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A Real Downer: Redskins Fall to Titans

One minute left, the Redskins trailed by three points, and it was time for a big play. Santana Moss, the receiver the Redskins so often look for when a big play is needed, raced out on a route. He put a move on the cornerback, abruptly turning up-field on a hitch-and-go.

For a moment, Moss was open, and Mark Brunell saw him.

Brunell tossed a high-arching pass downfield, but Tennessee Titans safety Lamont Thompson was playing deep. He stepped in front of Moss for an interception to seal the game.

The Titans, entering the game with an 0-5 record, had pulled off a 25-22 upset win at FedExField.

The Redskins, now 2-4 on the season and in last place in the NFC East, have put themselves in a hole.

"It's a huge, bitter disappointment for us," head coach Joe Gibbs said. "It's all of us together, special teams, offense and defense. And that's the way we're going to have to fix it--all of us together."

The Redskins' offense had scored touchdowns on their first two possessions, but struggled to find consistency the rest of the game. Brunell was 16-of-30 for 180 yards, one touchdown and the game-ending interception.

Clinton Portis averaged 4.1 yards per carry in the game, but he had only 14 carries for 58 yards, somewhat surprising because the Titans entered the game with the league's worst run defense.

"This one's tough," Brunell said. "We got off to a good start and scored two touchdowns in the first half, but we struggled to move the ball in the second half. It's real frustrating."

Defensively, the Redskins were gashed by Titans' running back Travis Henry, who rushed for 178 yards on 32 carries, including a 2-yard touchdown run.

The Redskins entered the game wary of the scrambling ability of quarterback Vince Young, but it was Young's throwing arm that proved more effective. He completed 13-of-25 passes for 161 yards, with one touchdown.

The Titans opened the game with an 11-play, 58-yard drive, with Young staying in the pocket and completing three passes, two for first downs. Young's pass to tight end Ben Troupe in the end zone was out of reach, and the Titans settled for a 32-yard field goal by Rob Bironas.

The Redskins followed suit with a scoring drive of their own. Moss broke loose on a double reverse for a 35-yard pickup, getting the ball to the Titans' 32-yard line. Then the Redskins pounded the ball, with handoffs to Mike Sellers and Portis.

Portis found a hole between blocks by Chris Samuels and Derrick Dockery and skipped past tacklers into the end zone for a 10-yard score.

Early in the second quarter, the Redskins pieced together another scoring drive. Brunell completed several short passes to Moss and then handed off to Antwaan Randle El on a wide receiver screen, netting 12 yards and a 15-yard personal foul penalty on the Titans.

One play later, Brunell found tight end Chris Cooley open on a downfield route for a 24-yard touchdown pass. Brunell stood secure in the pocket as Cooley raced past linebacker David Thornton. Brunell threw a bullet downfield, and Cooley caught the pass one step ahead of safety Chris Hope for the score.

Midway through the second quarter, the Titans took advantage of a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty on Marcus Washington to get into scoring position. Young then completed a 20-yard pass to wide receiver Roydell Williams to get the ball to the Redskins' 8-yard line.

Rookie defensive tackles Anthony Montgomery and Kedric Golston, starting in place of injured linemen Cornelius Griffin and Joe Salave'a, combined for a sack of Young. Then, on third down, Young's pass to wide receiver Drew Bennett was incomplete. The Titans had settle for another field goal, a 26-yarder by Bironas.

Late in the first half, the Titans moved the ball downfield again. Young completed an 18-yard pass to Bennett, then running back Travis Henry raced around right end for a 23-yard pickup. Young connected with wide receiver Bobby Wade for a 13-yard gain on a third-down play to give Tennessee a 1st-and-goal at the Redskins' 3-yard line.

On the next play, Young dropped back to pass, waited for a receiver to get open, then found wide receiver Brandon Jones in the back of the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown.

