LANDOVER, Md. -- We have never really seen this before. We may never see anything like it again.
|The 'Skins still benefit from the presence of No. 21 -- just ask linebacker London Fletcher. (US Presswire)|
No, we have not seen this before, what the Redskins overcame to get here, what they have become, what they are doing.
This year they lost the right side of their offensive line to injury. A free-agent rookie started at right guard. The starting quarterback was seriously hurt. The backup quarterback hadn't started a game in a decade and just as he did, his wife gave birth to their child. Defensive back Shawn Springs watched his father fall into a coma. Joe Gibbs, a Hall of Famer, in one moment literally looked like he didn't know the rules to the game he has spent decades coaching.
Then, Sean Taylor was murdered, killed in his home, and during the insanity of an NFL season, the Redskins hopped charter flights to attend his funeral. And mourn.
"To think four weeks ago where we were and where we are tonight," Gibbs said.
Where are they? The Redskins are in the playoffs, an impossible destination, it seemed, no so long ago. But no need to pinch yourself. It's true.
It is also true what former and current Redskins players have stated recently to the media. The Atlanta Falcons lost one player in Mike Vick and crumbled to pieces. The Redskins lost so much more and have held together like a patchwork quilt forged of iron.
If the Jacksonville Jaguars are the team most feared in the AFC, the Redskins are the group to avoid in the NFC.
They're not spectacular, they're not great, they don't intimidate. And Gibbs still makes some spectacularly boneheaded calls.
The Redskins are nevertheless solid and motivated. Most importantly, they're hot.
After losing four straight the Redskins have now won four straight.
What has returned to Washington is balance, and the Dallas game was a perfect illustration. Taking advantage of a Dallas team that clearly didn't care about this game, Washington utilized a good portion of Clinton Portis and key Todd Collins throws to quickly overwhelm the underwhelming Cowboys.