ST. LOUIS – There was no miracle comeback this week for the St. Louis Rams’ rookie quarterback from Harvard. The Washington Redskins’ defense saw to that.

Clinton Portis ran for 136 yards on 27 carries with a pair of touchdowns and the Redskins made Ryan Fitzpatrick run for his life in a 24-9 victory that snapped Washington’s three-game losing streak.

The Redskins (6-6) didn’t have an abundance of success on offense, either, except for five well-timed gains of 28 yards or more. Portis ran it in untouched from 47 yards for the game’s first score and Santana Moss’ 30-yard catch from Mark Brunell set up Portis’ second touchdown on a 1-yarder.

A third jaunt, a 52-yard run by backup running back Rock Cartwright, set up a John Hall field goal at the end of the half. Cartwright, who entered the game with only 68 yards all season and 501 in four career seasons, had 118 yards on only nine carries.

The Redskins kept alive faint playoff hopes after losing the previous three games by a total of 10 points, and likely knocked the Rams (5-7) from the field of also-ran hopefuls. St. Louis is an NFL-best 42-12 at home since 1999, but a pedestrian 3-3 this year.

Washington held the Rams to a season-worst 210 total yards, 87 fewer than the team’s previous low against the Cardinals in Week 2. Running back Steven Jackson was bottled up, gaining 24 yards on 11 carries and catching four passes for 18 yards.

Redskins defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has been mentioned as a possible successor to the ailing Mike Martz if the Rams decide to make a change. Martz would be entering the final year of his contract and team president John Shaw has been noncommittal on his status for next season.

Joe Vitt, assistant head coach and linebackers coach under Martz, has been serving as interim head coach.

Fitzpatrick, a seventh-round pick and the third-string quarterback, led the Rams back from a 21-point deficit to an overtime victory at Houston last week after filling in for injured Jamie Martin. The lone highlight of his first career start was a 7-yard scoring scramble in the second quarter that tied it at 7.

Fitzpatrick, who threw for 310 yards in three quarters last week, was 21-for-36 for 163 yards, got sacked three times and was routinely flushed out of the pocket by the Redskins’ rush. He missed connections with Jackson on a handoff with 11:10 to go and the Rams trailing by eight, giving the Redskins the ball at the St. Louis 45.

That led to the clinching score, a 4-yard pass from Brunell to Chris Cooley with 5:50 left.

The Rams had closed to within a touchdown and 2-point conversion after Brunell fumbled and then batted the ball out of the end zone for a safety that cut the cushion to 17-9.

Portis topped 1,000 yards for the fourth straight season. He missed time in the first half after being shaken up but topped 100 yards on his first carry of the second half, a 12-yarder.

AP-ES-12-04-05 1932EST


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.