Each week, THN will choose their three players of the game at each position. Here are week fourteen's selections:
Offense: Clinton Portis
Portis once again led the Redskins’ offense and helped lift the ‘Skins to another victory. Portis had his sixth 100-yard rushing game of the year and his second in as many weeks.
With the Cardinals leading by 7, the Redskins opened the second half with a strong emphasis on the run. Capping off a drive consisting of 10 runs with only 3 passes, Portis held onto lead blocker Mike Sellers’ jersey to keep his balance on an amazing 15-yard touchdown run, which tied the game at 10 points apiece.
On a crucial third down in the Redskins’ final offensive possession, Portis ran into what seemed to be a brick wall of his own linemen and Cardinal defenders. But with an outstanding second effort, and help from his fellow linemen pushing him forward, Portis was able to convert the first down and help clinch the victory.
Portis continued to provide excellent protection for Mark Brunell, throwing his body in front of defensive linemen and linebackers alike. Portis also pitched in by aiding the passing game with 3 receptions for 16 yards, topping off another all-around great performance.
Defense: Sean Taylor
Taylor set the tone for the Redskins defense by picking off quarterback Kurt Warner on the sixth play of the game and returning it 2 yards to Washington’s own 37. The offense was unable to make the most of that opportunity with their first drive resulting in an interception that was tipped off the fingers of Chris Cooley.
Late in the second quarter, Taylor also forced a Marcel Shipp fumble that was recovered by linebacker Warrick Holdman.
His most important play came on a pitch to Arizona’s J.J. Arrington. With just over two minutes remaining, the rookie running back had two yards to go on fourth down. Taylor came flying through the defense and stopped him one yard short of the first down, essentially sealing the victory for the Redskins.
Special Teams: Antonio Brown
Brown was not employed by an NFL team three and a half weeks ago. Brown was given his walking papers by the Redskins after being infected by the fumble bug during the final week of the preseason and on Opening Day against Chicago.
Brown’s speed and return ability, however, were never in question, and it appears the former West Virginia Mountaineer has redeemed himself in the eyes of Redskins fans in the span of 11 seconds.
On multiple occasions the last two games, Brown appeared on the cusp of breaking loose. With 3:40 left in the third quarter, it finally happened. With a large gap to run through, Brown returned a kickoff 91 yards for the first touchdown of his career.
The third-year special teamer averaged 45.3 yards on 3 kickoff returns.