Each week, THN will choose their three players of the game at each position. Here are the selections for the Wild Card round:
Offense: Clinton Portis
Portis produced the only semblance of offense against the No. 1 defense in the NFL.
On a night in which the Redskins’ offense totaled just 120 yards, Portis scored the only offensive points on a 6-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. The ineptitude of the offense was capped off by the fact that the drive started out on the 6-yard line thanks to a LaVar Arrington interception.
Portis ran the ball only 16 times for 53 yards. It was his lowest output in 10 games but it was still more than Mark Brunell’s 41 passing yards and 25.7 passer rating.
Defense: LaVar Arrington and Marcus Washington
The Redskins defensive front seven dominated Tampa Bay’s offense with a fierce pass rush and plenty of deflected passes from defensive linemen such as Joe Salave’a, Cornelius Griffin and Demetric Evans.
In his first career playoff game, LaVar Arrington set the tempo for the Redskins defense with his first quarter interception of Chris Simms. Arrington took the ball 21 yards to the 6-yard line to set up the Redskins only offensive touchdown.
On Tampa Bay’s ensuing offensive drive, Marcus Washington forced a Carnell Williams fumble and recovered it, running 7 yards before having it knocked out and recovered by Sean Taylor, who ran it the final 51 yards for a touchdown to give the Redskins a 14-0 lead.
The Redskins starting linebackers combined for 32 of the defense’s 75 tackles. Lemar Marshall led the team with 12 tackles while Arrington and Washington totaled 10 a piece. Arrington and Washington each tallied a forced fumble and an interception.
Marcus Washington’s interception came with about 1 minute left in regulation and sealed the Redskins first playoff victory in six years.
Special Teams: Pierson Prioleau
Frost was on the cusp of being named Special Teams Player of the Game. He presented a few amazing sights such as forcing the punt returner to backpedal several yards (something Redskins fans have not grown accustomed to see this season) and a tough tackle in which he was poked in the eye.
But Frost had two costly punts. One of them only needed just a little bit of leg on it but he punted it out of the endzone for a net total of 14 yards in the first quarter. He followed that up with a potentially costly 14-yard shank with just over a minute remaining in the fourth quarter that seemingly sailed out of bounds the moment it left his foot.
Prioleau had 7 tackles, two of them coming on special teams coverage. Prioleau made a very impressive one-handed tackle in open space against kick returner Michael Pittman. Prioleau was active throughout the game at safety and was the standout defender on special teams.
Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Jake Russell