Ground control

The Redskins needed Clinton Portis. They needed their defense to show up strong. And, more than anything, they needed to put St. Louis out of their minds.

They got Portis. They got their defense. And that helped them put the Rams debacle far from their thoughts.

Portis rushed for 175 yards, the defense had a goal-line stand and the Redskins survived the visiting Cleveland Browns, winning 14-11 in front of 90,487 fans.

Portis cracked the 120-yard mark for the fourth straight game, his best showing since 2003 with Denver. He's on pace to rush for 1,869 yards, which would easily be a career-best.

‘'Clinton is an absolute workhorse,'' Redskins coach Jim Zorn said.

This was far from a dominant win. The Browns still had a chance to tie in the end, but a Phil Dawson 53-yard field goal was wide right. And Cleveland quarterback Derek Anderson completed just 14 of 37 passes for 136 yards. Given those numbers, the Browns should not have had an opportunity to sniff victory.

But there's a difference between being close and winning. And the difference Sunday was Portis. He carried the Redskins offense, despite starting the week thinking he wouldn't play because of a sore hip.

His three-yard touchdown run in the third quarter snapped a scoreless tie. It was the first time Washington had been in a 0-0 game at halftime since Sept. 13, 1981.

‘9 9All the personal stats and personal ideas, wanting to do this and wanting to do that is out for me,'' Portis said. ‘'I want to win. It does not matter if I have 175 yards or 75 yards, if we come out with a win I come out with a smile on my face.''

Portis, however, fumbled after a 24-yard run in the fourth quarter, giving Cleveland the ball at the Redskins' 29. The Browns converted with a one-yard touchdown pass to Josh Cribbs.

However, they needed four plays from the 1-yard line to score. And this followed a possession in which the Browns could not score in four plays from the 1.

‘'That's the kind of defense you have to be,'' Zorn said. ‘'You have to be emotional. You have to be violent. We created the line of scrimmage… [The defense] is mean and violent and physical. I'm glad they're on our side.''

Portis set up an 18-yard Santana Moss touchdown catch with a 24-yard run.

Moss finished with a strong day – four catches for 75 yards. Jason Campbell completed 14 of 23 passes for 164 yards.

The Redskins missed an opportunity for points in the first half when Shaun Suisham bounced a 36-yarder off the right upright.

The Browns blew golden chances in the first half, twice starting drives around the Redskins' 45. But Washington's defense held and forced two three-and-outs.

Breaking Burgundy Top Stories