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Portis Is Best Option

"I told [Coles] I needed this, for my quarterback rating," Portis said.

Leading up to the pass, Portis had opened the second half with consecutive 21-yard runs. After a slump early in the season, Portis has regained his swagger, displaying the razor-sharp cutbacks that made him one of the league's top tailbacks.


Fred Smoot, left, swoops in to intercept Joey Harrington's up-for-grabs pass intended for Detroit's David Kircus in the end zone midway in the fourth quarter. Safety Todd Franz helps out. (Jonathan Newton - Jonathan Newton -- The Washington Post)


Game Day: Redskins 17, Lions 10
 Redskins
Clinton Portis runs for 147 yards and throws a tiebreaking touchdown pass to lead the Redskins.
Michael Wilbon: Redskins can still muscle up a victory the old-fashioned way.
Special teams, led by James Thrash, play significant role.
Notebook: Defensive end Phillip Daniels could be lost indefinitely.
News Graphic: The record's the same as '03, but games closer.
Play of the Game: Portis hits Laveranues Coles with a 15-yard TD.
Best & Worst
Sunday's Post: In year five, owner Daniel Snyder keeps his distance.

_____ On Our Site _____
 Postgame Quiz
Photos
Given that the Eagles look human after all, maybe it was too early to panic. While you contemplate all this, try our postgame quiz.
Summary
Grade the Redskins.
Talk about the game.

_____ As Portis Goes ... _____
Whether its cause or effect, when Clinton Portis rushes well and often, the Redskins win:

Per Game In In
Average Wins Losses
Carries 33 21
Yards 155.3 68.8
Yards per carry 4.7 3.3

_____ Chat House _____
Get Michael Wilbon's take on the game at 1 p.m. EST Monday.
Submit questions.

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_____ NFL Insider _____
Post's Mark Maske on all things NFL -- only on washingtonpost.com.


_____  Week 9 Games/Results _____
Washington 17, Detroit 10
Baltimore 27, Browns 13
Buffalo 22, N.Y. Jets 17
Tampa Bay 34, Kansas City 31
Pittsburgh 27, Philadelphia 3
Arizona 24, Miami 23
Cincinnati 26, Dallas 3
Oakland 27, Carolina 24
Seattle 42, San Francisco 27
San Diego 43, New Orleans 17
Chicago 28, N.Y. Giants 21
Denver 31, Houston 13
New England 40, St. Louis 22

Monday
Indianapolis 31, Minnesota 28

Open Date
Atlanta, Green Bay, Tennessee, Jacksonville

What's Your Opinion?
Who's going to win this week?


_____NFL Basics_____
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Portis had been lobbying for an option pass since the season started and Gibbs relented on Sunday. The play was set up by Portis's success on the ground.

"It was a dream of mine, it started when I was 8," Portis said of his first career NFL pass.

Gibbs said: "He swore to me that he could throw the football. After we threw it, he wanted to throw it again. He told me they wouldn't be expecting it the next time. I told him he's right, they won't expect it because we're not going to throw it."

It is when Portis runs well, however, that the Redskins have success. In the team's Week 1 victory over Tampa Bay, Portis ran for 148 yards. Two weeks ago, Portis gained 171 yards on 36 carries as the Redskins defeated the Chicago Bears, 13-10. Last week against the Green Bay Packers, he gained 70 yards on only 17 carries as the Redskins lost, 28-14.

With 4:40 left in the third quarter, the Redskins exploited a slow snap from Lions center Jody Littleton to punter Nick Harris at the Detroit 27-yard line. Jacobs, Washington's speedy wideout, sprinted from the left side to block Harris's punt just ahead of safety Todd Franz. "I got such a good jump on the ball," Jacobs said. "When the ball moved, I moved."

The Redskins' Harris pounced on the ball on the Detroit 13-yard line alongside a few teammates and trotted into the end zone to give Washington a 17-3 lead. Jacobs couldn't find the ball after the block, and was thrilled to see Harris being mobbed by teammates in the end zone.

"I was looking hard but I saw Walt go into the end zone so I said: 'My job is done.' " Jacobs said.

Harris said, "I pretty much did the easy work."

The sequence has been so rare that Jacobs was only 1 year old the last time the Redskins returned a block for a touchdown: Sept. 19, 1982, when Curtis Jordan did so against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Down by two touchdowns, Detroit turned desperate with about six minutes left in the game and went for it on fourth and 18 from the Washington 28-yard line. But Smoot leaped high for an interception on the left side of the end zone.

Lions quarterback Joey Harrington threw a one-yard touchdown pass to fullback Cory Schlesinger with just over two minutes remaining, but Redskins rookie Sean Taylor -- back in the lineup after missing a game following his drunken-driving arrest -- recovered the Lions' ensuing onside kick.

"It was too little too late," Lions Coach Steve Mariucci said.


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