In typical heart-attack-inducing fashion, the Eagles-Redskins game came down to the final play, thankfully, the we held the Eagles, defeating them 27-20.
Way back in 1983, the Redskins took on the Minnesota Vikings at RFK stadium. The winner would meet the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship game. The story goes, with the Redskins leading 27-7 in the fourth, the stadium started rocking and the Redskins fans started chanting, “We want Dallas! We want Dallas!” We beat Minnesota, we beat Dallas, and we ultimately beat Miami in Super Bowl XVII, thanks to the awesomeness that was John Riggins. My dad still tears up when he thinks about that season. I was born later that year, and I’m a little surprised I wasn’t named Riggo Petty (thanks for putting your foot down on that one, Mom).
The Philadelphia Eagles didn’t give us the chance the start the Dallas chant during Sunday’s game. In typical heart-attack-inducing fashion, the game came down to the final play, after the Eagles marched slowly and steadily down the field and had a chance to tie the game with eight seconds left. Thankfully, the Redskins held the Eagles, defeating them 27-20.
The Eagles came into Sunday’s game with nothing to lose, which was a little scary. In the opening drive alone, the Eagles went for it on 4-1 twice, ultimately scoring a touchdown. The Redskins led for the majority of the game, thanks to some fancy footwork by Santana Moss and great hands by Pierre Garçon. The Eagles gained some momentum in the 4th quarter, scoring a touchdown after an RGIII interception. After the Redskins went three and out, the Eagles then started marching down the field, driving from their own 15 to the Redskins five, looking for a touchdown and the two-point conversion to win the game. But, playing with a broken hand, Philadelphia rookie QB Nick Foles made several mistakes during the last set of downs. On the final play of the game, under pressure from Stephen Bowen, he was called for an illegal forward pass, running off the clock and securing the Redskins victory–and allowing Redskins fans everywhere to finally exhale.
We may not have had the chance to gloat during the Eagles game, but after we were able to put that one away, everyone’s attention turned to next week’s game against Dallas. There was a time when I was living abroad, and the sports bars didn’t even show the Redskins games because we were so terrible. I ordered them off the internet, paying $20 a week to watch the Redskins lose on a 13-inch computer screen. Now, we are fighting for the NFC East title, and it’s such a big deal that we’ve been flexed to Sunday night on NBC. We’ve finally made it, Redskins!
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- It was great to see RGIII back on the field, even in a limited capacity. I know this sounds super after-school-special-y but that guy really inspires me. And he’s so so so good. He totally deserves Rookie of the Year (but I’ll save that debate for another day).
- Chris Cooley had his first reception of the season! And it was for a first down! It probably didn’t make any highlight reels, but it was definitely a highlight for me.
- Ryan Kerrigan? Alfred Morris? Santana Moss? London Fletcher? You guys are all so awesome, I can’t pick just one!
- I wanted to jump through the television screen when DeAngelo Hall allowed Philly receiver Jeremy Maclin to get up for a few more yards after a 38-yard catch. Dude, you didn’t even need to tackle him! Just touch him!
- I’m starting to think that Mike Shanahan enjoys throwing the challenge flag to remind everyone that his face is the same color as the flag. We know, coach. Please stop throwing the flag. It would be nice to have a timeout or two left at the end of the game.
- Speaking of timeouts, how many did Philly have at the end of that game? I guess it was three, but it felt like they called at least fifteen to stop the clock on that last drive.
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Everything comes down to Sunday’s game. Redskins-Cowboys. Winner clinches the NFC East for a home playoff spot. There are still ways for the Redskins to take a wildcard spot, but every fan wants that elusive division title. Other teams might claim to be our rivals—Philadelphia, New York, and now apparently Baltimore—but we only want Dallas. We’ve only ever wanted Dallas.
The Cowboys did lose last week, but I’m more concerned about that comeback that Tony Romo was able to mount against the Saints to push the game to overtime. I don’t think we need a Christmas miracle, but we definitely need to come to play. Our secondary is still weak, and our offensive line is injured and struggling. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that RGIII has a little bit more mobility next week.
The Redskins haven’t really been fans of putting games away early, so I suspect this one will come down to the wire as well. I honestly think that the Redskins could beat every team in the NFL right now, but we also could lose to every team in the NFL right now. That may not make a Super Bowl squad, but it could very well lead to some postseason play. If we can do this, we will have so much to celebrate—a division title, a playoff berth, and the smug memory of Jerry Jones’s loser face. Could a Redskin fan ask for much more?