- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 22, 2005

Tiki Barber has five straight 100-yard games for the New York Giants. Clinton Portis has at least 105 yards in each of the Washington Redskins’ last three games — all wins. And both teams will be intent on establishing the running game tomorrow.

“It’s going to be a showdown between me and Tiki,” Portis said. “I know that. He knows that. The whole world knows that. Whoever has the better day, their team is going to win.”

Portis donned a leather helmet, rubber nose, moustache, glasses and blond pig tails and dubbed himself “Inspector Two Two” yesterday at Redskin Park. He’s probably spent time investigating what happened in the Giants’ 36-0 win over the Redskins on Oct. 30.

Barber ran for 206 yards and Portis had his worst game as a pro — four carries for 6 yards.

Portis is enjoying his best stretch as a Redskin with games of 136, 105 and 112 rushing yards in wins over St. Louis, Arizona and Dallas. But that was behind a line that included right guard Randy Thomas, who is out for the season with a broken leg.

“We’ll have to find a way to win without him but I think we’re going to be OK because all of the guys are working toward the same common goal,” Portis said.

Said assistant head coach-offense Joe Bugel: “Randy is a rare bird and was having an All-Pro season, so those are big shoes to fill. Ray [Brown] understands the nuances and we’re not going to change anything because he’s in the game.”

With 1,296 yards, Portis is 137 yards from setting the Redskins’ single-season rushing record. He currently ranks eighth and is 23 yards from fifth place and 58 yards from third place. Stephen Davis has the team’s top two rushing seasons — 1,432 in 2001 and 1,405 in 1999.

Barber’s 1,577 yards are a career high. Against the Redskins, he had carries of 59, 57, 18 and 14 yards. Take away those four carries and he managed only 58 carries on 20 attempts.

“You have to tackle,” Redskins defensive coordinator/line coach Greg Blache said. “You’re not going to shut him down, but you want to minimize his big runs.”

More Pro Bowl reaction

Two years of solid defense by the Redskins has resulted in one Pro Bowl selection — linebacker Marcus Washington last season. The Redskins had no players selected on Wednesday.

“We didn’t play well enough and that’s what I told the guys — I don’t cry over spilled milk, and if they want more recognition, we have to play better and win more games,” assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams said. “I think we had guys deserving but as long as I’ve been in the league, the teams that are winning the division and have clinched for the playoffs, they’re going to have the guys. If you want respect, you have to earn it.”

Told Atlanta — which has the same record as the Redskins and has lost four of its last six games — had three defensive players named to the Pro Bowl, Williams said: “Maybe they do a better job of promoting.”

Injury report

Kicker John Hall missed practice yesterday after being hospitalized with an intestinal ailment. He is expected to play tomorrow.

Safety Matt Bowen was downgraded from probable to questionable and, along with cornerback Carlos Rogers, did not practice. Cornerback Shawn Springs and left tackle Chris Samuels returned to practice.

Linebacker LaVar Arrington practiced and remains questionable but said, “I feel good enough” to play tomorrow.

For the Giants, linebacker Antonio Pierce is out with an ankle injury and linebacker Carlos Emmons and defensive tackle William Joseph are doubtful.



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