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Pats Score Often in 52-7 Rout, But Did They Cross the Line?

Jason Campbell, right, Clinton Portis and Washington are held to seven points in New England.
Jason Campbell, right, Clinton Portis and Washington are held to seven points in New England. (By Jonathan Newton -- The Washington Post)

"It's 38-0," he continued. "It was fourth down. We were just out there playing."

The Redskins did not openly complain about the fourth-down play. When asked what he thought of it Gibbs said, "I have no problem with anything that they did. Nothing. No problems from me."

The general reaction from the players could be summed up by Fletcher, who said: "It's their football, that's what they chose to do with the ball. It's our job to stop them."

One player wondered privately about the karmic consequences of such a move on New England's part. But that was for another time, another team, another game. Sunday was about the worst defeat Gibbs has suffered in either of his runs as the Washington coach. It was a complete trampling. The Patriots scored seven of the first 10 times they had the ball before third-string quarterback Matt Gutierrez knelt to run out the clock on the 11th.

They ran up 486 yards and stomped through a Redskins defense that was rated fifth in the NFL going into the game. It wasn't even close.

"They have one objective," said Washington cornerback Shawn Springs. "They whoop people's [backsides]. If you understand that, it answers all your questions. They might not lose [this year]."

The Patriots have been the most dominant team in the league this year, never failing to score less than 34 points. But Sunday's victory was by far their most decisive, a victory that Belichick dryly called "a solid performance by our team today."

Beyond any consequences of confidence, the Redskins (4-3) also tumbled another game behind the second-place New York Giants in the NFC East. It makes next Sunday's game in New Jersey against the struggling New York Jets almost imperative.

But first they must recapture their dignity from Sunday's bashing.

"Anything with evaluating our football team always starts with me," Gibbs said. "I just know that today we didn't play a good football game and that starts with me."

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