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Cloud in the sliver lining: Rams run defense

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Not to take any of the sheen off the moment, but it's worth noting that the Rams front seven struggled with the run this week. Clinton Portis put up 129 yards and 2 TDs on just 21 carries. LaDell Betts had 32 yards on 7 carries.

Looking back over the play-by-play, two trouble spots stand out: right end and left tackle. Of the 28 running plays carried out by the two running backs, 15 came through those two spots, 8 at LT and 7 at RE. The Redskins picked up 66 yards running through the left tackle and 50 yards running through the right end. (These are my own unofficial calculations based on the play-by-play). At one point, during the Skins' last drive of the first half, Portis had consecutive runs through the LT for gains of 11 and 12 yards. In that case, the damage was easy to overlook since that was the series that ended with Atogwe returning a fumble for a TD and the lead.

Those spots were particularly troublesome in the 4th quarter. On their possesion that bridged the 3rd and 4th quarters, the Redskins pick up gains of 11, 9 and 12 yards on three rushes that occured within 4 plays. For their biggest run of the day, Portis' broke off a 29 yard run through the left tackle to get the Redskins to the Rams 40. You can see that play on the NFL.com game highlight reel. Go back and look at it, you can see everyone in the Rams front it occupied with a blocker. In fact, I can't tell who's playing end on that play, but he winds up on his but as Portis goes by.

Anyway, it's area they need to work on.