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Ramsey Throws Away a Crucial Opportunity

October 06, 2003|From Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — 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 two-point conversion try with 13 seconds left, and the Philadelphia Eagles held on to defeat the Washington Redskins, 27-25, Sunday.

Ramsey rallied Washington from an 11-point deficit in the last 3 minutes 10 seconds, 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 -- from 53 yards -- cut the Eagles' lead to 27-19, the Redskins' Bryan Johnson recovered an on-side 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 touchdown, and Brian Westbrook had a 19-yard touchdown 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 Coach Steve Spurrier. All the Redskins' games have been decided by three points or less.

The Eagles held Coles and Rod Gardner to five catches combined in the first 57 minutes.

Donovan McNabb completed 16 of 30 passes for 157 yards and his first touchdown this season. He had two passes intercepted. Ramsey finished 25 for 50 for 271 yards, with one touchdown, two interceptions and one touchdown rushing.

It was McNabb's first game since conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh made comments about him that ignited a weeklong firestorm.

Limbaugh said on ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown" on Sept. 28 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 remarks forced Limbaugh to resign 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, ended a 13-13 tie with his first career interception and touchdown late in the third quarter.

On a second and nine, Ramsey's arm was hit by Eagle tackle Darwin Walker as he threw and the ball sailed up. Kalu caught it at the 15, eluded an offensive lineman and rumbled 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 put the Eagles ahead by 11 points with his touchdown run with 3:10 left. The Eagles drove 70 yards, holding the ball for 5:39. McNabb ran six yards on third and five to keep the drive alive.

McNabb had only 19 yards rushing.

"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."

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