After beating the Vikings 32-21 last night, the Redskins unbelievably find themselves positioned to win the sixth playoff spot in the NFC. Why "unbelievably?" Let's examine:
The Redskins currently have nine players on injured reserve. Four were week 1 starters. Pro Bowl RT Jon Jansen was lost for the season in week one; pro Bowl RG was lost for the season in week two, so there's the right side of your O-line shattered for essentially the whole year. Starting CB Carlos Rogers was having a great year until tearing up his knee against New England: gone for half the season. LB Rocky McIntosh was tearing stuff up until tearing up his knee against the Giants last week. Then of course there's our starting quarterback Jason Campbell, who dislocated his kneecap with four games to go - the very day I first wore my new Jason Campbell jersey, naturally. Campbell isn't on IR because he just might be able to come back for a first round game, but he missed the last four games of the season.
Then, of course, there's the eleventh player gone for the year: safety Sean Taylor, who led the league in interceptions at the time of his death despite the fact that he had missed the previous two games.
Clinton Portis has been reported with injuries to his knee, ribs, other knee, back, and shoulder. Both starting receivers, Anwaan Randle El and Santana Moss, have missed games with leg injuries. Number three receiver Brandon Lloyd has been one of the biggest free-agent busts in league history, and he's on IR with a broken collarbone anyway. His replacement James Thrash has missed several weeks with injuries, and the team has signed Reche Caldwell and Keenan McCardell off the street to pick up the slack.
The football fans who say to the above litany, "Boo hoo. Everybody has injuries" are out of their minds. I've never seen a team so snakebit in my life as a fan, at least not one in playoff contention.
And that, my friends, is the bottom line here. The Redskins have won three in a row (after losing four), and they sit at 8-7 in position for the sixth playoff spot in the NFC. A win against Dallas next Sunday at 4:00 and they're in; and this is against a Dallas team that has already clinched home-field and has nothing to play for at all. No T.O., probably very little Romo, and no real incentive for the Cowboys to risk much of anything. Not a gimme, but certainly something to be taken.
So merry Christmas, Redskins. A season that looked awfully bleak after 5-3 turned into 5-7 has officially turned. Honestly
, with all those injuries and after losing #21, 8-7 almost feels like the Super Bowl.
One thing's for sure: no one in the NFC relishes the idea of playing a wild-card Washington team right now.
Labels: football, Redskins