Monday, September 12, 2005
Worst patience: Redskins fans gave QB Patrick Ramsey a two-minute grace period to start the season. Then they responded to him the same way they usually do: with constant boos. After Ramsey threw an interception on Washington's first drive, fans started to boo him. They didn't stop until he came out of the game, injured, in the second quarter.
Worst penalty: Midway through the second quarter, the Bears committed a 36-yard pass interference penalty that felt even longer. Bears CB Nathan Vasher intercepted a Mark Brunell pass and returned it to the Redskins 18-yard line. The penalty gave the Redskins possession at the Bears 29, setting up a field goal.
Worst in red zone: The Redskins didn't score on their first drive of the second quarter, despite having a first and goal from the 7. They also committed an offensive pass interference penalty that negated a touchdown; allowed a sack; fumbled; and lost Ramsey to an injury -- a remarkable display of red zone inefficiency.
Best decision: Late in the third quarter, Joe Gibbs ignored the boos -- he's had plenty of practice -- and chose to kick a field goal instead of going for it on fourth and goal from inside the 1-yard line. John Hall's 19-yard kick gave the Redskins a 9-7 lead against the Bears' punchless offense.
Best example of a rookie: Kyle Orton consistently blended promise and immaturity, sometimes demonstrating the two characteristics almost at once. On a third down late in the third quarter, he avoided pressure and completed a 22-yard pass to Mark Bradley. On the next play, he threw a miserable pass into a pack of Redskins that was deflected, then intercepted by Lemar Marshall.
Worst use of energy: Both teams spent more than a minute in the second quarter fighting over a fumble that never happened. Bears WR Muhsin Muhammad bobbled and dropped a pass, and several players from both teams fought to recover the ball. The Redskins won that battle, and Washington players jumped in celebration, clueless that the pass had been ruled incomplete.
Best crowd support: Midway through the fourth quarter, the rowdy Redskins crowd helped stall a Bears drive. By standing, yelling, clapping and stomping, the fans forced the Bears into three consecutive false starts. Those 15 yards turned a second and 13 at the Redskins 37 into a hopeless second and 28. The Bears eventually punted.
-- Eli Saslow