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ESPN: Palmer, Ramsey struggle for second week

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Old 08-20-2005, 03:45 AM   #1
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ESPN: Palmer, Ramsey struggle for second week

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/recap?gameId=250819028

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) -- Patrick Ramsey's first pass into the end zone found James Thrash for a touchdown.

Ramsey's second pass into the end zone was also intended for Thrash, but it never should have been thrown. Tory James hauled it down for the first of his two interceptions.

Ramsey and Carson Palmer had similar tales to tell after the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Washington Redskins 24-17 Friday night. Both young quarterbacks showed some improvement after struggling last week, but they still need plenty of polish before the regular season begins in three weeks.

"Turnovers killed us today," said Ramsey, who was at fault for both interceptions and heard his first smattering of boos. "We've got to look at it and fix it."

Palmer went 2-for-9 with an interception against the first-string Redskins defense and didn't find his stride until Washington's backups were in the game. He hit Kelley Washington on the run for a 45-yard touchdown pass against rookie first-round draft pick Carlos Rogers and ended his night with a shovel pass to Chris Perry, who ran 13 yards for a score to help give the Bengals a 14-10 lead at halftime.

Palmer finished 12-for-24 for 152 yards and gave way in the second half to Jon Kitna, who hit Kevin Walter for a 22-yard touchdown in the third quarter. In two exhibition games, Palmer is 16-for-35 for 189 yards and two interceptions.

"We were better in some areas this week and worse in some areas," Palmer said. "We still have two more games to get sharp. There's still a lot of areas we need to fix up."

Meanwhile, Ramsey's first three drives went nowhere, but he got good field position after Rogers, making his debut after missing last week's game with an ankle injury, intercepted a pass and returned the ball to Cincinnati's 25. On the next play, Ramsey found Thrash in a seam in the defense in the back middle of the end zone.

"It was nice at the time because we scored," Thrash said. "But we need a lot more of those."

Ramsey did hit David Patten for three long passes totaling 109 yards, but the interceptions were the drive-killers. Ramsey did have one sustained drive end with a score -- an eight-play, 68-yard march during the 2-minute drill was capped by John Hall's 20-yard field goal on the last play of the half.

Ramsey finished 9-for-18 for 190 yards and was replaced by Mark Brunell after halftime. Ramsey is 17-for-30 for 267 yards and three interceptions over two games.

"The thing about it now is the games don't count," Patten said. "We've got two weeks to fix the problem. The thing I observed tonight -- after the picks, after the bad plays, he was still upbeat, he still took charge in the huddle."

For the second straight week, Brunell did his best to stoke a possible quarterback controversy by going 10-for-16 -- with several drops -- for 122 yards. Gibbs reaffirmed, however, that Ramsey is his starter.

The Bengals had a promising game from their second-round draft pick, linebacker Odell Thurman, who deflected a pass and had a sack. Peter Warrick made his 2005 debut after missing most of last season with a knee injury, but didn't catch a pass.

"I didn't really do anything today," Warrick said. "I just went out there to see how my knee felt."

First-round draft pick David Pollack, who ended a 19-day holdout on Wednesday, was in uniform for Cincinnati but did not play.

The Redskins rested numerous players with minor injuries, including five defensive backs and running back Clinton Portis (sore elbow). Ladell Betts started and rushed for 30 yards on six carries.

Game notes
Bengals receiver Tony Stewart left the game with a back injury in the first half and did not return. S Reggie Myles aggravated a groin injury and sat out the second half. ... Washington P Tom Tupa had a back spasm during warmups and did not play. ... Before the game, the Bengals released G Dan Lynch.
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