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Matthews Returns to Spark Redskins

October 28, 2002|From Associated Press

LANDOVER, Md. — Was that really Steve Spurrier coaching the Washington Redskins?

With an attack bearing little resemblance to Spurrier's Fun 'n' Gun, the Redskins dominated the Indianapolis Colts with a patient offense that moved the yardsticks and controlled the clock in a 26-21 victory Sunday night.

Shane Matthews, unhappy that he was benched three weeks ago, justified his gripe by returning to lead a methodical, nearly error-free attack.

The Redskins (3-4) ended a two-game losing streak. The Colts (4-3), who have not been impressive this season despite their winning record, have struggled in consecutive prime-time games after last Monday's 28-10 loss to Pittsburgh.

Yet, despite trailing, 20-0, in the first half and playing poorly most of the game, the Colts managed to put together a decent drive and got a big punt return in the second half to make a game of it.

They had a chance to tie the score after rookie Ricky Williams' 20-yard touchdown catch with 6:46 to play, but Fred Smoot broke up a pass intended for Qadry Ismail on a two-point conversion attempt.

The Redskins then essentially ran out the clock with the running of Kenny Watson, who played the second half after Stephen Davis left with a sprained right knee. James Tuthill's 22-yard field goal with 18 seconds remaining, his fourth of the game, capped the scoring.

Washington committed nine turnovers and gave up 13 sacks in the last two games with rookie quarterback Patrick Ramsey, but Matthews was 17 of 35 for 210 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions and was sacked only once -- even though two regulars on the offensive line didn't start because of injuries.

Davis had 80 yards in 16 carries in the first half. Watson finished with 67 yards in 15 carries. The Redskins ran 37 times and passed 36, an un-Spurrier-like ratio.

The Redskins scored on their first four possessions, scored a touchdown in the first quarter for the first time this season and led at halftime, 23-7, for the first time this season.

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