- - Sunday, October 2, 2011

ST. LOUIS — Maybe Washington Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman simply likes the dramatic.

Grossman, after leading his offense on a pair of nifty scoring drives in the first half, struggled the rest of the way Sunday, forcing the defense to step up and complete a nail-biting 17-10 win over the St. Louis Rams.

The University of Florida product hit on eight of his first 14 passes to help the Redskins jet out to a 14-0 lead in the second quarter. But then Grossman and the offense produced just three points on eight possessions.

“We would have liked to have [closed out the game] but when you get a victory, you appreciate the things you did to get 17 points,” Grossman said.

Grossman, who finished 15 of 29 for 143 yards with two interceptions, led an 11-play, 69-yard drive on the Redskins‘ second possession. He also guided a short 44-yard march in the second period that culminated with Ryan Torain’s 20-yard scoring run for a 14-0 lead.

But the Redskins did little the rest of the way with a trio of three-and- outs and two key turnovers.

“We had a chance to put it away a couple of times,” coach Mike Shanahan said. “But the key is to keep getting better as a football team — not to play your best football in September and October.”

The offensive line, led by left tackle Trent Williams, shielded Grossman well. The Rams did not record a sack, and Grossman only took a couple of hard hits in the pocket.

“Any time you’ve got no sacks, it’s a great day,” said Williams. “That means we’re doing our jobs.”

St. Louis recorded only four quarterback hits.

“The line did all the work, they deserve the credit,” said Torain.

Center Will Montgomery, guards Chris Chester and Kory Lichtensteiger, tackle Jammal Brown and tight end Chris Cooley opened holes for a rushing attack that amassed 196 yards on 40 carries — an average of 4.9.

Washington, now 3-1, was on the verge of turning the game into a blowout after taking a 17-0 lead early in the third quarter.

But the stagnant offense, and a pair of costly turnovers, allowed the Rams to get close.

“We’re making plays at times and we moved the ball pretty well,” said Grossman. “But we need to score more points.”

Wideout Santana Moss agreed.

“That’s something we’re going to have to continue to get better on,” Moss said of the three-point second-half output. “I wish we could have finished better.”

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