Portis Pounds Seattle in Redskins Win

Injured hip doesn't stop NFL's top back

Jim Zorn turned to Shaun Alexander as the clock expired and gave the former NFL MVP a hug.

"We got them here!" Zorn said to his fellow former Seahawk.

Two playoff defeats in the Northwest left the Redskins wondering if they would ever win in Seattle again. Clinton Portis, and Zorn's return to the city where he was a star quarterback and influential assistant coach, ended all that with a 20-17 win over the sunken Seahawks.

The indestructible Portis romped through pain for 143 yards on 29 carries to lead the Redskins (7-4) to their first victory in almost a month and keep them tied for second place in the NFC East.

They play host to the division-leading New York Giants (10-1) next Sunday.

"Big game," quarterback Jason Campbell said after he completed 20 of 33 passes for 206 yards and a touchdown late in third quarter that gave Washington a 17-10 lead.

So big, guard Randy Thomas said, that the Redskins were planning on watching film of the Giants on their flight home early Monday morning.

The battered Portis might not have watched -- he probably slept.

Portis was questionable after missing most of practice last week because of a sprained knee. Then, the NFL's leader in yards from scrimmage pulled a muscle near his hip late in the first half. He had blood on both his arms and legs. He said he made a hard plant that almost blew out that sprained knee. A wayward elbow nearly knocked him out. And a hit hurt his ribs.

"What didn't I tweak?" he said.

Yet he kept plowing to his first 100-yard day since Washington's last win, on Oct. 26 at Detroit.

"He went to heroics, not being able to go all week. He was a warrior," Zorn said.

Zorn said he prepared Alexander to run for Portis in the second half. It would have been Alexander's first game against his former team, but he remained on the sideline instead.

Portis would not come out.

Sunday's decisive score that dropped Seattle to 2-9 -- its worst start since 1992's 2-14 squad -- came after Campbell found Santana Moss alone in the flat on third-and-5 from the Redskins' 49 early in the fourth quarter. Moss ran through Lofa Tatupu's tackle for a 24-yard gain to the Seahawks' 27.

That set up the second field goal of the game by Shaun Suisham, from 22 yards, and Washington led 20-17 with 9:19 left.
Seattle tied the game at 17 early in the final quarter on a 10-yard touchdown pass from shaky Matt Hasselbeck, who was 12-for-24 for just 103 yards with two TDs and two interceptions.

Moss was lucky to even be playing. He swung his left arm and missed with a wild haymaker toward the helmet of Seattle's diminutive Josh Wilson, 20 yards away from a 2-yard run by Portis in the second quarter. Officials only flagged Moss for unnecessary roughness.

The Redskins were pinned by a downed punt at their 4 with seven minutes left while leading 20-17. Portis then ripped off runs of 9, 11 and 20 yards, leading Washington into Seahawks territory. But then Ladell Betts, who earlier ran for a touchdown, fumbled.

But Hasselbeck flipped an underthrown pass on the next play intended for Koren Robinson that former Seahawk Shawn Springs intercepted near midfield with 1:20 left.

Springs, coming back from a strained calf, said he was familiar with the play because Zorn prepped the defense for it all week.
It was the second consecutive week Hasselbeck threw a late interception with the game on the line. Last week, he said it was because he was physically beaten up by Arizona. Sunday, it was because he screwed up.

"I have to go through the progression (of receivers)," Hasselbeck said. "That guy was No. 2. Keep going to No. 5 if I have to, but don't do that. That's the last thing I can do.

"If I just am not careless with the football we have a chance to win the game. I have to just fix it quick."

Portis could use more fixing by not practicing much for a third consecutive week.

Big deal.

"I've been playing in the league for seven years. My reads don't change. Obviously, I've got an understanding of the game," he said. "It's not like I'm not doing anything. I'm in the training room trying to get my strength back."

Notes: RB Maurice Morris started for healthy Julius Jones and finished with 103 yards on 14 carries, Seattle's first 100-yard day since Jones had one in Week 3. ... The Seahawks have lost four straight in Seattle. The last time that happened was in 1992. They were an NFC-best 42-14 at home since 2001 before this season.

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