Packers 37, Redskins 0

Tuesday, September 25th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) _ The Green Bay Packers swore they couldn't play any better than they did in their opener, and the Washington Redskins insisted they couldn't play any worse than they had in theirs.

Both were wrong.

The Packers routed the Redskins 37-0 Monday night behind three touchdown passes by Brett Favre and three field goals by Ryan Longwell.

They also got another 100-yard rushing day by Ahman Green, scored a touchdown on special teams and registered five sacks while yielding just 137 yards and keeping their opponent out of the end zone for the second straight week.

``It's a big thing for us offensively, defensively and special teams wise,'' Green said. ``It's what we worked for in the offseason and it's what we worked for during training camp.''

The Redskins left town as an even bigger mess than when they arrived.

``This game was ridiculous,'' wideout Michael Westbrook said. ``It was embarrassing.''

Washington didn't come close to scoring.

``It's embarrassing and I'll be the first to admit it,'' quarterback Jeff George said after his second straight miserable performance that had team owner Daniel Snyder squirming in his luxury box.

It was Green Bay's first shutout since beating the Raiders 28-0 on Dec. 28, 1993, and Washington's first game without scoring since Dec. 11, 1993, when they lost 3-0 to the New York Jets.

It also was Washington's first road shutout since 1971 and for the first time in franchise history the Redskins have not scored a touchdown in their first two games.

``I know they're struggling on offense, but to be able to keep them out of the end zone was really something,'' Packers coach Mike Sherman said.

The game capped the NFL's first weekend of play since it postponed all of Week 2 following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

After the long layoff, neither the Packers, who beat Detroit 28-6 on opening weekend, nor the Redskins, who lost to San Diego 30-3, knew if those games were true gauges.

But the Packers dominated from the opening kickoff, which followed a patriotic pregame ceremony in which players joined police officers and firefighters in holding a giant American flag in the shape of the United States at midfield.

``Our hearts went out to the rest of the country. We know we live in Green Bay and not New York or Washington, but we felt their pain,'' Sherman said. ``We focused this week on what we had to do and we did it.''

Linebacker Chris Gizzi, an Air Force reservist, led the Packers onto the field waving a huge American flag.

``That was a rush,'' Gizzi said. ``I'm trying to think of how to describe it. It felt like `Braveheart,' just running out there, screaming my head off. My head was going to pop off, my legs were pumping. It was a rush.

``Then you get to play a football game. It was awesome.''

Favre said it was good to get back to competition, but ``it's not so much what I'll remember about tonight. It's what I'll remember about the last two weeks. I don't think anyone will forget what happened and they shouldn't.''

The Redskins carried the extra burden of representing the nation's capital and many players had heavy hearts after visiting the Pentagon and hospitals last week.

Now, they return home searching for answers on the football field, too.

George, benched during the loss at San Diego, played even worse, handing Marty Schottenheimer his first 0-2 start in his 15-year NFL coaching career. He finished 15-of-24 for 102 yards, was sacked five times and threw an interception near his own end zone.

Michael Bates' day might have been worse.

One of the league's top return men, Bates committed a 15-yard personal foul on coverage duty and fumbled three times, the last of which was returned 27 yards for a touchdown by Rondell Mealey with three minutes left.

He also allowed a kickoff to bounce, leading to teammate Donovan Greer injuring a knee when he was caught in the pileup on the botched play.

``We're struggling. We have no idea what to do,'' tight end Stephen Alexander said.

George didn't blame Schottenheimer's system.

``No, that's an excuse. We're just getting our butts kicked,'' he said. ``Two games, three points, Monday Night Football. It's embarrassing and I don't have an answer.''

Neither does Schottenheimer.

``I don't know where to start,'' he said. ``It's my job and in the next day or two, I'll have some answers.''

Notes: Washington lost linebacker LaVar Arrington (knee) and defensive end Marco Coleman (elbow). The Packers lost rookie tight end David Martin (shoulder). ... Favre became the 12th quarterback to throw for 35,000 yards. ... The Packers have 12 sacks after getting just 38 last season.