Art Monk had bad gloves last night.
The game was in his hands at the end, but Monk -- wearing tight gloves -- let two passes slip through.
Monk, the Washington Redskins' wide receiver, did catch two touchdown passes last night in a 30-26 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, but everyone will remember the two he dropped.
Blame the first one on Monk's rubber-like shoulder pads. Quarterback Doug Williams sidestepped a couple of defenders and saw Monk streaking toward the back of the end zone. He lofted a pass, and screamed, "Awright!"
On the ground, Rams defender Gary Jeter says he was saying: "Oh no!"
But the ball bounded off Monk's shoulder pads.
The next play -- with 24 seconds remaining and 14 yards to go for the go-ahead touchdown -- Williams drilled another one. Monk leaped and flubbed it, the ball dropping into the eager hands of defensive back LeRoy Irvin.
"Art Monk's human," said Williams. "That's what we realized tonight."
Monk was nowhere to be seen in the quiet, but not peaceful Redskins locker room. Coach Joe Gibbs wanted everyone to remember all the balls Monk has caught over the years, all the times he's had good gloves.
"Art's caught a lot of big ones for us," Gibbs said. "He's kind of the one we leaned on."
The Redskins leaned heavily on Williams last night, as their defense gave him the ball 70 yards from the goal line with 1:49 left.
Williams said the Rams defensive backs were standing relatively close to the Anacostia River. They gave Williams everything short, so he took it.
First, he dumped one to running back Kelvin Bryant for nine yards; then consecutive hitch patterns to tight end Clint Didier.
"They were playing the deep zone," Didier said.
Once, on the Redskins 48, Williams scrambled out of the pocket. Rams rushers got their paws on him, but couldn't bring him down. They say he is too big. On this scramble, he got out to the left, and wide receiver Gary Clark tried turning up field deep.
Rams defender Johnnie Johnson grabbed him.
It was a penalty, naturally. Officials originally called holding, which meant it was five yards and an automatic first down. But, after conferring, they decided it was pass interference instead. The Redskins had the ball at the spot of the infraction -- the Rams 31.
"Doug Williams was playing like he was 24 years old," Jeter said. "A couple times, I was all over him, and he wouldn't go down. One time, he brushed me off."
Williams: "Those rushers were all over me."
The next play, Williams rolled again and hit Clark on the right sideline at the 14. Now, there were 29 seconds left.
"Time was running out," Clark said. "Doug was in control. He didn't say a word. He just called the play."
Then came Monk's drops, though the last one was with a high degree of difficulty.
"I thought I played badly because I lost," said Williams. "Don't blame Monk. Blame all of us."