My goal is to get the rewrite to work without requiring the .php at the end. - Is this possible?
Yes. Message #4538579 (barring stupid typos) gives you the three steps.
Please forgive me for getting redirects and rewrites mixed up - typing before brain engaged.
No problem. Thanks for clarifying that we don't need to run through that stuff again - though there's several threads in the last few days where it's explained in gory detail, and dozens more similar threads over the last few years. It's a common problem that many people don't know the difference. :)