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Best and Worst

Monday, October 18, 2004; Page D13

Best Feeling (Sort of): After four consecutive losses, the Redskins can feel a little better about themselves heading into the bye week with a victory over the Bears. But then consider that the combined record of the teams the Redskins have beaten is 2-8.

Best Traditions: The Redskins and Bears are among two of the most successful franchises in league history, with 12 NFL titles between them. They are also two of four franchises with at least 500 victories. The other two are the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers.

Game Day: Redskins 13, Bears 10
 Redskins, Game 6
Clinton Portis gains 171 yards and the Redskins end a four-game losing streak with an ugly 13-10 victory at Soldier Field.
Michael Wilbon: Washington's dominating 'D' brings its 'A' game.
News Graphic: Redskins offense has given up four touchdowns.
Ola Kimrin was home in Sweden on Thursday when the Redskins called.
Chicago reaches a new low at QB with 65 yards from Jonathan Quinn.
Play of the Game: Sean Taylor sacks Quinn with 1:33 left in third.
Notebook: Mark Brunell will keep his starting job vs. Green Bay.
Best & Worst

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 Postgame Quiz
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_____ Biggest Impact? _____
At the bye week, which newcomer has had the biggest impact?
Cornelius Griffin
Clinton Portis
Shawn Springs
Sean Taylor
Marcus Washington

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Best Workhorse: This is what the Redskins envisioned from running back Clinton Portis when they traded franchise cornerback Champ Bailey for him. Portis had his best game with the Redskins, gaining 171 yards on 36 carries.

Best Defense: The Redskins continue to play stingy defense despite the absence of some notable players, including linebacker LaVar Arrington and safety Matt Bowen. Yesterday they gave up 160 yards total offense and nine first downs to the Bears and limited quarterback Jonathan Quinn to 10-of-22 passing for 65 yards.

Worst Passing: Mark Brunell continues to struggle in Joe Gibbs's offense. The quarterback signed to a $43 million contract finished 8 for 22 for 95 yards, one touchdown and one interception and was well off target on a number of throws.

Best Drive: The Redskins marched 79 yards on eight plays in 4 minutes 11 seconds bridging the first and second quarters, capping the possession with an 18-yard touchdown pass from Brunell to wide receiver Rod Gardner for a 10-0 lead.

Best Kicking: Signed Saturday to replace injured John Hall, kicker Ola Kimrin eased worries by making a 41-yard field goal with 5:46 to play in the first quarter and adding a 26-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.

Best Blocking: The Redskins appeared resigned to getting a few yards for punting room on third down and nine in the second quarter, but Ladell Betts followed Chris Samuels's lead around left end for 10 yards to move Washington out of the shadow of its end zone.

Worst Bounce: On third down and nine late in the second quarter, Mark Brunell had his throw tipped near the line of scrimmage by defensive tackle Alex Brown. The ball caromed into the hands of cornerback Jerry Azumah, who returned it 70 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown that cut the Bears' deficit to 10-7.

Worst Sight: Portis was coming off a big first quarter when he absorbed a helmet-to-helmet hit after a 19-yard run 7:36 before halftime. Portis lay on the Soldier Field grass for a few moments before walking to the sideline.

Best Relief: Portis came back on the Redskins' next possession, picked up four yards on his first carry and finished the first half with 103 yards rushing on 21 carries.

Worst Throw: Brunell had wide receiver Laveranues Coles wide open down the left sideline in the second quarter, but the pass sailed high and short. Coles had gotten behind the coverage and had a clear path to the end zone.

Best Blitz: Rookie Sean Taylor stalled a Bears drive in the third quarter with a safety blitz on third and two. The Bears were trying to execute a play-action pass, but Taylor swooped in for the sack and pushed Chicago from the Washington 43 to the Chicago 49.

Worst Injury: Cornerback Fred Smoot tried to stop Bears running back Thomas Jones with a shoulder tackle in the fourth quarter. The hit drove Jones out of bounds but left Smoot with a mildly separated right shoulder. Smoot, however, said he definitely will play the next game.

Worst Tackle: Portis had broken free for a long run when Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher made the tackle from behind. Problem was, Urlacher got a handful of face mask and drew a 15-yard penalty.

Best Pressure: With the Bears driving to tie or win on their final possession, defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin broke through for consecutive sacks. Both were for minus seven yards and combined to move the Bears from the Redskins 49 to the Chicago 37.

Best Interception: One play later, Taylor sealed the victory with his first interception of the season. Quinn launched a desperation toss with 25 seconds to play, and Taylor stepped into the path of the throw for an easy catch.

Worst on Third: The Redskins got a lot of help from an anemic Bears offense that was especially inefficient on third down. Chicago finished 1 for 13, or 8 percent.

Best Ball Control: Gibbs's hallmark during the Redskins' glory days was possessing the football and wearing down defenses with a straight-ahead running game. Washington followed that formula yesterday, running the ball 47 times and owning a time-of-possession advantage of 34:01 to 25:59.

-- Gene Wang


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