the first time since 1991. The Vikings (4-6) fell four games back.

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