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QB Ramsey takes the blame

10/6/2003

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Patrick Ramsey saw an open receiver, hurried
his throw and put his head down.

The roar of the crowd let him know the outcome.

Ramsey overthrew Laveranues Coles on a 2-point conversion with
13 seconds left, and the Philadelphia Eagles held on to beat the
Washington Redskins 27-25 Sunday.

Question on the Redskins: Why has this team been unable to protect Ramsey?
The offensive line isn't doing a bad job of protecting Ramsey. In fact, Ramsey is responsible for some of his sacks. He's waiting too long for the fourth and fifth receivers to open up, and it's costing his team. He has to learn to take what the defense gives him.

Question on the Eagles: Have the Eagles finally found their stride?
I'm not sure if this team has found their stride. Their defense isn't playing its best and is suffering through injuries. On the offensive side, the pieces surrounding McNabb can't be counted on for big game performances. He needs someone to take the focus of the defense away from him.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.

Ramsey rallied Washington from an 11-point deficit in the final
3:10, connecting with Darnerien McCants on a 32-yard touchdown pass
in the final seconds.

But under pressure from Brandon Whiting, Ramsey rushed his pass
to Coles in the corner of the end zone and the ball sailed over the
receiver's head.

"Coles was wide open, and I overthrew the ball. It was as simple
as that," Ramsey said.

After John Hall's fourth field goal, a 53-yarder, cut it to
27-19, the Redskins' Bryan Johnson recovered an onside kick at
Washington's 43 with 1:13 left. Ramsey then drove the Redskins 57
yards in five plays.

Defensive end N.D. Kalu returned an interception 15 yards for a
go-ahead TD, and Brian Westbrook had a 19-yard TD run for the
Eagles.

The Eagles (2-2) won for the first time at Lincoln Financial
Field after opening the season with consecutive losses at their new
stadium.

Washington (3-2) fell to 1-7 against NFC East teams under Steve
Spurrier. All the Redskins' games have been decided by three points
or less.

Playing without three Pro Bowl players in their secondary, the
Eagles held Coles and Rod Gardner to just five catches combined in
the first 57 minutes. Free safety Brian Dawkins (foot) and
cornerback Bobby Taylor (foot) missed their third straight games,
and cornerback Troy Vincent sat out with a hamstring injury.

Donovan McNabb completed 16 of 30 passes for 157 yards and his
first TD of the season. He was intercepted twice. Ramsey finished
25-of-50 for 271 yards, with one TD, two interceptions and one TD
rushing.

This was McNabb's first game since conservative commentator Rush
Limbaugh made comments about him that ignited a weeklong firestorm.
Limbaugh said on last week's ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown" that
McNabb was overrated because the media wanted to see a black
quarterback succeed.

McNabb said he didn't mind criticism of his performance but was
upset that Limbaugh made race an issue. The reaction to the remarks led to Limbaugh's resignation from the show.

"I don't think I have to go out and prove myself," McNabb
said. "I just have to go out and be myself. I'm a playmaker, a
leader for this team, and I can't let anything outside distract
me."

Kalu, a former Redskin, broke a 13-all tie with his first career
interception and TD late in the third quarter.

On a second-and-9, Ramsey's arm was hit by Eagles tackle Darwin Walker as he threw and the ball sailed up in the air. Kalu caught
it at the 15, eluded an offensive lineman and rumbled untouched
into the end zone.

"I thought he was throwing a screen," Kalu said. "I saw the
ball up in the air, and I was in the right place at the right
time."

Westbrook then put the Eagles ahead by 11 with his TD run with
3:10 left. The Eagles drove 70 yards, holding the ball for 5:39.
McNabb ran 6 yards on third-and-5 to keep the drive alive.

McNabb connected with fullback Jon Ritchie on a 4-yard TD pass
for a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter. Roderick Hood
intercepted a pass from Ramsey and returned it to Washington's 18,
setting up the score.

Ramsey's 1-yard TD run made it 10-7 with 5:56 left in the first
half. Former Eagle Jeremiah Trotter set up the score, intercepting
McNabb and returning it 21 yards to the 1. On third down, Ramsey
leaped over the top for the TD.

"The bottom line is we didn't play well enough to beat the
Eagles," Spurrier said. "I'm frustrated with these guys, and
they're frustrated with me."

David Akers' 36-yard field goal late in the first half gave the
Eagles a 13-7 lead. Akers gave the Eagles a 3-0 lead on a 52-yard
FG in the first quarter.

Hall's 48-yard FG late in the first half cut Philadelphia's lead
to 13-10. Hall hit a 45-yarder midway through the third to tie it
at 13. His 37-yarder cut it to 20-16 in the fourth.

McNabb had just 19 yards rushing. He scrambled 54 yards to
Washington's 10 on the Eagles' first possession, but a holding
penalty on tight end Chad Lewis negated the play.

Game notes
X-rays on McNabb's right leg at halftime were negative. He
has a bruised leg. ... Redskins DE Bruce Smith's sack on McNabb in
the second quarter moved him within 1½ sacks of tying Reggie
White's career record of 198. ... Eagles MLB Mark Simoneau recorded
his first career sack in the first quarter. ... Eagles Pro Bowl RG
Jermane Mayberry left in the first quarter after aggravating an
elbow injury and didn't return. ... Akers, a two-time Pro Bowl
kicker, is 6-for-6 on FG attempts this season, including two from
longer than 50 yards.