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Brunell: Back For Seconds

As a 13-year NFL veteran, Mark Brunell understands that quarterbacks are only as good as their last game.

Last week, of course, Brunell was one of the heroes of the big Monday night win over Dallas. Next week, he realizes that he could face criticism if the offense struggles against Seattle.

That's the way of the "what have you done for me lately" NFL.

It often takes a quarterback on even keel to thrive in the league.

"Everything is week to week," Brunell said. "Fortunately, we had a bye week, so we enjoyed the Dallas victory for a little bit. But it's a whole new ballgame against the Seahawks. That's where we stand."

Brunell, 35, is entering his second game as the Redskins' starting quarterback. He officially replaced Patrick Ramsey prior to the Week 2 game against at Dallas and led the Redskins to a dramatic 14-13 win over the Cowboys.

Brunell has played seven quarters so far this season and is 28-of-48 for 361 yards, two touchdowns, one interception and a QB rating of 87.2.

Asked if he feels comfortable in the offense after one start and two games played, Brunell replied: "It's a process. You have to get back into it. Every game, we'll get better and feel more comfortable. It's not just a quarterback-receiver thing. It's the entire offense.

"It's certain situations that we get in, whether it's the four-minute drill, two-minute drill, goal-line or red zone. There's a lot of work to be done, but our confidence is high. We feel good about the direction we're headed."

In the Dallas game, Brunell and the Redskins' offense struggled for much of the game. In the final minutes, he connected with wide receiver Santana Moss for a 39-yard touchdown and a 70-yard touchdown in the come-from-behind win.

"We got those because of the coverage," Brunell said. "We were fortunate. The safeties were sitting a little tight and we got behind them. If they're in a different coverage, we don't get those [touchdowns]. Maybe we won't see that coverage as much anymore."

Those two deep passes to Moss could have a long-lasting impact on the offense.

"We know now that we have the ability to go deep, get the ball downfield and make big plays," Brunell said. "Defenses have to respect that. Not being able to get those big plays has been a big thing around here for a while. Hopefully, we'll continue to get those big plays because that's how you win games."

Added head coach Joe Gibbs: "Any time the defense knows you can go deep and they're worried about you, they're obviously giong to play you soft. If they play you soft, it should help the run game. If they're not worried about the deep pass, they'll throw caution to the wind.

"That's why at this level, you have to be able to do everything. You have to run the ball well, throw it well and make big plays. If you're one dimensional, you're not going very far. If they pack the box, you're not running. If they set back on you, you're going to have a tough time throwing. You have to be balanced at this level."

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