LANDOVER, Md. (AP) -- All it took was some red socks and a load
of work to get Clinton Portis and the Washington Redskins past the
20-point barrier, an accomplishment celebrated by the return of the
flamboyant running back's championship belt.
Marginalized during the team's three-game losing streak, Portis
got the ball early and often Sunday. He gained 148 yards on 31
carries, running for one touchdown and scoring another on a shovel
pass in the Redskins' 31-7 victory over the New York Giants.
"I knew the team was going to be depending on me, and we
finally went out and gave the defense what they wanted -- that was
21 points," Portis said. "At halftime, we told them they'd better
not blow the game for us."
The Redskins (4-8) led 21-0 at halftime and scored 20 in a game
for the first time since Joe Gibbs returned as coach, ending their
longest such drought since the 1930s. They scored more points than
in their last three games combined, and they hit 30 for the first
time since Week 2 of last season.
Portis had only six carries in last week's loss at Pittsburgh,
but Gibbs gave him the ball on the first five plays and seven times
in the opening drive. Portis has 1,093 yards on the season, giving
him 1,000-plus in each of his first three years.
And, yes, the unpredictable fashion connoisseur did it all
wearing red socks.
"I'll probably get fined, but white socks have been killing us,
man," Portis said. "I had to go out and change my outfit. If
you're not looking sweet, you really can't play too sweet."
As he walked off the field, Portis wore a fighter's championship
belt, just as he did after rushing for five TDs for Denver last
year against Kansas City and proclaimed himself rushing champion
above Priest Holmes.
"This week, they've been talking about Tiki Barber being the
best back in the NFL," Portis said. "I think I'm the best back in
the NFL. I haven't had the opportunity -- we haven't really got
rolling. But when we get going, I'm going to prove to be worth
Patrick Ramsey, making his third start since Mark Brunell was
benched, completed 19 of 22 passes for 174 yards and three
touchdowns. The first two scoring drives went 93 and 91 yards
against a Giants defensive line missing three-quarters of its
opening day starters. The Redskins are 4-0 when Portis runs for 100
yards, 0-8 when he doesn't.
"He really wanted the ball, he always does," Gibbs said. "I
think after a couple of weeks of us not doing very well with the
running game, I think he was really fired up. A lot of things that
haven't been going well for us during the year went well for us
Derrick Ward's 92-yard kickoff return in the third quarter was
the only score for the Giants (5-7), who have lost five straight
and are fading fast from the playoff race. No. 1 overall draft pick
Eli Manning fell to 0-3 as a starter, completing 12 of 25 passes
for just 113 yards, including a 48-yard pass to Amani Toomer in
garbage time. Manning has led just one touchdown drive in three
The Giants were as hopeless as the Redskins were efficient. New
York had just seven first downs and 145 total yards. Barber rushed
for 38 yards on 15 carries. Jeff Feagles had a punt blocked by Walt
Harris, setting up Washington's third touchdown.
"We knew exactly what the Redskins would do, and we still
didn't stop them," said coach Tom Coughlin, adding that he will
stick with Manning. "We physically got whipped up front on both
sides of the ball. ... I don't see anybody who's not trying at all.
I see frustration out there. I don't think anybody's more
frustrated than I am."
The defensive line, already missing Michael Strahan and Keith
Washington for the season, played without tackle Norman Hand
because of a groin injury. Regan Upshaw, signed a few days ago,
played with "cheat sheets" taped to his wrist so that he would
know the plays. The Giants had a 2-to-1 deficit in time of
"They'd get seven yards on first down running the ball right
down our throat," defensive end Osi Umenyiora said. "It was just
awful. I don't think it was a breakdown in our scheme. It was just
a breakdown in the way we were playing."
Washington DE Phillip Daniels could be lost for the season
after dislocating a bone in his left wrist. Sunday was his first
game after missing four with a strained hamstring. ... Randy
Thomas, expected to out two to four weeks with a strained
hamstring, returned to start at right guard after missing just one
game. ... Giants C Shaun O'Hara returned after missing two games
with an ankle injury. LB Barrett Green sprained an ankle.