After a dreadful afternoon of cold rain, gusty winds and raw temperatures last week at Giants Stadium, the Redskins played their first game at FedEx Field in a month under much more hospitable conditions. Temperatures were in the low fifties, with light wind and plenty of sunshine.
Worst News for the Visitors
Rams Coach Mike Martz decided approximately one hour before kickoff to make all-pro running back Marshall Faulk inactive. It was the second straight game the former league most valuable player missed because of an ankle injury he suffered three weeks ago in a victory over the San Diego Chargers.
Playing in his first game in seven weeks, quarterback Kurt Warner looked sharp during the Rams' opening drive. The pinkie finger he broke in a Week 5 loss to the Cowboys appeared fine as the two-time league MVP directed a touchdown drive covering 66 yards in seven plays. Warner capped the drive with a four-yard pass to wide receiver Troy Edwards, who caught his first touchdown since 1999.
Warner displayed the precision that has made him one of the most accurate passers in league history by completing 15 consecutive throws in the first half before his first incompletion. And even that pass, though a bit high to Isaac Bruce, was within reach. Warner finished 34 of 49 for 301 yards and two touchdowns.
Place kicker James Tuthill has missed five field goal attempts this season, including one yesterday. Of his misses, one came when he slipped on a wet field, one hit the crossbar and another hit an upright. Yesterday on a 40-yard attempt, Tuthill's kick turned at the last second and clanged off the left upright.
Luck had nothing to do with Tuthill's 34-yard miss early in the fourth quarter. The ball was curling left all the way.
Danny Wuerffel will never be confused with Donovan McNabb, but the Redskins quarterback showed some athletic ability by escaping a heavy rush on a third and eight, running for 11 yards.
Apparently thinking he was McNabb, Wuerffel tried to run a called quarterback draw on a third and eight on the same series. But this time, the result was zero yards.
Best Sign of Ball Control
Even though the Redskins did not convert every drive into points, they moved the ball consistently enough that they did not punt until 3 minutes 41 seconds remained in the game.
Best Chess Match
Martz, known for his offensive play-calling, vs. Redskins defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis, architect of one of the best units in history when he was with the Ravens: The two matched wits right down to the wire, with Lewis's defense making the most important play of the game to secure the victory.
-- Gene Wang