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Washington Redskins Team Report

By Dan Di Sciullo, NFL Correspondent


(Sports Network) - Clinton Portis' debut with the Washington Redskins began with a bang and the team carried that momentum to a 16-10 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Portis ran 64 yards for a touchdown the first time he touched the ball and finished with 149 yards rushing on 29 carries to lead the Redskins to a win in the season opener for both teams at FedEx Field.

Mark Brunell completed 13-of-24 passes for 125 yards, while Rod Gardner caught four balls for 61 yards for the Redskins (1-0), who gave head coach Joe Gibbs a victory in his official return to the Washington sideline.

Gibbs amassed a 140-65 (.683) record while coaching the Redskins from 1981 to 1992 and has taken over a franchise that has made just one playoff appearance since his departure. He led the Redskins to three Super Bowl titles and is in the Hall of Fame. Gibbs also earned his 141st career regular season win and the 500th regular season victory in Redskins franchise history

Washington was just 5-11 under Steve Spurrier a year ago.

"(The win) was huge for me, I can tell you that," said Gibbs, who got his 125th regular season victory and 141st overall. "And I think it was for our players, too. As a family and everything else, for us it's a big deal. I told my players that I hope now the attention can go on them."

Portis broke free and scampered 64 yards for a touchdown on Washington's third play from scrimmage for a quick 7-0 lead. The Redskins traded Champ Bailey for Portis in the offseason. Portis, who made the Pro Bowl in Denver last season, rushed for 1,591 yards and scored 14 touchdowns in just 13 contests in 2003.

The Redskins' defense was impressive after a season in which they were the third-worst rated unit in the NFC. Washington surrendered just 169 yards of offense, including 30 yards on the ground.

Antonio Pierce also had a big interception with the game tied at 10-10 early in the fourth quarter. That led to a John Hall field goal that would give Washington the lead for good.

The crowd of 90,098 set a new Washington record and gave the Redskins a decided home-field advantage.

"Our fans--there are none better. I don't know anyplace that's harder to play in than our place. I think that's a big deal for us," Gibbs said.

The Redskins will have to abandon their friendly residence next week when they travel to face their divisional rivals, the New York Giants. The Giants have won three of the last four matchups with the Redskins, but Washington posted a 20-7 victory over New York in the last meeting.

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