For the Redskins, the night started promisingly, but the end result was a 24-17 preseason loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Friday night at FedExField.
Washington had a chance to send the game into overtime with a fourth-quarter drive, but rookie running back Nehemiah Broughton fumbled in Bengals territory, effectively ending any hopes of a comeback.
The loss dropped the Redskins to 0-2 on the preseason.
On both sides of the ball, there were positive signs and disturbing trends for the Redskins.
Fortunately, there's plenty of time to correct mistakes before the Sept. 11 regular season opener against the Chicago Bears.
All eyes were on quarterback Patrick Ramsey at the start of Friday's game. The fourth-year player was inconsistent in the preseason opener against Carolina last weekend and seemed eager to prove himself in front of the home crowd at FedExField.
For the game, Ramsey completed 9-of-18 passes for 190 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in a half of action. Ramsey completed passes of 46, 33 and 30 yards, all to wide receiver David Patten.
"He did a great job," Ramsey said of Patten. "We read things alike. I think that's the reason we were able to get things done on a few drives."
The Redskins were without running back Clinton Portis, who sat out the game to rest a sore elbow.
Portis played only one series in the preseason opener against Carolina, so really the offense was not at full strength for the second week in a row.
The Redskins' offense was slow to start, garnering one first down and 20 yards in three possessions. Ladell Betts started at running back and rushed for 30 yards on six carries.
It was rookie cornerback Carlos Rogers who established momentum for the Redskins--on both sides of the ball. In the first quarter, the Redskins' top draft pick dropped back into zone coverage and stepped in front of a Carson Palmer pass for his first career interception.
The next play, Ramsey came in and threw a floating pass to James Thrash in the back of the end zone. Thrash caught the ball between two defenders, falling backward, for the touchdown.
Ramsey pumped his fist in the air, happy to put an end to the team's offensive frustrations, and was quickly congratulated by fellow quarterback Mark Brunell.
On the Redskins' next offensive drive, Ramsey connected on a 46-yard pass to David Patten. The completion put the offense on Cincinnati's 13-yard line. But Ramsey threw an interception to cornerback Tory James in the end zone, ending the drive.
Later in the first half, Rogers was beaten on deep passes on consecutive plays.
First, Bengals' wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh got a step on Rogers and nearly caught a 45-yard touchdown pass. But the ball slipped out of his hand for an incompletion.
The reprieve was short-lived. On the next play, Bengals' Kelley Washington pulled ahead of Rogers on the left sideline and caught a pass on his fingertips from quarterback Carson Palmer. Washington raced into the end zone for the touchdown. The score tied the game at 7-7.
On the next drive, Ramsey connected on a 33-yard pass to David Patten. But he was intercepted again on a pass to Santana Moss.
Palmer proceeded to lead the Bengals on a 14-play, 93-yard drive, capped by a 13-yard shuffle pass for a touchdown to running back Chris Perry.
Ramsey redeemed himself late in the first half, leading the offense on an 8-play, 68-yard drive. He completed a 30-yard pass to Patten and a key 16-yard pass to Moss on third down to keep the drive alive.
The drive stalled, and kicker John Hall connected on a 20-yard field goal.
The Bengals opened up a two touchdown lead in the second half when quarterback Jon Kitna connected on a 22-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Kevin Walter.
Later, the Bengals added a 27-yard field goal by Carter Warley.
Mark Brunell took over for Ramsey in the second half and led the Redskins on one touchdown drive in three series.
Midway through the fourth quarter, running back Nehemiah Broughton, the Redskins' second-round draft choice, scored his second touchdown of the preseason on a 3-yard run up the middle.
Brunell was 10-of-16 for 122 yards in the game.
"I decided I would go longer with the first-team offense, like I did last week," head coach Joe Gibbs said. "I wanted to allow them to create some rhythm. I decided to let Mark finish the game, since we played Patrick so long. I decided to let Mark try to bring us back."