LANDOVER, Md. (AP) -- OK, so maybe Clinton Portis still is a No.
1 back, despite the knee injury that cost him all of preseason.
And Antwaan Randle El? Yes, his career-high 162 yards receiving
more than makes his case as a No. 2 receiver.
And the Washington Redskins? They don't have the gloomy feeling
of starting the season with an upset loss at home the way they did
The Redskins got the morale boost they needed Sunday with a
16-13 overtime victory over the Miami Dolphins, though they know
they won't get much credit for barely beating a rookie-heavy,
rebuilding team with a new coach and a new quarterback.
"It don't shut them up -- we need the doomsayers," said Portis,
who shook off the rust of a months-long battle with tendinitis to
run for 98 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown. "We don't need
nobody to jump on our bandwagon."
Shaun Suisham kicked three field goals, including a 39-yarder
5:36 into the extra period, and Randle El had a big hand in all of
Washington's points in regulation as the Redskins took the first
step in their attempt to rebound from last year's 5-11, the worst
season in Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs' career.
"It was critical for us to go out there and get a win today,"
Gibbs said. "First game of the season, opening up at home. We're
in the business of winning ballgames. It doesn't matter how we get
The victory came with a heavy price. Right tackle
broke his right ankle early in the second quarter and could be out
for the year.
"It takes away a little bit from the win," right guard Randy Thomas said. "I'm down about that. That's a blow, man. That's a
The loss spoiled Cam Cameron's first game as an NFL head coach,
as well as quarterback Trent Green's debut with the Dolphins.
Miami's day included a drive with back-to-back false starts,
several drops by receivers, untimely penalties, strange time
management on a scoring drive at the end of the first half, and a
punt by rookie Brandon Fields that barely got off the ground yet
somehow managed to bounce 30 yards downfield.
Both Miami and Washington were last-place teams in 2006, and it
showed. Most baffling stat: five unused second-half timeouts at the
end of regulation.
"We were able to have some drives, and then we hurt
ourselves," said Green, who went 24-for-38 for 219 yards and one
touchdown. "It wasn't good enough to get it done. That's the
disappointing thing because I think we had some opportunities as an
offense to do more. An errant throw, the penalties, the drops --
those are all things we did to ourselves."
Randle El, opening the year as the No. 2 receiver ahead of
Brandon Lloyd, was the game's most dynamic player. His 35-yard
catch set up a second-quarter field goal, and his 49-yard snag set
up a 19-yard run by Portis for a 10-7 lead in the third quarter.
His 15-yard punt return helped lead to Suisham's 44-yard field goal
that put Washington ahead 13-10 with 5:30 remaining.
Randle El nearly won the game on a miracle play at the end of
regulation, when he caught a deflected despertion pass at the 3,
but was unable to reach the end zone.
He caught five passes, but his play on an incompletion was just
as big. The 5-foot-10 receiver leaped high to barely tip an
overthrow by Campbell with the score tied and less than two minutes
left in regulation. If the ball wasn't deflected, cornerback
Michael Lehan was there to make the interception with a clear path
to score what probably would have been the winning touchdown.
"He did a great job of trying to make a play," Campbell said.
"You don't expect him to give up on any route."
The Redskins won the toss to start overtime, took the kickoff
and drove 58 yards in 10 plays, all but two runs by Portis and
Ladell Betts. Portis ran 9 yards to Miami's 22 to set up Suisham's
kick, which came on first down.
The Dolphins appeared to be driving for the winning touchdown in
regulation before a holding penalty and an intentional grounding
call forced the team to settle for Jay Feely's 36-yard field goal
that tied the game with 1:55 remaining.
Campbell, who became the starter with seven games remaining last
year, finished 12-for-21 for 222 yards and two interceptions.
Other injuries: Washington S Vernon Fox (sprained groin),
and Miami S Yeremiah Bell (calf), RB Jesse Chatman (knee) and DE
Jason Taylor (quad). Taylor and Chatman returned to the game. ...
Fred Smoot was the surprise starter ahead of Shawn Springs at
cornerback for the Redskins.
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