Washington (5-8) versus Philadelphia (10-3)
Patrick Ramsey will start
Patrick Ramsey will start

Posted Dec 14, 2002

Offensive player to watch: Quarterback Patrick Ramsey. He'll make his third start of the season and his first two, against New Orleans and Green Bay, went poorly. The Redskins must be careful with Ramsey against the Eagles. Few teams disguise coverages as well as they do, because of a talented secondary, and they blitz well. Or they can sit back in a cover two and confuse Ramsey. Either way it's a major test.

And keep an eye on: Receiver Derrius Thompson. He's caught 12 passes the past two games, but we're skeptical considering who he's faced. Dallas' corners aren't very good and New York used a third string corner against him. This game will reveal how much he's improved.

Defensive player to watch: Rookie corner Rashad Bauman. He's supplanted Darrell Green as the nickel corner, at least some of the time. This game will be a good test considering the Eagles' receiver depth. They might lack a true stud, but they have three good wideouts in Todd Pinkston, James Thrash and Antonio Freeman.

And keep an eye on: Defensive tackle Daryl Gardener. He's always the key up front, but expect even more double teaming than usual, which is hard to believe can happen. If the Eagles can slow him, they'll control the tempo.

Don't be surprised if: Eagles punt returner Brian Mitchell breaks one against his old team. The Redskins' coverage units have slipped of late and Mitchell is having one of his best seasons. Besides, he knows Vinny Cerrato will be watching and nothing fires him up more than proving Cerrato wrong. Mitchell despises him. And that's on a good day.

How the Redskins can win: By pressuring A.J. Feeley and forcing turnovers. They might even have to score on defense, or at least constantly give the offense good field position. The Redskins must stop running back Duce Staley, forcing Feeley to make a few plays. Offensively, Washington needs to run at the outside linebackers and end Hugh Douglas. The Eagles have a major edge in the interior. Misdirection must be used to keep Philly off-balance. If Washington becomes one-dimensional against the Eagles, look for an early rout.

Stats: Washington has lost nine of its last 13 games at Veterans Stadium. The Redskins are 16-16 at the Vet. The Eagles have won 11 straight NFC games, dating to last season.

Quotes on the Vet, where the Redskins will play for the final time:

Redskins LB Eddie Mason, ''It's not going to change up there. It'll just be a pretty environment [at the new stadium], but those fans will still bring that nasty, hostile attitude to the stadium.''

Redskins CB Champ Bailey, ''I swear after every series it seems like there's a fight breaking out in the stands. Two years ago [receiver] Irving Fryar was hurt and the fans were cheering. I hated the fans for that.''

Bailey on the Vet having a jail, ''They need it.''

Redskins OG Tre Johnson, who once tore his knee playing for Temple at the Vet, ''I played in the Vet enough for a lifetime or two. They can do whatever they want with it.''

Redskins CB Darrell Green, ''As an opponent, I say good riddance. I'm happy to see it go.''

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CB Champ Bailey (profile)
CB Rashad Bauman (profile)
DT Daryl Gardener (profile)
CB Darrell Green (profile)
OG Tre Johnson (profile)
OLB Eddie Mason (profile)
QB Patrick Ramsey (profile)
WR Derrius Thompson (profile)
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