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Doug Williams sent a message Sunday to all NFL...

By WILL DUNHAM, UPI Sports Writer

WASHINGTON -- Doug Williams sent a message Sunday to all NFL teams in need of a starting quarterback -- you blew it.

The Washington Redskins' reserve quarterback, who drew no serious offers when he was shopped around the league as trade bait this summer, came off the bench to spark a 34-24 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in the season opener.

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Replacing an injured Jay Schroeder in the first quarter, the strong-armed seven-year NFL veteran passed for 272 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Art Monk.

'I just hope some of the people who never called to give Doug Williams a chance, I hope they hurt,' Williams said. 'What this does to me is tell me I'll be in Washington.'

The Redskins only offseason offer for Williams was by the Los Angeles Raiders -- a future fourth-round draft pick. The Raiders are opening their season with untested Rusty Hilger at quarterback.

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Williams took over for Schroeder after the starter sustained a sprained right shoulder when he was hit by defensive end Reggie White while releasing the ball on Washington's second possession of the game. Coach Joe Gibbs said Schroeder could miss 'several weeks.'

Williams, signed as 'insurance' behind Schroeder last season by the Redskins, completed 17 of 27 passes, including a 6-yard first-quarter TD pass and a 39-yard fourth-quarter scoring pass to Monk. Williams played the first five seasons of his pro career at Tampa Bay and played two years in the defunct USFL.

'It's great to be in control,' Williams said. 'It's been a long time since I've been the key figure as far as the team leader and everything like that, but by the same token it's the same old feeling that it used to be. The guys had confidence in me and that made the difference.'

White brought the Eagles into a 24-24 tie with eight seconds remaining in the third quarter when he burst past rookie tackle Ed Simmons, ripped the ball from Williams' hands on a sack and ran untouched 70 yards for a touchdown.

'I didn't hear footsteps, I just saw the endzone,' White said.

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Keith Griffin returned the ensuing kickoff 54 yards and Monk, isolated in coverage against linebacker Seth Joyner, caught the 39-yard TD pass from Williams on a deep slant pattern on the next play for a 31-24 lead seven seconds into the fourth quarter.

Williams' 46-yard pass to Gary Clark set up Steve Cox's 40-yard field goal with 5:20 to play for a 34-24 lead. Cox, the team's punter and kickoff man, took as the kicker because Jess Atkinson suffered a fractured ankle.

'Losing ugly ain't worth a damn thing to me,' Philadelphia Coach Buddy Ryan said.

'Doug and I have had several hard-fought discussions because you talk about his future, what's best for him and all that,' Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs said. 'It's kind of tough, but this is why you have him.'

Clark caught eight passes for 102 yards and Ricky Sanders added four catches for 81 yards.

Philadelphia committed four turnovers, two on interceptions of Randall Cunningham passes. Cunningham was sacked four times. The Eagles set an NFL record last season by allowing their quarterbacks to be sacked 104 times.

Cunningham completed 21 of 37 passes for 269 yards and threw a 30-yard second-quarter TD pass to Mike Quick and rushed for a 2-yard TD in the third quarter.

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'We repeated our mistakes over and over and didn't settle down,' Quick said. 'Everyone was hyper. You could say it was symptoms of a young ballclub.'

The Redskins extended their NFL record for consecutive home sellouts to 159, dating back to 1966.

The Redskins took a 3-0 lead on Atkinson's 27-yard field goal four plays after recovering the second of two first-period fumbles by running back Anthony Toney. Schroeder was hurt on the second play of the drive, but remained in on third down, throwing an incomplete pass.

Atkinson suffered a dislocated left ankle on the field goal when Phiadelphia's Andre Waters was blocked into him. The third-year kicker was taken off the field on a stretcher and taken by ambulance to Arlington Hospital. Cox connected on all three extra points and his only field-goal attempt.

The Redskins extended their NFL record for consecutive home sellouts to 159, dating back to 1966.

The Redskins took a 3-0 lead on Atkinson's 27-yard field goal four plays after recovering the second of two first-period fumbles by running back Anthony Toney. Schroeder was hurt on the second play of the drive, but remained in on third down, throwing an incomplete pass.

X-rays taken at the stadium proved negative and Schroeder remained in uniform on the sideline for the rest of the game. Schroeder was a Pro Bowl performer last season, his first full season as starter.

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Atkinson suffered a dislocated left ankle on the field goal when Phiadelphia's Andre Waters was blocked into him. The third-year kicker was taken off the field on a stretcher and taken by ambulance to Arlington Hospital. Cox connected on all three extra points and his only field-goal attempt.

Williams engineered a 37-yard, eight-play drive on the next Redskin possession, capped by Art Monk's 6-yard TD catch over defenders Williams Frizzell and Terry Hoage.

The Eagles tied the score 10-10 with the 30-yard TD pass from Cunningham to Quick, who beat Darrell Green down the left sideline, and a 42-yard Paul McFadden field goal at 9:28 of the second quarter.

Washington led 17-10 at halftime after a strange series of events. After an unsportsmanlike conduct call wiped out a 36-yard gain on a fake punt, Philadelphia punter John Teltschik, who passed the ball to Frizzell on the prior play, ended up 2 yards short on a run on a fake punt on the next play, giving Washington possession at the Eagles 38.

Williams passed 34 yards to Kelvin Bryant to the 4 and George Rogers followed the block of Reggie Branch for a 1-yard TD run two plays later with 38 seconds left in the first half. Rogers suffered a sprained shoulder on the play and missed the rest of the game.

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Ricky Sanders outran Frizzell and grabbed a 57-yard pass from Williams on a post pattern to the Eagles 1. Branch powered over for a 1-yard score on the next play for a 24-10 lead at 3:48 of the third period.

Cunningham scored on a 2-yard run on fourth-and-goalto draw the Eagles within 24-17 at 10:41 of the third quarter. Kenny Jackson beat Washington's Barry Wilburn for a 34-yard pass from Cunningham to the Redskins 11 to set up the score.

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