WASHINGTON — Doug Williams, the Redskins' $475,000 insurance policy, paid off handsomely Sunday.
Williams, coming off the bench after quarterback Jay Schroeder sprained his shoulder, threw for 272 yards and 2 touchdowns in only his second NFL game since 1982 and led Washington to a 34-24 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Williams' second scoring pass to Art Monk, a 39-yard play at the start of the fourth quarter, broke a 24-24 tie and provided Washington with its second straight opening-day win over the Eagles. Williams' other scoring pass was for 6 yards to Monk in the first quarter.
"It was great to be in control," said Williams, who earns $475,000 annually to back up Schroeder. "It was the same old feeling that it used to be."
Williams spent the first five years of his NFL career at Tampa Bay until jumping to the USFL. He signed with Washington last season but took only one snap while playing behind Schroeder.
Williams entered the game with 9:34 left in the first quarter after Schroeder was injured on a hit by Philadelphia All-Pro defensive end Reggie White. Williams went on to complete 17 of 27 passes and did not throw an interception.
X-rays taken at the stadium proved negative, but Schroeder's only appearances the rest of the game were to hold on extra points and field goals. Schroeder likely will be out "two, three, four weeks," Coach Joe Gibbs said.
During the exhibition season, Williams expressed a desire to play regularly with another contending team, but the only offer for him was a future fourth-round draft choice by the Raiders.
"I guess this tells me I'm going to be in Washington for a while," Williams said. "There's no way I'm going anywhere after this."
On the series after Monk's go-ahead score, Williams used more than six minutes to move the Redskins from their four-yard line to the Eagle 23, from where Steve Cox kicked a 40-yard field goal.
The drive, highlighted by Williams' 46-yard pass to Gary Clark, gave Washington a 34-24 lead with 5:20 left, and Philadelphia did not threaten again.
Washington kicker Jess Atkinson suffered a dislocated ankle when Philadelphia's Andre Waters was blocked into him. Atkinson underwent surgery at a nearby hospital and was replaced by Cox, who connected on all three extra points in addition to making his only field goal attempt.
Although the Eagles played better than they did during the exhibition season, when they lost three of four games and scored an NFL-low 35 points, Coach Buddy Ryan wasn't pleased.
"Losing with dignity ain't worth anything to me," he said before abruptly ending a short postgame interview.
The Eagles' Randall Cunningham completed 21 of 37 passes for 269 yards. He threw a 30-yard second-quarter touchdown pass to Mike Quick and rushed for a 2-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
"We repeated our mistakes over and over and didn't settle down," Quick said.