Redskins fans have been conditioned over the last 20 or so years to expect to lose these kinds of games, but RGIII has started to reprogram our expectations.
Four wins in a row (when it mattered). A legitimate shot at the postseason, (thanks to a division win over our friends in NY). An exciting overtime finish that saw Pierre Garçon, Santana Moss, and rookie kicker Kai Forbath show up in a huge way. A semblance of defense, despite the seemingly endless string of injuries and suspensions. And all there is to talk about is The Knee.
Redskins fans have been conditioned over the last 20 or so years to expect to lose these kinds of games, but RGIII has started to reprogram our expectations. However, down eight with under two minutes left in the game, Griffin goes on a run down the numbers, gets spun up in the air by a defender, and gets shellacked by Haloti Ngata—who had previously tried to take Griffin’s head off, resulting in a roughing call that was somehow offset by intentional grounding. In a scene that painfully hearkened back to Joe Theismann’s infamous broken leg, the replay was shown over and over. And over.
But hope wasn’t lost! After one pass-interference-assisted first down play by Kirk Cousins, RGIII made his way back out to the field to do his best impersonation of Byron Leftwich. But his return was abbreviated, and he hobbled off looking even more pained than he did after the hit.1
Now there’s barely any time left, and we’re out two timeouts because they take a timeout from you if a player’s injured inside the two-minute warning. We’re backed up by an intentional grounding on Griffin’s last play. And we’re still down eight. And we need our other rookie QB to get us a TD and a two-point conversion with, like, negative 30 seconds left in the game. All this just to send it to overtime.
Long story short: the rookie got it done. Cousins hit Hankerson to the 11, floated a beautiful touch-pass TD to Garçon and then ran a keeper up the middle for the tying two points. In overtime, the defense came up with a big stop and rookie CB Richard Crawford, who has apparently been on this team the whole time while Brandon Banks was making incomprehensible decisions in the return game, broke a big punt return only to be dropped by the punter. But not before putting us in range of Kai Forbath’s perfect foot.
There may or may not have also been 58 other minutes of football.
— ∮∮∮ —
- RGIII had what sure seemed like his worst game of the season and they still pulled out a win. This has to be a good sign.
- FedEx was loud again. You’d hardly be able to tell they took out 10,000 seats if the stadium didn’t look like it was taking its top off.
- Even with 333,291 suspended and injured starters, including both DeAngelo Hall and London Fletcher apparently wandering around in boots and crutches this week, the defense really stepped up in key moments.
- Alfred “Boo” Morris. That’s not his real nickname, but he has to be scary to opposing defenses.
- You probably did something right if your opponents’ offensive coordinator is fired after the game.
- Can we please, please, pleasepleaseplease find a way not to have RGIII nearly broken in half every game?
- Too many penalties. Maybe after seeing the way the Champs played last Monday, our guys thought that’s how it was done?
- The offense is still inconsistent. I know they can’t score on every drive, but going three and out puts too much pressure on the defense.
- The Giants didn’t see fit to lose, so we have to wait (and win) at least another week to make up ground on them in the division. In fact, everyone in the NFC East won on Sunday.
— ∮∮∮ —
After a close win this week against the old Browns, I’m hoping for a big win against the new Browns on Sunday. Cleveland ranks near the middle against the run, and whether Griffin goes or not, the Brownies will see a big dose of Morris. As always, though, the question lies on the defensive side. For the run game to work, the offense needs to be on the field. And though the Browns are averaging under 20 points a game, they put up 30 points on Kansas City, who are allowing 70 or so fewer yards through the air than the Redskins.
— ∮∮∮ —
- Do I dare say not to worry? Reports say it’s just a sprain and Griffin may return against the Browns. No. I think I shall leave that part out. ↩