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ESPN: Redskins use 'guts and power' to make playoffs


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By John Clayton


PHILADELPHIA -- Critics were wrong. The game hasn't passed Joe Gibbs by.

Gibbs made the Pro Football Hall of Fame because he's smart, organized and players love him. And with the game, season and playoffs all on the line against the Eagles on Sunday afternoon, Gibbs heeded the advice of a star player.

"Guts and power," Washington running back Clinton Portis shouted early in the fourth quarter. "You want to win the game, don't you?"

Portis scored a pair of TDs and finished with 112 rushing yards.

The question was a no-brainer. So was the play call. As a result, Portis turned his favorite running play into a go-ahead score, and the Redskins went on to defeat the Eagles 31-20, winning their fifth straight contest to clinch the sixth and final NFC playoff spot. "Guts and power" is a staple of the Gibbs' offense, which went back to basics this year. Now, Gibbs will take the basic game plan to Tampa, Fla., Saturday for a wild-card opener against the Bucs, a team Washington lost to 36-35 in Week 10.

"This is big for Coach Gibbs, it's big for all of us," said quarterback Mark Brunell, who fought off a medial collateral knee injury to complete 9 of 25 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown. "Last year all the things that were said, that the game had passed him by, this and that, it's just simply not true. Things haven't changed that much, maybe the X's and O's, but it really comes down to running the football, being physical and playing smart. That's football right there in a nutshell. He's always been very positive. He loves his players. We enjoy playing for him. He certainly knows how to get a team ready." ...

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Gibbs went back to basics the same way the younger, hipper Gruden did. Gibbs junked the concept of having slow possession receivers such as Laveranues Coles and Rod Gardner and went with quicker, smaller guys -- Santana Moss and David Patten. In addition, he reemphasized the role of the offensive line.

He called Coles slow! Lol.

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I must not know how to listen because I thought Gibbs was referring to the Giants game when he quoted his conversation with Portis, not the Philly game.

You heard it right. Several articles written completely missed that. I don't know how they get payed to write when they mess up simple things like that.

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