In the final tune-up before the start of the regular season, the Redskins lost in overtime to the Baltimore Ravens 26-20 at M&T Bank Stadium on Thursday evening.
After a day of film review and decisions on final cuts, the Redskins and head coach Joe Gibbs begin in earnest their preparations for the Sept. 11 season opener against the Chicago Bears.
On the injury front, rookie H-back Manuel White, Jr., went into the locker room in the second quarter with what was initially announced as a high ankle sprain. Later it was revealed he sustained a fractured fibula. White was the Redskins' fourth-round draft pick (120th overall) out of UCLA in last April's NFL Draft.
Linebacker Chris Clemons sustained a hamstring injury and wide receiver Antonio Brown had a hand injury. For the most part, the Redskins emerged from the preseason without any injuries to expected starters.
The Ravens won the game on a pair of touchdown passes from rookie quarterback Derek Anderson to fourth-year wide receiver Randy Hymes. The first came with less than two minutes in the game on a 22-yard touchdown pass. The second came in overtime, as Anderson connected with Hymes on a 66-yard touchdown pass.
By that time, the starters for both teams had given way to rookies and roster hopefuls. The inexperience showed. The Redskins were penalized 15 times for 118 yards in the game.
Fourth-year wide receiver Jimmy Farris caught two touchdown passes, one from Mark Brunell and another from Jason Campbell, to help lead the Redskins.
The game started out with a familiar script: the Redskins and Ravens have two of the NFL's best defenses, and both units lived up to their billing early on. In Carolina, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Baltimore, the Redskins have played four of the NFL's top defenses this preseason.
The Redskins' first-team defense played just one series, with defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin tackling Baltimore running back Jamal Lewis on 3rd-and-1 to stuff the Ravens' opening drive.
In the first quarter, the Ravens had the only scoring opportunity. Kicker Matt Stover attempted a 48-yard field goal, but the kick was low and it was blocked by Khary Campbell.
Meantime, quarterback Patrick Ramsey was sacked on each of his two drives, both times by linebackers. He was 1-of-2 for 10 yards before giving way to backup Mark Brunell. Clinton Portis's time in the game was even shorter. The Redskins' running back played just a handful of plays, rushing twice for 16 yards.
Early in the second quarter, Brunell led the Redskins on the Redskins' first scoring drive of the game. The key play was a 33-yard completion to a wide open James Thrash, who found a soft spot in zone coverage. The Ravens' defense stiffened and the Redskins had to settle for a 28-yard field goal by John Hall.
The Ravens tied the game midway through the second quarter with a 40-yard field goal by Stover.
Brunell and the Redskins responded with a touchdown drive. Brunell connected on passes of 25 yards to Mike Sellers and 12 yards to Brian Kozlowski. On the latter, Brunell had to roll left, avoid a sack, then roll right before side-arming the pass to Kozlowski.
On 3rd-and-8 at the Ravens' 22-yard line, Brunell threw a high-arching pass to fourth-year receiver Jimmy Farris in the end zone. Farris caught the pass despite the presence of cornerback Zack Norton blocking his way and landed both feet in bounds for the touchdown.
In the second half, Farris struck again, running a nearly identical pass route for his second touchdown of the game. This time, he connected with rookie quarterback Jason Campbell on a 37-yard pass, catching it in stride. He raced into the end zone ahead of the defender for the score.
The Ravens scored a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter to close the gap to 17-12. Wright threw a 1-yard pass to tight end Trent Smith for the score, but the Ravens could not connect on the two-point conversion attempt.
After Anderson's touchdown pass to Hymes gave the Ravens the lead, Campbell brought the Redskins back in the waning moments of regulation. He threw a 36-yard pass to wide receiver Kevin Dyson to get the offense in field goal range.
After penalties pushed the Redskins out of field goal range, Campbell threw a 13-yard pass to Farris to get in range for Hall. The Redskins' kicker nailed a 46-yarder to tie the game.
Campbell and the Redskins' offense never got a chance in overtime, as Anderson and Hymes went the distance for the score and the win.
And now the regular season beckons.