LANDOVER, Md. -- Despite falling short 27-24 against the New England Patriots, the Washington Redskins got one monkey off their backs in the first half Friday night. Their first unit on offense finally punched one in the end zone.
With 10:10 remaining in the first quarter, running back Marcus Mason tumbled across the goal line for the first score of the game.
The Skins then surrendered three straight scores to the New England Patriots, falling behind 17-7.
Surprisingly, the team rebounded. An impressive 91-yard drive ended with Jason Campbell keeping the ball for a 4-yard score. Then they played a little two-minute drill but couldn't quite cross the goal line for a TD, instead settling for a 25-yard Dave Rayner field goal with 5 seconds left in the half.
That tied the game at 17 heading into the locker room.
The Skins stayed with the Pats until the end. The backups traded touchdowns -- one for New England off of a Colt Brennan interception and one for Washington on Brennan TD pass -- but with time running down, New England got great field position for their last possession and held the ball for a late field goal and the 27-24 win.
Skins quarterback Jason Campbell looked just as good as everybody's All-America -- Tom Brady -- completing 11 of 19 pass attempts for 190 yards in the first half. He finished 13 of 22 for 209 after taking the field for one more series to start the second half.
Brady put on a regular season show in the preseason before leaving with a sore throwing shoulder. He completed 12 of 19 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns, but he had his right shoulder pressed to the ground by the massive defensive tackle with the massive contract -- Albert Haynesworth -- after an incomplete pass late in the second quarter. Brady flexed his throwing arm on the sideline and did not play in the second half.