Redskin fans were faced with an interesting position for the first time in a while during this 2004 season... little to gripe about. In what can only modestly be described as an outbreak, the Redskins offense struck for 31 points and staked Washington to just their fourth victory of the season. While the season has often been described as 'wasted' or 'lost', the Redskins really appear to finally be 'getting it'.
Clinton Portis came out and proved that nobody was more embarrassed about last week's paltry performance than he was, with his best game of the season. Portis and the offensive line dominated the injured Giants defensive line and allowed Joe Gibbs to do what he likes to do most... eat clock. The brash, young runningback registered 148 yards and went over the 1000-yard mark on the season. His two first half touchdowns were a sure sign that the Redskins offense might finally be starting to settle in a little, as they looked much, much more comfortable in the red zone.
Patrick Ramsey answered all of his critics with a rock-solid performance. Though his 174 yards are less than inspiring, his 19 for 22 completions (86%) is a definite sign of two things... patience and protection. Very few mistakes and a little poise went a long way to making Ramsey seem much more like the quarterback that Redskin fans have been waiting to see take the reigns from Mark Brunell.
The offensive line provided Ramsey with good protection as well as opening holes for Portis in what can easily be described as their best game for weeks, if not all season. The Redskins ran the ball down the Giants throat and then they ran it some more. Washington's 200+ rushing yards has to be credited as much to the line as it is to the backs. Other than a few silly penalties, it was a near flawless performance.
All the Redskins defense did was pitch a shutout. With the Giants only score of the game coming on a 92-yard kickoff return by Derrick Ward, Washington's defense was staunch once again. One of the league's most prolific players in 2004, Tiki Barber, was stuffed for just 38 yards on 15 carries and he had no receptions. In fact, the entire Giants' offense could muster just 151 yards and 48 of those came on a pass to Amani Toomer when the game was already decided. Simply marvelous again, the defense must have been absolutely elated to finally get some support from the offense.
At 4-8, the playoffs would seem a distant probability, though they are still a possibility if the Redskins could run out the schedule. With next week's game coming against a Philadelphia Eagles team that lambasted the Green Bay Packers 47 - 17 on Sunday to move to 11-1, that certainly won't be easy. But whether the playoff are on the horizon or not, one thing looks for sure, the Washington Redskins are coming around.
This article was released on 2004-12-05.
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