For most NFL teams, the preseason finale is a game for rookies and roster hopefuls.
For the Redskins' offensive starters, Thursday's contest against the Jacksonville Jaguars had some meaning.
Hoping to establish some offensive momentum after the Redskins' 47-3 shellacking by the Panthers last week, head coach Jim Zorn started the first-team offense against the Jaguars.
They played the entire first quarter before yielding to backups.
Zorn did not get the results he wanted--from the first-team, second-team or third-team offenses.
The Redskins lost to the Jaguars 24-3 at FedExField, closing out preseason with a 3-2 mark.
The last two losses, in which the Redskins were outscored by a 71-6 clip, are sure to linger heading into the regular season.
"I wanted to get [the first-team offense] out in one series, but we kept on going 3-and-out," Zorn said. "We couldn't sustain a drive. I'm sure we'll find reasons for it, but unfortunately that would be excuse-making."
Jason Campbell was 1-of-4 for just three yards with one interception. His only completion was his last, a third-down pass to Devin Thomas that was short of a first down.
Said Zorn: "I would have loved to play [the first-team offense] the whole game and get some rhythm. But that would not have been smart in my mind."
Except for Clinton Portis, Antwaan Randle El and Jon Jansen, the entire first-team offense started the game.
The unit did not get off to a promising start.
On the Redskins' first offensive play, Campbell dropped back to pass. He hesitated in the pocket. His throw was on target to Thomas, but linebacker Mike Peterson appeared to punch the ball from Thomas's arms.
The ball was tipped into the air and landed into Peterson's arms for an interception.
The turnover gave Jacksonville the ball at the Redskins' 21-yard line.
It appeared the Redskins would hold the Jaguars to a field goal as Alfred Fincher stopped running back Greg Jones short of a first down at the 6-yard line. But Matteral Richardson was flagged for off-sides, giving the Jaguars another chance.
On the next play, quarterback David Garrard tossed a 3-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Reggie Williams, who pulled in the pass over J.T. Tryon.
Jim Zorn sent the first-team offense back on the field again for another drive.
On third down, Campbell threw to a wide open Chris Cooley 15 yards downfield. Cooley grabbed the pass and turned up-field, but safety Reggie Nelson poked the ball loose. Referees called the pass incomplete.
Later in the first quarter, the first-team offense was back for one more series.
On first down, Campbell's sideline pass to James Thrash was off target. After Marcus Mason picked up four yards on a carry, Campbell connected with Thomas on a short route, but he was tackled a yard shy of the first down.
"It was a 6-yard route, but [Thomas] ran it two yards," Zorn said. "The play was poorly executed. Those are the issues we have to work on. He's young receiver learning his trade."
Early in the second quarter, the Jaguars scored again as quarterback Cleo Lemon threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Greg Estandia.
Size mattered, as the 6-8, 265-pound Estandia made a leaping grab over the 5-9, 183-pound Tryon for the score.
Zorn sent rookie Colt Brennan and the second-team offense into the game in the second quarter.
As he had done all preseason, Brennan provided an offensive spark. He threw a 20-yard pass to Maurice Mann to get the offense in scoring range.
The drive stalled after Brennan's third-down pass to Billy McMullen ended up six yards short of the first down.
Shaun Suisham connected on a 46-yard field goal for the Redskins' only points of the game.
Late in the first half, the Jaguars added a field goal of their own--a 30-yarder by Josh Scobee--to increase the Jaguars' lead to 17-3.
Brennan struggled in the second half, but he was pressured often. He was sacked four times.
Brennan finished the game with 13-of-18 pass completions for 119 yards.
"I wish we could have gone out there and scored more and capitalized on those drives," Brennan said. "I've done some good things this preseason and I've tried to minimize the bad things."
The Jaguars weren't an offensive juggernaut in the second half either, but they managed to score on a big play.
Quarterback Todd Bouman threw deep to wide receiver Troy Williamson, who had a step on Richardson. Williamson pulled in the pass and made his way into the end zone for a 51-yard touchdown catch.
At game's end, the only drama was the continuing competition at punter.
Derrick Frost and Durant Brooks had their opportunities in the game.
Frost had three punts for a 45.7-yard average, with a long of 61 yards and one pinned inside the 20-yard line. Brooks had three punts for a 38-yard average, with two inside the 20.
Even at this late stage, the punting competition is too close to call. NFL teams must announce their final cuts by Saturday, Aug. 30, so the final roster will be decided in the coming days.
After that, it's on to the NFL season opener--and the Super Bowl champion New York Giants.
The Redskins conclude preseason on Thursday, Aug. 28, when they host the Jacksonville Jaguars at FedExField. Kickoff is 7 p.m. p.m. ET.
FedExField is a natural grass surface. The stadium seats 91,704.
The game will be televised nationally on NBC. Al Michaels will call the play-by-play and John Madden will provide color commentary. Adam Schefter will serve as side reporter.
On radio, the game will be broadcast locally on ESPN 980. Larry Michael handles the play-by-play with color commentary by Hall of Famers Sonny Jurgensen and Sam Huff. Rick "Doc" Walker will serve as sideline reporter.
Washington is coming off a disappointing 47-3 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Aug. 23 at Bank of America Stadium.
From midway through the second quarter to early in the third, Carolina scored five touchdowns to build a 41-0 lead. The Panthers scored on touchdown runs of 50 and 60 yards.
Jason Campbell was sacked four times in the first half and the Redskins managed just one field goal.
It was the Redskins' most lopsided loss ever in preseason play since the 1970 merger, topping the 41-0 preseason loss to New England in 2006.
The Jaguars defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23-17 at Raymond James Stadium last Saturday. Quarterback David Garrard was 10-of-16 for 118 yards and two touchdowns, while running back Fred Taylor had seven rushed for 26 yards.
