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Horton, Defense Come Through In the End

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Once again, the game was in the hands of the Redskins' defense.

The Redskins led the St. Louis Rams 9-7 at FedExField on Sunday when they turned the ball over on downs at the Rams' 4-yard line with 1:55 left in the game.

Quarterback Marc Bulger was under center for the Rams and he had to throw from his own end zone.

He faced intense pressure from a Redskins defense bent on making his life miserable.

Bulger threw an incompletion on first down and another on second down as Carlos Rogers leveled a punishing hit on wide receiver Donnie Avery to ensure the pass would not be caught.

On third down, Albert Haynesworth burst off a block and batted away Bulger's pass into the back of the end zone.

On fourth down, Bulger threw deep down the right sideline. Chris Horton had one-on-one coverage against the speedy Avery. Bulger's throw was under-thrown and Horton nearly pulled in the interception before knocking the ball away.

Game over.

The Redskins' defense yielded just 245 total yards and 119 passing yards--a solid effort despite playing against an offense thought to be among the worst in the league.

Horton finished with six tackles, a forced fumble and two passes defended, another strong out by the second-year safety.

Horton produced perhaps the game's biggest play early in the fourth quarter.

The Rams drove downfield to the Redskins' 9-yard line but faced a 3rd-and-4. Bulger threw a quick pass to wide receiver, who caught the ball and turned up-field.

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Horton slammed into Avery and the ball popped loose. Rogers was there to pounce on the fumble for a critical turnover.

"I was just running to the ball and thinking to myself, 'Get this guy down. Make them kick a field goal. We don't want to give up seven points,'" Horton said.

As soon as Rogers emerged from the pile with the fumble recovery, Horton knew that it was a key play in the game.

"They didn't get three and they didn't get seven," Horton said. "That's a big stop. We got the ball back to our offense and let them move the ball."

Horton also had two special teams tackles in the game.

Cornelius Griffin had a strong game as well, posting four tackles, a sack and a pass defended. London Fletcher had a team-high nine tackles in the game.

DeAngelo Hall, who had three tackles but was victimized for a touchdown on a fade pass to wide receiver Laurent Robinson, said the Redskins' defense still had room for improvement.

"There were plays out there that could have been made that we didn't make," Hall said. "On the touchdown, we were scrambling out of the huddle. If we had gotten the communication down, that play would have been a non-factor.

"There were a whole lot of things that factored in, but the bottom line is we've got to make plays."

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