I may be the most negative Redskins fan on the planet. And even I’m getting excited. I haven’t had this much fun watching the Redskins since I was a little girl–long before Tony Romo was playing like one.

The Redskins are number one in the NFC East. I know, it takes a minute to sink in. Let me repeat: THE REDSKINS ARE NUMBER ONE IN THE NFC EAST.

We took the division lead on Sunday, after beating the Browns, 38-21. OK, technically, we are in a three-way tie with New York and Dallas, but we have the lead due to our division performance. I said weeks ago that some serious stars would have to align for the Redskins to make it to the playoffs this year after a particularly shaky 3-6 start. And usually, we aren’t known for the stars aligning for us. But now that we have won FIVE straight games, bringing our record to 8-6, we are that much closer to Redskins football in January (I know, what is that??).

RGIII has been dealing with a right knee injury all week he sustained during the Ravens game. I thought for sure he was pulling a London Fletcher and was totally going to play Sunday. Then we got the news late Saturday that Cousins was going to start. I don’t know about you all, but my first thought was, “Please don’t tell me Brandon Banks is our emergency quarterback.” Turns out he wasn’t. Rex Grossman was. I’m not sure which one is worse. Thankfully, we didn’t have to find out.

The game definitely did not start well. I was starting to think we may not even get a first down the entire game, after Cousins threw several incomplete passes and an interception. Then Kirk Cousins was all “wait, guys, I can do this, I promise!” and had a nice little play action to WR Leonard Hankerson for the touchdown. Did things turn around or what! Guys, Kirk Cousins is good! The Redskins are good! What is happening! Even our defense stepped up, particularly Rob Jackson, who is playing for the injured Brian Orakpo (and who also forced a fumbled on Browns QB Brandon Weeden), and, duh, London Fletcher, both of whom had super important interceptions resulting in touchdowns. Now we are in the midst of our longest winning streak since 2005. Let’s just hope we can continue it to 10-6.

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  • Kirk Cousins. I thought he couldn’t get any more adorable after he spiked the ball during his 2-point conversion last week. But it turns out his adorableness reached new heights after he embraced RGIII in the 4th quarter. My heart. Oh, yeah, and he threw for 329 yards.
  • The play action. The Browns fell for it. Every. Single. Time. Well played, Kyle Shanahan, well played.
  • The Redskins historically have not been the team to catch a lot of breaks. But man, have we caught a lot of breaks this year. First RGIII’s fumble into the arms of Joshua Morgan during the MNF game. Then Sunday, Santana’s fumble that Garçon recovered for a first down, leading to an Alfred Morris touchdown. That was an act of God. I thought they were going to stay in that pile until Monday. It kinda reminded me of this.


  • The refs were particularly terrible on Sunday. They missed a late hit on RB Evan Royster. Santana definitely caught that ball. And lots and lots of holding.
  • Garçon’s taunting penalty. I knew it was going to happen. OK, I thought he was going to get a delay of game, not taunting. I will say in his defense that the Browns started acting like big babies in the second half. But seriously, no more spinning the ball, Pierre. Is it worth 15 yards. IS IT? Shanny, it’s time to tighten up with the discipline.
  • The penalties! Particularly the false starts. I’d love to go one game without Kory Lichensteiger moving early.

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OK two more games. Big implications. I know everyone is super stoked that we might be able to make it to the playoffs, but let’s just pump the breaks just a little. Including you, Dan Snyder. In order to take the division, we have to beat both Philly and Dallas. Lots of folks seem to be focusing solely on Dallas. I know the Redskins look great and we are the talk of the town, blah blah blah, but we are also a team that lost to the Panthers this year, so I’m not taking anything for granted. If (guys, if, not when) we beat Philadelphia, then it looks like the NFC East will be decided by the Redskins-Dallas game on the 30th (thanks for nothing for that, Pittsburgh). Could it get more poetic than that? Dallas. Washington. FedEx Field. NFC East Title. This is the stuff legends are made of. Or at least mediocre ESPN montages.

Who knows if RGIII will play this Sunday against Philly. I thought he was going to play against Cleveland so he and Mike Shanahan clearly fooled me (and the entire Cleveland defense). Our offensive line is hurting though, like really hurting, and Cousins, while adorbs and great, can’t move around the pocket and scramble quite as well as RGIII can (although he did have that nice little 17-yard run). C Will Montgomery left Sunday with a knee injury, and RT Tyler Polumbus suffered a concussion. Then we found out yesterday that OL Jordan Black is suspended for the rest of the season for performance enhancing drugs. We need to keep an eye out to see who will be starting on the o-line on Sunday. I just keep my fingers crossed that Rob Jackson and London Fletcher can lead our defense like they have been for the past few games.

I may be the most negative Redskins fan on the planet. And even I’m getting excited. I haven’t had this much fun watching the Redskins since I was a little girl (long before Tony Romo was playing like one—sorry, couldn’t resist).


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Beth Petty

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