Marcus Mason (Getty Images)
The Redskins and Jaguars have played twice in the preseason, with both games won by Jacksonville at Alltel Stadium.
Last year, the Jaguars won 31-14 in the preseason finale for both clubs. Jason Campbell led the Redskins' first-team offense to a touchdown, throwing 23 yards to Antwaan Randle El. But the Jaguars scored three second-half touchdowns to pull away.
In the only other preseason matchup in the series, the Jaguars defeated Steve Spurrier's Redskins by a 17-15 score in 2003.
The Redskins have played the Jaguars four times in the regular season and lead the series 3-1.
The most memorable game in the regular-season series was in 2006 at FedExField. In a hard-hitting, back-and-forth shootout, the Redskins defeated Jacksonville 36-30 in overtime.
Mark Brunell, the former Jaguars quarterback, threw a game-winning touchdown pass, a 69-yarder to Santana Moss who had to split two defenders on his way to the end zone.
It was Moss's third touchdown of the game. He finished the afternoon with four catches for 138 yards. Meantime, Clinton Portis rushed for a season-high 112 yards on 27 carries.
FAMILIAR FACES ON THE JAGUARS
Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams served as assistant head coach-defense of the Redskins from 2004-07.
Assistant head coach-offense Mike Tice played for the Redskins in 1989. He also played his college ball at Maryland.
Offensive line coach Andy Heck played for the Redskins in 1999-2000. He is also a graduate of Woodson High School in Fairfax. Va.
Safety Pierson Prioleau played for the Redskins from 2005-07. He was not re-signed by the Redskins last offseason.
Tight end-long snapper Joe Zelenka played for the Redskins in 2000.
Wide receiver Ryan Hoag played for the Redskins in 2006-07. Hoag made headlines last offseason when he appeared on the ABC reality TV show "The Bachelor."
REDSKINS-JAGUARS NEWS & NOTES
-- Return of Gregg Williams
Gregg Williams returns to FedExField just eight months after he was not retained by the Redskins.
Williams spent four years with the Redskins as assistant head coach-defense under Joe Gibbs. From 2004-07, the Redskins ranked sixth in the NFL in defense (306.6 yards per game allowed), second in the NFC and seventh in rushing defense (103.8).
The Redskins allowed only 19.4 points per game during that span, the ninth-fewest in the NFL.
Williams was replaced in Washington by Greg Blache, his former defensive line coach.
Williams maintains friendships with several Redskins players and coaches, including Jerry Gray, Steve Jackson, London Fletcher, Kirk Olivadotti, Shawn Springs and Cornelius Griffin.
-- Redskins Preseason Offensive Leaders
In four preseason games, Jason Campbell has completed 22-of-35 passes for 199 yards and one touchdown. He has been sacked five times, including four times in the Redskins' 47-3 loss to the Carolina Panthers. His QB rating is 87.7.
Third-stringer Colt Brennan has completed 23-of-35 passes for 292 yards and three touchdowns. He has been sacked four times. His QB rating is a team-high 120.2.
Marcus Mason leads the Redskins' ground game with 253 yards on 49 carries, an impressive 5.2 yards-per-carry average. Mason also has four catches for 22 yards and a touchdown.
Billy McMullen leads the receivers with 16 catches for 197 yards, including a 37-yard grab. Antwaan Randle El leads projected starters with six catches for 59 yards and a touchdown.
As a team, the Redskins are averaging 142.8 yards per game on the ground in preseason. They are averaging 5.3 yards per carry.
-- Redskins Preseason Defensive Leaders
Khary Campbell leads the Redskins in preseason tackles with 22. He is followed by Matt Sinclair and Matteral Richardson, who both have 15 tackles. (Sinclair was released by the Redskins on Aug. 25.)
Rob Jackson and Chris Horton are tied for the team lead in sacks with two apiece. Reed Doughty has 1.5 sacks. Marcus Washington and Lorenzo Alexander also have recorded a sack.
Richardson has been active in the secondary, leading the Redskins with three passes defended. He also picked off a pass in the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 3 and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown.
Kareem Moore, who has started two games at free safety for the injured LaRon Landry, also has an interception.
As a team, the Redskins' defense is allowing an average of 342.2 yards per game and a 3.8 yards-per-carry average.
-- Kickoff Luncheon
The Redskins host the 47th annual Welcome Home Luncheon on Wednesday, Aug. 27 at The Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner, Va.
Tickets to the event are sold out.
The Welcome Home Luncheon heralds the start of the NFL season in Washington. It is the first Welcome Home Luncheon for new head coach Jim Zorn.
The entire Redskins team, including players, coaches, staff and alumni, will be in attendance.
It is one of the few times that the entire Washington Redskins team gathers at a single event apart from games.
The Jaguars have several connections to the University of Maryland.
Linebackers coach Mark Duffner was the head coach of the Terrapins from 1992-96.
Assistant head coach-tight ends Mike Tice, who also played for the Redskins, played college football at Maryland.
Punter Adam Podlesh and defensive back Isaiah Gardner are on the Jaguars' roster.
-- FedExField Attendance
FedExField is the largest stadium in the NFL with 91,704 seats. It is more than 11,000 seats ahead of the second biggest stadium, Giants Stadium.
The Redskins set a single-game attendance record--90,910--in the Dec. 30, 2007 game against the Dallas Cowboys.
-- Preseason Record
The Redskins are 108-126-2 all-time in preseason play, including the Aug. 23 loss to the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium.
Last year, Washington was 2-2 in the preseason.
-- What's Next?
After the Jaguars preseason game, the Redskins kick off the 2008 NFL regular season, as they take on the New York Giants at the Meadowlands on Thursday, Sept. 4.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast nationally on NBC.