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Offense Striving For Consistency

For weeks, the Redskins offense had put together scoring drives in games that showed flashes of what the unit could do.

One week ago, against the NFL's top defense in Pittsburgh, the Redskins had a 13-play, 79-yard touchdown drive. In Chicago in Week 6, there was an 8-play, 79-yard touchdown drive. And against Cleveland in Week 4, the offense had a 12-play, 78-yard touchdown drive.

The offense was unable to sustain that consistency throughout the course of those games. Until Sunday.

The Redskins had four scoring drives, with three of them 72 yards or longer. They won the time of possession battle by a remarkable 40:29 to 19:31.

While the Giants were without injured defensive linemen Michael Strahan and Keith Washington, they were still ranked 10th overall in the NFL. But the Giants were ranked 25th against the run--and the Redskins smartly took advantage of that deficiency.

The Redskins' first drive--13 plays for 93 yards--may have been the best of the season. Clinton Portis rushed for 49 yards on seven carries and Patrick Ramsey was 4-4 for 32 yards.

"We knew the Giants' defense was going to throw a lot of different looks at us, but we pushed the ball downfield and got it in the end zone," head coach Joe Gibbs said. "That was the biggest thing. We've been making first downs all year, but we haven't been making the plays to put it in the end zone."

Added Ramsey: "I've felt that all season if we can just play consistently, we will be a successful offense. Finally today, we were able to do that. We were able to put several long drives together. Anyone can sit back and throw the ball when the running game was working like ours was today."

In the second quarter, the offense put together a 10-play, 91-yard drive that included a 19-yard run by Portis and receptions by James Thrash and Rod Gardner. Ramsey's shovel pass to Portis on the touchdown was a new wrinkle for the offense.

After a punt block gave the Redskins excellent field position late in the first half, Ramsey connected with tight end Robert Royal on another score. It was Royal's first touchdown catch of the season.

"I wasn't the primary receiver--I was the third option," Royal said. "It was a bootleg play, so Patrick usually will look at the slot guy first, then go back to the receiver, then back to me. I was open in the end zone and he just happened to see me."

In the second half, the Redskins went on a 17-play, 72-yard touchdown drive that chewed up nearly nine minutes of game clock. It included a 38-yard touchdown pass from Ramsey to Chris Cooley that was called back due to a holding penalty.

Gibbs said that play may have been Ramsey's best of the game.

"It was awesome," Gibbs said. "He came out of there and there seemed to be no way he was going to find that all the way back across the field. We had it called back, but I thought that was a great play on his part."

Later, Ramsey connected with Cooley for a 6-yard touchdown pass to cap off the scoring.

And the offense finally put to rest the stigma that it can't score more than 20 points in a game.

"Now we know we can do it," Portis said. "This offense can produce week-in and week-out. This week, we were able to stick to our game plan, pound away with play-action here and there, and guys made plays. We knew that this offense could produce."

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