Skins boost playoff hopes with convincing win over Giants

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- With every game having playoff implications for the Redskins these days, Clinton Portis and the new proud pop, Todd Collins, made sure Washington had something to play for next week.

Portis ran for 126 yards and a touchdown and Collins led the Redskins on five scoring drives in his first start in 10 years, outplaying Eli Manning in a 22-10 victory that put a little doubt into the New York Giants' once seemingly certain road to the postseason.

"It was another game we had to get and we just have to keep it going," Portis said after Washington (7-7) won its second straight game and moved within a half-game of Minnesota for a wild-card berth. "We have a lot of strong will in this room."

After losing four straight, Washington is back in the hunt after enduring the tragic shooting death of Pro Bowl safety Sean Taylor in late November.

The Vikings (7-6) play the Chicago Bears on Monday night, before meeting the Redskins in Minnesota next week. New Orleans also is 7-7 with two games to play.

"We're thrilled," Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said. "I told our players that they were taking me for a ride."

No one had a wilder ride this week than Collins, the journeyman who took over as the starting quarterback after Jason Campbell was hurt against the Bears 10 days ago.

Not only did he lead them to victory again, he did it two days after his wife, Andrea, gave birth to their second child, Jack. Collins was in Boston for the birth on Friday and flew to the game Sunday morning in owner Daniel Snyder's private jet.

"I definitely felt an electricity in the locker room before the game, like there was something special going on," said Collins, who completed 8-of-25 passes for 166 yards. "The guys were really pumped up. I don't know if it was Sean or what, but it was not a surprise that we came out and played the way we did."

The loss was the third straight at home for the Giants (9-5), and this one was costly as Pro Bowl tight end Jeremy Shockey was lost for the season with a broken left leg early in the second half.

New York still can clinch a playoff berth with a win at Buffalo next weekend. It had better win, because the final regular-season game is at home against New England, which will probably be looking to put the finishing touches on a perfect regular season.

"It's just disappointing with everything on the line and everything that we had, win the game and we're in the playoffs, and in that situation to come out and play as poorly as we did," Manning said.

Portis scored on a 5-yard run, Ladell Betts got in from 14 yards out on a draw play and Shaun Suisham kicked three field goals on a blustery evening. The swirling wind knocked down passes, blew rolling punts an extra 20 yards and made life miserable for the offenses.

Manning had a horrible night, completing 18-of-52 for 184 yards in a game in which his receivers dropped at least eight passes.

"It wasn't a day where you wanted to throw the ball a whole lot, but we've got to be able to throw better than we did today," said Manning, whose 34 incompletions were the most since Joe Namath had 36 in a game against Denver in 1967. "We've got to be able to execute better."

The biggest drop was by veteran Amani Toomer late in the third quarter with New York trailing 22-10.

Manning had hit rookie Kevin Boss with a 19-yard touchdown pass on the previous series and he found Toomer wide open around midfield with a wind-whipped wobbly pass. With no one around him, the Giants' all-time leading receiver dropped the certain touchdown.

The drive eventually ended with Lawrence Tynes missing a 38-yard field goal and New York never threatened again.

Suisham gave Washington the lead for good late in the first quarter with a 49-yarder with a stiff wind behind his back. He added a 31-yarder through the wind in the second quarter after Collins hit consecutive passes of 36 yards to Santana Moss and 30 yards to Todd Yoder.

A 34-yard sideline route to Moss set up Betts' touchdown run for a 13-0 lead.

A silly personal foul against LaRon Landry for taunting after a third-down incompletion got New York on the scoreboard with 1:16 left in the half on Tynes' 35-yard field goal.

Washington came right back with a 28-yard field goal from Suisham on the final play of the half. Portis got the drive going with a 31-yard run and a 15-yard facemask penalty on Sam Madison.

The Redskins, who have blown leads in five of their seven losses, made sure that didn't happen this time, taking the opening kickoff and scoring on Portis' run.

Shockey was hurt on the next series when Toomer rolled into the back of his leg at the end of a running play.

Game notes
Washington is now 2-0 at Giants Stadium this year. It beat the Jets 23-20 in overtime on Nov. 4. ... Giants HB Brandon Jacobs ran for 130 yards on 25 carries, the total a yard shy of his career best set earlier this year in London. ... Sinorice Moss had a career-best five receptions for 53 yards. His brother Santana led Washington with three catches for 75 yards. ... The Giants' practice bubble collapsed early Sunday morning in heavy wind. ... Giants special teams star David Tyree missed the game because of the death of his mother on Saturday.


ESPN Fan Shop Powered By

  • Nike Youth Home Game Jersey Washington Redskins Robert Griffin III #10Shop

  • Nike Boys' Home Game Jersey New York Giants Jason Pierre-Paul #90Shop

NFL News