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WASHINGTON 31, PHILADELPHIA 20

Portis Leads Playoff Charge

January 02, 2006|From the Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — Going back to the basics put Joe Gibbs and the Washington Redskins back in the playoffs.

Clinton Portis ran for 112 yards and two touchdowns, leading the Redskins to a hard-fought 31-20 victory over the woeful Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

Washington (10-6) clinched the NFL's final playoff spot and its first postseason berth since 1999 with its fifth straight win. The victory also eliminated Dallas from contention.

The Redskins play Tampa Bay (11-5) in an NFC wild-card game Saturday in their first playoff game since losing, 14-13, to the Buccaneers in a second-round matchup six years ago.

Just as it did against the Eagles, the Redskins relied heavily on the running game behind Portis and a strong defense to turn things around after losing three straight to fall to 5-6.

"The basics start with playing smart football, not turning it over and also running the football and playing solid defense," quarterback Mark Brunell said. "That's how you win. We've been doing those things. The first part of the year we weren't."

Mike McMahon threw two touchdown passes to Reggie Brown as Philadelphia (6-10) completed its first losing season since '99 after reaching the Super Bowl last February.

"We'll go back through and look at all of it," Coach Andy Reid said. "We've got to look at ourselves first, if we're putting guys in the right position ... and did they make the plays."

Gibbs led the Redskins to three Super Bowl titles during his first stint in Washington from 1981 to '92. His first season back after a 12-year retirement was a flop, with the Redskins going 6-10 last year, but he made the necessary adjustments.

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