The Redskins moved into scoring range late in the first half, but Randle El fumbled after catching a 16-yard pass from Brunell. The ball was stripped by cornerback Pacman Jones and recovered by Hope.

Tennessee had 1:06 left in the half, but couldn't do anything with it as Andre Carter sacked Young for an 8-yard loss. The Redskins headed into halftime with a 14-13 lead.

Early in the third quarter, Young led an impressive drive downfield to give the Titans the lead.

Young completed a 27-yard pass to Bennett, who leaped up to catch the ball over Carlos Rogers, to move the ball to the Redskins' 39-yard line.

Later, on 4th-and-2 at the Redskins' 31-yard line, Young completed a 23-yard pass to Jones, who caught the pass one step ahead of Kenny Wright.

Two plays later, Henry raced around left end for a 2-yard touchdown run, giving the Titans a surprising 20-14 lead.

Later in the third quarter, Tennessee increased the lead by two points when special teamer Casey Cramer came in up the middle untouched to block Derrick Frost's punt. The ball bounced into the end zone and Frost was able to get to it first, kicking it out of bounds for a safety.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Redskins' offense began to establish some momentum, with Brunell completing passes to Ladell Betts, Cooley and Portis.

Brunell's 14-yard screen pass to Portis put the ball at the Titans' 31-yard line. Two plays later, Brunell's pass to Cooley, coming after a delay of game penalty, was off the mark, and the Redskins were forced to punt.

It took a big play for the Redskins' offense to finally get going in the second half. Brunell threw a deep pass to Brandon Lloyd, who had a step on cornerback Reynaldo Hill. Lloyd leaped up for the 52-yard catch, his first reception of the game, and came down at the Titans' 4-yard line.

One play later, Portis raced around blocks by Jon Jansen and Randy Thomas to bulldoze into the end zone for his second touchdown of the game.

Down by two, the Redskins went for the 2-point conversion. Brunell quickly found Moss in the back of the end zone to tie the game.

The Redskins appeared to have the momentum, but midway though the fourth quarter the Titans went back to the run game, rushing Henry six consecutive times for 30 yards to get to the Redskins' 13-yard line.

That set up a 30-yard field goal by Bironas. It turned out to be the game-winning points.

Late in the fourth quarter, the Redskins' offense had two opportunities to go downfield for a game-tying field goal, but Brunell threw three incompletions and the game-ending interception.

"I'm focused right now on fixing this," Gibbs said. "I will look at everything. I'm not focused on any one person. I'm focused on all of us together."


The Redskins return to FedExField this Sunday, Oct. 15 for a matchup with the Tennessee Titans. Kickoff is 1 p.m. ET.

The Redskins are 2-0 against AFC South teams so far this season, having defeated the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars in Weeks 3 and 4. Sunday's game is the fifth matchup between Washington and Tennessee since the Titans relocated from Houston in 1997.

The Redskins-Titans game will be broadcast on CBS. Locally, the CBS affiliate WUSA-9 will televise the game. Don Criqui will call the play-by-play and Steve Beuerlein will provide the color commentary.

On radio, the game will be broadcast on **Triple X ESPN Radio** (94.3, 92.7 FM and 730 AM). Larry Michael handles the play-by-play with color commentary from Redskins legends and NFL Hall of Famers quarterback Sonny Jurgensen and linebacker Sam Huff. Bram Weinstein will serve as sideline reporter.

Washington is coming off a [disappointing 19-3 loss to the

](/news/article-1/redskins-fall-to-giants-19-3/2F452828-0E28-4F8C-8EC0-EBF389F22E15) last Sunday at the Meadowlands.

The Titans are winless, but put a scare in the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, taking them down to the wire in a 14-13 loss. The Titans used a strong rushing attack to gain an early lead, but they could not hold on as Peyton Manning guided the Colts to a game-winning, fourth-quarter touchdown.

Three of the Titans' losses this season have been by a touchdown or less.

