Smith adds meaning to game with 199th sack


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Bruce Smith gave some meaning to
another disappointing season with the Washington Redskins by
claiming the title of NFL sack king.

Question on the Redskins: Where do you rank Bruce Smith among the top D-linemen in history?
Smith is in the top 10 of all time because of his ceaseless production for a long period of time. He may not be the greatest defensive lineman in history, but he's definitely one of the most consistent. Congratulations to Smith for his remarkable career!

Question on the Giants: Regardless of Collins' health next week (left Sunday's game with an injury), should the Giants start Palmer?
If Collins is 100 percent, he should be the starter next week. He understands this offense and is still the Giants' best chance to win. Though the team's playoff hopes have been dashed, this team needs to maintain its pride and try to go out on a winning note. Also, starting Palmer over a healthy Collins only heightens the possibility of a QB controversy that could drag this team down next season.

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

Smith trapped Jesse Palmer for a record-setting 199th sack and
Tim Hasselbeck threw two touchdown passes as the Redskins beat the
New York Giants 20-7 in a meaningless game that ended with only a
couple of thousand people and few snowmen in the stands.

"I don't know what to feel like," Smith said after the
Redskins (5-8) snapped a three-game losing streak and eliminated
the Giants (4-9) from the playoff race.

"I have been playing this game a long time," said the
40-year-old who wore a burgundy robe with the inscription "All
Time" on the front. "I've had a lot of surgeries. A lot of very
important people were instrumental in prolonging my career."

Reggie White held the old mark of 198.

Hasselbeck, who threw touchdown passes of 6 yards to Darnerien
McCants and 7 yards to Rod Gardner, was in grammar school when
Smith was drafted first overall by Buffalo in 1985.

"I grew up watching him," Hasselbeck said. "Being around him
for a little while, it's amazing what he's accomplished. To be on
the field, I won't have to say I saw it in my living room."

NFL single-season sacks record holder Michael Strahan was happy
for Smith despite the disappointment of the Giants' fifth straight
loss. The two friends hugged after the game.

"Before the season that was his goal," Strahan said. "That's
a testament to how long he has played and how consistent he has
been to do that. That's a number I think he'll be the only one to

The Giants not only lost their fifth straight at home, they also
lost quarterback Kerry Collins in the third quarter with a sprained
left ankle, courtesy of a hit by Smith.

"It wasn't my intention to hurt Kerry," Smith said. "It was
my intention to knock the heck out of him."

Some of the Giants were a little miffed at Smith because the hit
came on a play officials blew dead for delay of game.

Smith created the most lasting memory in the game for last place
in the NFC East when he tackled Palmer for a 7-yard loss with 8:33
to play. He put an inside power move on tackle Ian Allen, grabbed
Palmer around the left ankle and pulled him down.

Smith stood up, raised an arm in the air and was mobbed by
teammates, walking off the field and waving to the crowd, which

"I heard everyone say `Bruuuucce!" Palmer said. "I figured
that was it, I was part of the record. I should have least gotten a

John Hall added field goals of 28 and 41 yards for Washington.

Dorsey Levens scored on a 5-yard run for the Giants, who were
booed by the hardy few who stayed to the final gun in what might be
coach Jim Fassel's next-to-last home game.

Former Giants Jessie Armstead had two of the Redskins six sacks
and a fumble recovery against his former teammates.

By the time Smith got the record, the Redskins were in control.

Hasselbeck, who was 13-of-19 for 154 yards, gave them a 10-7
lead with his TD pass to McCants early in the second quarter. He
upped the margin to 10 by leading them on an 80-yard scoring drive
into a 25 mph to open the second half.

The game was mistake-marred, as expected.

Tiki Barber, whose fumbles have hurt the Giants all season, lost
another on the second play from scrimmage, setting up Hall's
28-yard field goal.

The Giants squandered a chance on their next possession when
Matt Bryant missed a 26-yard field goal into the wind, but Levens
gave them the lead on their next series with his run. It capped a
36-yard drive set up by a 16-yard punt by Bryan Barker.

The Giants special teams didn't protect the lead, allowing
Patrick Johnson to break two tackles for a 50-yard return on the
ensuing kickoff. Hasselbeck wobbled a 6-yard TD pass to McCants to
cap the 34-yard drive.

Game notes
...Barber gained 99 yards rushing, giving him 1,092 for the
season, his second straight 1,000-yard campaign. ... Giants
second-year OT Jeff Hatch made his NFL debut, starting with Luke
Petitgout out with back spasms. ... Giants WRs Ike Hilliard (knee)
and Tim Carter (hit to the head) left the game in the second half.
... Redskins LB LaVar Arrington also had two sacks. Washington had
the ball for 37 minutes, 8 seconds. ... Barker averaged 21.8 yards
on four punts. ...The Giants' losing streak is their longest since
losing seven in 1994.


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