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Redskins notch first rushing TD of season

11/4/2001

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) -- For the Washington Redskins, three straight
wins mean they can say, "We told you so."

Derided as the worst team in football after an 0-5 start, the
Redskins won their third straight Sunday with a 27-14 victory over
the Seattle Seahawks. Each win has been more impressive than the
last, and this one was sheer dominance.

"I've been trying to tell you, it's going to happen," said
linebacker LaVar Arrington, who had a key fumble recovery late in
the first half before leaving with a sprained ankle. "I didn't
know when it was going to happen, but I knew at some point it was
going to happen; the turnaround was going to take place.

"We've got a healthy chip on our shoulders. We've been
ridiculed, we've been scrutinized, and we're not forgetting that.
We're going to ride this all the way out. We're going to ride with
a chip on our shoulder all the way out."

Stephen Davis ran 32 times for 142 yards and scored the Redskins
(3-5) first touchdown on the ground this season against one of the
best rushing defenses in the league. The defense chased quarterback
Matt Hasselbeck after a half, augmenting the stewing quarterback
controversy in Seattle (3-4).

"We weren't ready to play," coach Mike Holmgren said. "That
starts with me. Our emotions weren't what they have been. ... You
have stinkers. Our offense, in particular, is going through some
growing pains."

Hasselbeck was 6-for-12 for 127 yards with two interceptions,
one fumble and an intentional grounding. He was pulled with Seattle
trailing 20-7 in favor of Trent Dilfer, who is 2-0 as a starter
with the Seahawks and 13-0 over the last 12 months.

One of the interceptions wasn't Hasselbeck's fault -- Darrell
Jackson bobbled the ball right into David Terrell's lap. But
Hasselbeck often was pressured and had few chances because of the
Redskins' 2-to-1 advantage in first-half time of possession.

Holmgren said he'll decide Tuesday who starts next week, but
Hasselbeck's version of the coach's halftime speech made the
situation sound very much in flux.

"He came in and told me: `You're not doing things my way.
You're still trying to do things your way. Until you're ready to do
things my way, you're not going to play,' I know exactly what he
was talking about," Hasselbeck said.

Can the Redskins get back in the playoff hunt in the weak NFC
East?

To do so, Washington must win within the division. The Redskins have won on
the road the past three weeks, but now they'll go on the road for two weeks
(after their bye next week). If they can win games on the road and in the
division, they've got an opportunity to get back into the NFC East race.

But these upcoming road games are tough: Denver (Nov. 18) and Philadelphia
(Nov. 25).
So we'll discover whether Washington is for real as November progresses.

ESPN.com's Vinny Cerrato was director of player personnel for the
Redskins and 49ers.


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Washington's Tony Banks completed 15 of 23 passes for 152 yards
with two touchdowns and one interception. He has six touchdowns and
two interceptions in his last four games.

The Redskins' longest touchdown drive of the season had lasted
just 2 minutes, 44 seconds. But, on Sunday, they controlled the
defensive line of the Seahawks for TD drives of 4:34, 7:50 and
5:33. Davis became the first back to rush for more than 52 yards
against the Seahawks, who were ranked fifth against the run.

"Our players understand what they're trying to do far better
than a month ago," said Washington coach Marty Schottenheimer,
whose job no longer appears in imminent jeopardy. "We like to run
the ball. If you can run the ball in this league, you've got a good
chance of winning."

The only downside was Arrington's injury, a severe ankle sprain
that will probably keep the team's emerging leader out for several
weeks. Washington has a bye next weekend.

The Redskins had not scored a touchdown on the ground since
cornerback Champ Bailey joined the offense for a few plays and ran
7 yards for a score in last year's finale. The drought ended when
Davis carried the last eight plays for 44 yards of a 69-yard drive.
He barely cracked the goal line on a third-and-1 with 5:29 to play
in the first half.

The Redskins took the opening drive 71 yards and scored on
Walter Rasby's 7-yard catch. The Seahawks responded with an 80-yard
drive, capped by Shaun Alexander's 37-yard run.

Interceptions by Bailey and Terrell set up two field goals from
Brett Conway, and Davis' TD run made it 20-7. The Redskins then
went 69 yards on the first drive of the second half, with Banks
hitting Michael Westbrook for a 13-yard TD.

Dilfer's entrance created an anticlimactic Banks-Dilfer duel
featuring the quarterbacks of last year's Super Bowl champion
Baltimore Ravens. Dilfer threw a 46-yard touchdown pass to Jackson
in the third quarter to make the score 27-14. He drove the Seahawks
to the Redskins' 32 on the next possession, but threw incomplete on
fourth down under pressure from Kevin Mitchell.

Game notes
Seattle tackle John Randle sprained his left knee. ...
Davis (4,204) moved past Terry Allen (4,086) into third place on
the Redskins' career rushing list.