Quarterback Vince Young, the third overall pick in last April's NFL Draft, is expected to make his third NFL start on Sunday against the Redskins.


Pos. Redskins Titans
WR 89 Santana Moss 81 Brandon Jones
LT 60 Chris Samuels 71 Michael Roos
LG 66 Derrick Dockery 60 Jacob Bell
C 61 Casey Rabach 68 Kevin Mawae
RG 77 Randy Thomas 75 Benji Olson
RT 76 Jon Jansen 76 David Stewart
TE 47 Chris Cooley 84 Ben Troupe
WR 85 Brandon Lloyd 83 Drew Bennett
QB 8 Mark Brunell 10 Vince Young
FB 45 Mike Sellers 45 Ahmard Hall
RB 26 Clinton Portis 29 Chris Brown

Pos. Redskins Titans
DE 99 Andre Carter 93 K. Vanden Bosch
DT 96 Cornelius Griffin 96 Robaire Smith
DT 95 Joe Salave'a 90 Randy Starks
DE 93 Phillip Daniels 91 Travis LaBoy
SLB 53 Marcus Washington 50 David Thornton
MLB 98 Lemar Marshall 59 Peter Sirmon
WLB 57 W. Holdman 53 Keith Bulluck
LCB 22 Carlos Rogers 21 Reynaldo Hill
RCB 25 Kenny Wright 32 Pacman Jones
SS 40 Adam Archuleta 24 Chris Hope
FS 21 Sean Taylor 28 L. Thompson



Sunday's game will mark the 10th meeting all-time between Washington and the Tennessee Titans franchise. Tennessee holds a 5-4 advantage in the series. (The franchise originated in Houston as the Oilers, then relocated to Tennessee in 1997.)

The first meeting between the Redskins and Titans organization was Oct. 10, 1971, with the Redskins defeating the Oilers by a 22-13 score.

The Redskins and Titans last faced off on October 6, 2002, at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. The Titans lost to the Redskins 31-14.

Washington's defense held Eddie George to just 26 rushing yards and kept Tennessee off the board in the second half. Rookie quarterback Patrick Ramsey made his NFL debut, replacing an injured Danny Wuerffel, and he engineered three scoring drives to give the Redskins the victory.


Pos. Redskins Titans
P 4 Derrick Frost 15 Craig Hentrich
K 10 Nick Novak 2 Rob Bironas
H 4 Derrick Frost 15 Craig Hentrich
LS 71 Ethan Albright 58 Ken Amato
KOR 46 Ladell Betts 19 Bobby Wade
PR 83 James Thrash 32 Pacman Jones



Total Offense

Rushing Offense

Passing Offense


Total Defense

Rushing Defense

Passing Defense



Total Offense

Rushing Offense

Passing Offense


Total Defense

Rushing Defense

Passing Defense

#### -- NEWS & NOTES

  • The Redskins have several coaches who either got their start or established themselves in the Tennessee Titans/Houston Oilers organization.

Redskins assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams coached in the Titans organization from 1990-2000. He served as quality control coordinator (1990-92), special teams coach (1993), linebackers coach (1994-96) and defensive coordinator (1997-2000).

Redskins secondary-cornerbacks coach Jerry Gray played for the Houston Oilers in 1992 and served as a defensive assistant coach from 1997-2000.

Redskins passing game coordinator-safeties coach Steve Jackson played for the Oilers/Titans from 1991-99.

In addition, Redskins assistant head coach-offense Joe Bugel coached the Houston Oilers offensive line from 1977-80. Also, Redskins offensive coordinator Don Breaux coached Houston Oilers running backs in 1972.

  • Redskins defensive tackle Joe Salave'a was a fourth-round draft pick by the Tennessee Titans in 1998 and played four seasons with the club.


  • Titans college scout Johnny Meads played linebacker for the Redskins in 1993. It was Meads' final NFL season, capping a 10-year career spent mostly with the Houston Oilers.
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