The Washington Redskins know the playoffs are still a possibility, though they’ll likely have to win out just to have a chance to get there.
The Redskins look to win consecutive games for the first time in more than two months when they visit the Arizona Cardinals.
Washington has gone 3-6 since a 3-0 start to put itself on the outside looking in at the NFC postseason picture. The Redskins trail NFC East-leading New York by two games with four to play, including a Dec. 24 home showdown with the Giants. There are four teams ahead of Washington—Tampa Bay (8-4) and Dallas, Minnesota and Atlanta (all 7-5)—for two wild-card spots.
After Arizona, the Redskins finish with three divisional foes, returning home to play the Cowboys and Giants before heading to Philadelphia for the regular season finale.
Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, who is 20-4 in his career against Arizona, doesn’t want his team to look past the Cardinals.
“Right now, they can see what is happening and they can see the end of the road,” Gibbs said. “I think what is important for us, though, is it is one game. It is just the Cardinals. That is all we need to look at and be focused on. There is nothing else we are even going to talk about.”
The Redskins snapped a three-game losing streak with last Sunday’s 24-9 win over St. Louis, rushing for a season-high 257 yards. Clinton Portis and Rock Cartwright each topped 100 yards, with Portis picking up 136 and two touchdowns to reach 1,000 yards for the fourth straight season.
Cartwright, who entered the game with 501 yards in three-plus seasons, had 118 yards on nine carries.
“If everybody out there wants to talk about a consummate Redskin, I’ll tell you it’s Rock,” Gibbs said. “Yesterday, he was rip-roaring it. We’ve all talked about it. We think if we played Rock steady down-in, down-out, he could make a bunch of yards for us.”
Mark Brunell completed 14 of 21 passes for 156 yards and one touchdown. Including a halfback pass by Portis, the Redskins threw a season-low 22 times and rushed 40.
The Redskins held St. Louis to just 191 total yards, an improvement over the previous five games in which the defense allowed at least 336 in each contest.
“I’d take that game over any,” Brunell said. “That was ideal for me. That is as efficient as you want to be. We didn’t throw a lot, but when we did it was effective. We kept drives alive. It was just the way you draw it up.”
Brunell may not have top target Santana Moss at full strength Sunday. Moss left practice Wednesday with a strained hamstring and is listed as probable. Moss has 66 catches for 1,111 yards and six touchdowns this season.
Arizona has won two of three, including a 17-10 victory over San Francisco last Sunday.
Kurt Warner threw for 354 yards and one touchdown, topping the 300-yard mark for the fourth time in five games.
Boldin had a career-high 11 catches for 156 yards Sunday, and scored the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter on a third-down play in which he scampered 54 yards.
“I realized that it was third-and-20, and I tried to cut back across the field to give us a chance to get the first down,” Boldin said. “I made (about) two guys miss, and it just opened up from there.”
Fitzgerald had eight receptions for 129 yards and is tied with Carolina’s Steve Smith for the league lead in catches with 82. Boldin is fifth with 68.
Arizona’s ground game, ranked last in the league at 69.4 yards per game, managed just 65 yards as the Cardinals were unable to score in all three of their trips inside the red zone.
Washington has won the last four meetings with Arizona and leads the all-time series 70-44-2.
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