Monday, December 19, 2005
Hail to the Freaking Redskins
Wow. I think yesterday is what they mean by firing on all cylinders.
I completely agree with Wilbon on this one. This was the best game I've seen the Washington Redskins play since they beat the Lions in that 1999-2000 season playoff game - the one where Brad Johnson body-slammed Robert Porcher. That was awesome.
But not as awesome, I don't think, as this game. In front of a raucous crowd at FedEx Field, the 2005 Washington Redskins woke up the echoes with a
35-7 butt-whooping of the hated Dallas Cowboys. HOW BOUT THEM COWBOYYYYYS!?!?!?!?!?!?!
And get this - if the Skins win their final two games, they will make the playoffs as a wild-card team! If they win out and the Giants lose their final game to the team that was once the Oakland Raiders, the Skins win the division! Is that insane or what?
But back to yesterday's game. It was truly a thing of beauty. And as I watched, I wondered - why don't they play like that every game? What is it about this organization that makes players and coaches not focus hard and play to win week in and week out? Why do we not come out with this much agression and will every week? Because if we do, we make the playoffs every year!
But now is not the time for criticism. Now is the time for handing out some game balls to some True Redskins - guys who officially made their name in this town yesterday afternoon. Chris Coooooooley. Clinton Portis. Derrick Dockery (him paving the way for Portis and Betts was so sweet to watch). Randy Thomas (tough break - come back soon). Philip Daniels. Marcus Washington. D-coordinator Gregg Williams. And the list goes on. The Redskins dominated both lines and everything went from there.
It's tough to sum up what it all meant, especially with a HUGE showdown looming next week at home against the first-place Giants. There are probably more chips on that table than there were in yesterday's game, particularly given their 36-0 crushing of the Redskins earlier in the season. But for the first time in years, I felt yesterday like I was watching a real Redskins team out there. They played hard but smart, tough but classy, and deadly, deadly efficient. When you've got the dignity but not the toughness (as I suspect has been the case over the past several years) you're not going to scare anyone. But when you put those things together, it's a majestic sight to behold. And when they're good, that's the Redskins.
The jury's still out on this season's team - and I still don't think they'll make the playoffs when it's all said and done - but this game could prove to be a turning point, and I think it ensures that this season won't be a failure, regardless of what happens from here on out. I really, really hope they're able to build on this. Bring on the Giants, baby! And hail to the Redskins!
(Photo credit: Dwayne Woodard/Woodard Images)