Redskins: Typical (but maybe there’s hope this time?)

Lately (and by lately, I mean in the past two decades), the Skins have had an uncanny ability to blow a game in the final minutes.

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I’ve been a Redskins fan my entire life.

When the Redskins won the Super Bowl in 1992, I distinctly remember telling my father that I didn’t need to stay up to watch the end of the game because I knew they were going to beat the Bills. It didn’t even cross my mind that I should be concerned about their ability to win the game. Joe Gibbs was like a god, and I had complete faith in him. Fast forward twenty years. No Redskin fan in her right mind today would ever dream of switching off a game late in the 3rd quarter. Lately (and by lately, I mean in the past two decades), the Skins have had an uncanny ability to blow a game in the final minutes.

Sunday’s game against the Rams was no different. Truth be told, I can’t be all negative about the game. It started off beautifully when CB Josh Wilson recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown on the opening play of the game. And after throwing one touchdown and running for two, RGIII is worth getting excited about. While he did throw his first NFL interception, he gets Redskins fans pumped. It’s about time.

But the biggest heartache came in the final minutes of the game (1:18 to be exact). LB London Fletcher had just forced a fumble–after the replacement refs missed a personal foul against him. Note to everyone: Never anger London Fletcher. NEVER. CB DHall recovered, and the Redskins, down by three, were driving toward field goal range.

Then it happened.

That thing that happens in Redskin games as soon as fans have a flicker of hope we might be able to pull this off. That thing where Redskins fans everywhere simultaneously mutter “Typical.” Safely in field goal position, RGIII threw a 7-yard completion to WR Josh Morgan, setting up either a 4th-and-1 situation where Shanny (whose face at this point was not at all distinguishable from his burgundy shirt) could have bet on 1) RGIII to convert or 2) K Billy Cundiff to nail an a totally doable 47-yard field goal. Great options, right? WRONG.

This is the Redskins, people! Instead, we picked door #3: a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty against Morgan after he made the awesome decision to throw the football at Rams CB Cortland Finnegan. Finnegan did get little handsy with Morgan, but c’mon, even my 9-year-old nephew knows better. Shanny (whose face was now starting to turn a deep shade of purple) now had to look at 4th-and-16 or a 62-yard field goal attempt by Cundiff.

Coach, I know I’m a girl. And I’m not a football player. Or a coach. Or the color of Grimace. But Imma go with the 4th-and-16 option. A 62-yard field goal, yes, can be done, but the record is 63 yards and that’s happened, what, like four times? Needless to say, there were no new records set Sunday in St. Louis. Cundiff’s kick fell short, and the Redskins lost 31-28, leaving us with a 1-1 record. And leaving me in tears for the first time this season.

Let’s recap:

Positives

  • RGIII looked great, despite his interception. We’re putting points on the board! Until recently, I wasn’t sure the Redskins could count above 13.
  • Dallas lost. ‘Nuf said.
  • Chris Cooley is single again. While I’m aware this isn’t entirely relevant, and he’s not technically on the team anymore, I still have hope for him. And us.

Negatives

  • Replacements refs. We need them out. Now. Before someone gets seriously hurt (like with the missed cheap shot on Fred Davis) or Mike Shanahan’s head explodes.
  • LB Brian Orakpo and DE Adam Carriker are out for the season on IR which is bad, bad, terrible, horrible news for the defense and the Redskins’ game Sunday against the Bengals. LB Ryan Kerrigan will have to step it up. And he’s totally adorable (again, that might be slightly beside the point).
  • Guys, special teams! Blocked punts are not OK, and we have already seen two in two games.

— ∮∮∮ —

Bottom line, if Shanny can forgive Josh Morgan, then I, too, can forgive. BTW, I’ve read reports that Josh Morgan has been receiving death threats on Twitter—way to stay classy, Redskin fans.

My biggest concern coming up against the Bengals this weekend will be our weak defensive line. Bengals QB Andy Dalton is coming off a great game and will be totally thrilled that he doesn’t have to see Orakpo’s smiling face on Sunday. While the Bengals are also dealing with injuries, they seem to be in a better position defensively. I do think we can win this game, but admittedly, a true Redskins fan keeps her expectations low and, thus, is never disappointed. And every once in a while, she is pleasantly surprised.

Until then, HAIL.

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Beth Petty

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