ST. LOUIS - In what amounted to a playoff elimination game, the Redskins defense refused to let the season go down the drain.
Clinton Portis and Rock Cartwright both topped 100 yards rushing and the defense made Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Rams' rookie quarterback from Harvard, run for his life as Washington snapped a three-game losing streak.
"You hate to say fight scared, play scared," linebacker LaVar Arrington said. "But at this point I think our guys are scared of missing the playoffs and scared of not having the chance to play for more than your pride and your dignity."
The Redskins rushed for a season-best 257 yards, getting 136 from Portis, to keep alive faint playoff hopes. The Rams, who allowed the most yards rushing since moving from the West Coast in 1995, most likely fell out.
Seattle, which faces Philadelphia tonight, clinched the NFC West thanks to the Rams' loss.
"I ain't even worried about the playoffs or anything like that," said Rams defensive tackle Ryan Pickett, a former Zephyrhills High standout. "We've got to win a game."
A 52-yard run by Cartwright set up John Hall's field goal at the end of the half. Cartwright, who entered the game with only 68 yards all season and 501 in four seasons, had 118 yards on only nine carries.
NOTABLE: Rams outside linebacker Dexter Coakley dislocated his left ankle in the first quarter.