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Portis Expects a Motivated Chiefs Defense

Clinton Portis has produced some of the best games of his NFL career when he has lined up against the orange and white uniforms of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Of course, all of those games came when he was a member of the Chiefs' AFC West rival, the Denver Broncos. Here's a quick recap of his four games against the Chiefs.

  • Oct. 20, 2002: 15 carries for 70 yards and one touchdown; three catches for 14 yards.
  • Dec. 15, 2002: 21 carries for 130 yards and three touchdowns; three catches for 75 yards and a 66-yard touchdown reception.
  • Oct. 5, 2003: 23 carries for 141 yards and one touchdown; five catches for 79 yards, with a long of 72.
  • Dec. 7, 2003: 22 carries for 218 yards and five touchdowns; two catches for 36 yards, with a long of 30.

If you're counting, Portis has 559 yards on 81 carries, 6.9 yards-per-carry average, and 10 rushing touchdowns against the Kansas City Chiefs. He also has totaled 13 receptions for 204 yards and one touchdown reception.

His five rushing touchdowns in the Dec. 7 game, at Invesco Field at Mile High, tied him for second-most all-time in an NFL game.

It's safe to say Portis has the Chiefs' attention this week. So does his supporting cast, said Kansas City head coach Dick Vermeil.

"He has been, against us, a tremendous football player," Vermeil said. "Fine players are always surrounded by other good players, especially running backs. The offensive line has to provide room for him to run. First and foremost, we have to handle the line of scrimmage before we worry about him."

For his part, Portis knows that the Chiefs' defense will key on him.

"When you have had that kind of success against one team, you know there is going to be a focus on me," he said. "They are going to be out to stop me to make sure I don't do that again."

So far this season, Portis has 366 yards on 83 carries, a solid 4.4 yards-per-carry average. He has yet to score a touchdown this season and has just five rushing TDs since joining the Redskins in March 2004. The scoring drought has frustrated him this season.

As a Bronco, he frequently reeled off long runs of 50-plus yards. In Washington, Portis's longest is 64 yards, and that happened on his first carry as a Redskin on Sept. 12, 2004.

Portis has adapted to a different offensive system with Joe Gibbs' Redskins. Even so, he believes the long runs are just around the corner.

"If you look at last week against Denver, a couple times I was probably two or three tackles away from breaking one," Portis said. "One time, on third and short, if that [tackler] does not get his arm up when I am jumping over the pile, that would have been 70 or 80 yards. I know it's coming. I am plugging away and taking what I can get right now."

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