Final

Redskins 24

(6-6, 2-4 away)

Rams 9

(5-7, 3-3 home)

4:05 PM ET, December 4, 2005

 

1 2 3 4 T
WSH 7 3 0 1424
STL 0 7 0 29

Top Performers

Passing: R. Fitzpatrick (STL) - 163 YDS, 1 INT

Rushing: C. Portis (WSH) - 27 CAR, 136 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: T. Holt (STL) - 6 REC, 75 YDS

Portis, Redskins snap skid, shut down Fitzpatrick, Rams

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- In what amounted to a playoff elimination game, the Washington Redskins' defense refused to let their season go down the drain.

It was over when ...
The Rams couldn't get anything going against Washington's defense. The Redskins held St. Louis to a season-worst 210 total yards, and the Rams recorded just a safety after halftime.
Game ball goes to ...
Both Redskins defense and Clinton Portis, who ran for 136 yards and two TDs, which was pretty much all the offense Washington needed.
ESPN's take ...
Sean Salisbury This was a great win for the Redskins, but they have too much to overcome to make the playoffs. At the beginning of the season I thought this was a middle of the road 8-8 team and my thoughts haven't changed. They went through a stretch where the defense played exceptionally well, but right now they still have too many holes to make the playoffs this season.
-- Sean Salisbury

Clinton Portis and Rock Cartwright both topped 100 yards rushing and the defense made Ryan Fitzpatrick, the St. Louis Rams' rookie from Harvard, run for his life in a 24-9 victory Sunday that snapped Washington's three-game losing streak.

"You hate to say fight scared, play scared," linebacker LaVar Arrington said. "But at this point I think our guys are scared of missing the playoffs and scared of not having the chance to play for more than your pride and your dignity."

The Redskins rushed for a season-best 257 yards, getting 136 yards on 27 carries from Portis, to keep alive faint playoff hopes after losing the previous three games by a total of 10 points. They likely knocked the Rams (5-7), allowed the most yards rushing since they moved from the West Coast in 1995, from the field of playoff hopefuls.

St. Louis is an NFL-best 42-12 at home since 1999, but a pedestrian 3-3 this year. Seattle clinched the NFC West thanks to the Rams' loss.

"I ain't even worried about the playoffs or anything like that," defensive tackle Ryan Pickett said. "We've got to win a game."

The Redskins (6-6) didn't have an abundance of success on offense, either, except for five well-timed gains of 28 yards or more. Portis ran in untouched from 47 yards for the game's first score and Santana Moss' 30-yard catch from Mark Brunell set up Portis' second touchdown, a 1-yarder.

A 52-yard run by Cartwright set up John Hall's field goal at the end of the half. Cartwright, who entered the game with only 68 yards all season and 501 in four seasons, had 118 yards on only nine carries.

"The offensive line did a great job," Cartwright said. "All I had to do was get the ball and run with it."

Washington held the Rams to a season-worst 210 yards, 87 fewer than the team's previous low against Arizona in Week 2. Steven Jackson was bottled up, gaining 24 yards on 11 carries and catching four passes for 18 yards, and the Rams were reduced to one-dimensional status with 12 runs and 44 passes.

"We wanted to run the ball more, but every time we tried it they were in the backfield," interim coach Joe Vitt said. "Pretty soon you're just wasting plays."

Redskins defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has been mentioned as a possible successor to the ailing Mike Martz if the Rams decide to make a change. Team president John Shaw has been noncommittal on his status for next season.

Fitzpatrick, a seventh-round pick and third-string quarterback, led the Rams back from a 21-point deficit to an overtime victory at Houston last week filling in for injured Jamie Martin. The lone highlight of his first career start was a 7-yard scoring scramble in the second quarter that tied it at 7.

"It was a roller coaster ride, all the phone calls and e-mails last week," Fitzpatrick said. "Now, we've lost a game, so the bandwagon is gone."

Fitzpatrick, who threw for 310 yards in three quarters last week, was 21-for-36 for 163 yards, got sacked three times and was routinely flushed out of the pocket. He missed connections with Jackson on a handoff with 11:10 to go and the Rams trailing by eight, giving the Redskins the ball at the St. Louis 45.

That led to the clinching score, a 4-yard pass from Brunell to Chris Cooley.

The Rams closed within 17-9 after Brunell fumbled and then batted the ball out of the end zone for a safety.

Portis topped 1,000 yards for the fourth straight season. In the first half he was shaken up trying to block defensive tackle Damione Lewis, but topped 100 yards on his first carry of the second half, a 12-yarder.

Portis said Cartwright's success helped him feel better fast.

"I couldn't let him have all the yards," Portis said. "So I knew I had to shake the cobwebs off and get back on the field."

Game notes


Rams OLB Dexter Coakley dislocated his left ankle and broke his left leg in the first quarter and soon will undergo season-ending surgery. ... Arrington left in the second quarter with an injured right quadriceps, but returned in the second half. Arrington said the quad has been bothering him for almost a year and it stiffened. ... Torry Holt, who caught six passes for 75 yards, topped 1,000 yards for the sixth consecutive season. ... The last time the Rams allowed a pair of 100-yard rushers in the regular season was in 1980 against the Lions' Billy Sims and Dexter Bussey. The Rams surrendered 327 yards rushing and 100-yard games to Warrick Dunn and Michael Vick in their second-round playoff loss at Atlanta last season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Team Stat Comparison

 
WSH
STL
1st Downs1913
Passing 1st downs
810
Rushing 1st downs
112
1st downs from penalties
01
3rd down efficiency
8-145-15
4th down efficiency
0-01-1
Total Plays6356
Total Yards407191
Yards per play6.53.4
Total Drives1312
Passing150142
Comp-Att
14-2221-36
Yards per pass
6.53.6
Interceptions thrown
01
Sacks-Yards Lost
1-63-21
Rushing25749
Rushing Attempts
4017
Yards per rush
6.42.9
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-30-1
Penalties8-764-30
Turnovers02
Fumbles lost
01
Interceptions thrown
01
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession33:5826:02

Passing Leaders

WSHC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Brunell14/211567.4101-6
Portis0/100.0000-0
STLC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Fitzpatrick21/361634.5013-21

Rushing Leaders

WSHCARYDSAVGTDLG
Portis271365.0247
Cartwright911813.1052
STLCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jackson11242.209
Fitzpatrick5224.417

Receiving Leaders

WSHRECYDSAVGTDLG
Moss35819.3030
Cooley55811.6119
STLRECYDSAVGTDLG
Holt67512.5019
Bruce4338.3010

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERWSHSTL
wshTD10:38Clinton Portis, 47 yd run (John Hall kick is good)
Drive info: 2 plays, 48 yds, 0:37
70
SECOND QUARTERWSHSTL
stlTD7:16Ryan Fitzpatrick, 7 yd run (Jeff Wilkins kick is good)
Drive info: 12 plays, 86 yds, 4:49
77
wshFG3:16John Hall 30 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 9 plays, 63 yds, 3:43
107
FOURTH QUARTERWSHSTL
wshTD13:49Clinton Portis, 1 yd run (John Hall kick is good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 69 yds, 11:46
177
stlSF11:59Safety
Drive info: 1 plays, -6 yds, 0:00
179
wshTD5:54Chris Cooley, 4 yd pass from Mark Brunell (John Hall kick is good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 45 yds, 5:16
249