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Portis Breaks Through At the Meadowlands

It was one of Clinton Portis's personal goals this season: Success at the Meadowlands, where Portis and the Redskins have struggled each of the last three years.

After Sunday night, Portis's mission is accomplished.

Twice.

Against the New York Giants on a cold and windy Sunday night at the Meadowlands, Portis came up big on a national stage, rushing for 126 yards on 25 carries, including a 5-yard touchdown run. The Redskins defeated the Giants 22-10.

Earlier this season, in Week 9, Portis had 136 rushing yards on 36 carries in the Redskins' 23-20 overtime win over the New York Jets at the Meadowlands.

"Coming into this season, that was a big goal of mine, to have success coming into New York," Portis said. "To come up here and be able to have two nice games in this stadium just brings the confidence back."

Late in the first half of Sunday's game against the Giants, Portis surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the fifth time in his six-year career. Through 14 games, Portis has 1,082 rushing yards this season.

The Giants had entered the game with the NFL's seventh-best run defense, allowing 96.1 yards per game. It was Portis who got the offense going late in the first quarter, picking up 25 yards on three carries to help set up a Redskins field goal.

Late in the first half, the Redskins still had time to drive downfield for a score.

Ahead 13-3, coaches opted to play it conservative with a run--except that Portis turned it into a big play. He found yardage up the middle, then he cut left until he was forced out of bounds for a 31-yard gain. A 15-yard face mask penalty on cornerback Sam Madison put the ball at the Giants' 26-yard line.

Portis's big run set up another Suisham field goal, a 28-yarder, as the Redskins went into halftime ahead 16-3.

"That was a big drive to get us three points right before the half," Todd Collins said.

On the opening drive of the second half, the Redskins turned to Portis again.

Collins completed passes to Chris Cooley and Mike Sellers to move the ball deep into Giants territory.

Portis did the rest. After a 9-yard scamper to the Giants' 5-yard line, Portis followed strong blocking from Stephon Heyer and Jason Fabini to the right. He burst through the hole and carried linebacker Antonio Pierce into the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown run.

After the game, Portis talked about the team's "fight to the finish," whether they make the playoffs or not.

And, with a 7-7 record, the Redskins' playoff hopes remain very much alive at the moment.

"Sometimes we come up short, but we're always there to fight," Portis said. "For a team to go out and fight like we do week-in and week-out, you don't have to worry about the guys around you giving up or not being there or not having your back. We're always going to fight as a team."

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