Well, the season’s over and we, the fans, are left with a mixture of emotions, of what might have been, and the what ifs.
I think we’d all agree that at the beginning of the season, we would have taken our first NFC East title since 1999, a home playoff game, and the performance of our players, and the achievements of our rookies.
It all started with the draft and the Redskins mortgaging the future to move up four places to be in position to draft the Heisman Trophy winning QB from Baylor, RG3.
The season opened with an amazing win in the Superdome with the offence scoring 10 points in each quarter for a total of 40 points, against the Saints, in the Superdome. (Did I mention in was in the Superdome). Okay, the Saints went on to lose their first five games but we weren’t to know that, we were on a high at the potential of our new franchise player and an unknown rookie running back named Morris.
Three losses in four games followed for a dip in our enthusiasm, along with a “mild” concussion for Robert but a strong win against the then one-loss Vikings suggested we were contenders. Back up to 3-3 with the Giants, Steelers and Panthers to follow.
After handing the reigning Super Bowl champs a victory confidence was still high going in toPittsburghto take on the unconvincing Steelers. I had high hopes that we could turn them over but in a game where our receivers forget their hands, we suddenly looked vulnerable offensively and with a shaky defense, maybe we weren’t as good as we thought we were.
However the Panthers game was a gimme, surely. 4-5 going in to our bye week was still acceptable with five division games still to play.
We know how that turned out. The low point of the season where our Head Coach seemingly threw in the towel and started looking to next season. A week off before hosting the struggling Eagles but it was too late….wasn’t it?
One win later, and a Thanksgiving Day game in Dallas. A huge first half, opening up a 28-3 lead before holding out for a narrow 38-31 win and we’re just a game off .500. But with the Giants and Ravens coming up, it’s impossible, right?
One tight defensive battle and a second rookie quarterback pulling it out of the bag and we’re starting to believe again. But will Robert recover in time to take on the Browns? Could Cousins hold the fort, with no room for error, before Robert is healthy enough to take over the reins? Four drives, no first downs and an interception to start the game did not bode well. But Cousins finished the game a hero, throwing for over 300 yards in his first start, leading his team to 38 points and kneeling at theClevelandthree to finish the game.
At 8-6 with the Giants faltering, our destiny is in our own hands and our hopes are climbing steadily, like the roller-coaster that was this season. It comes down to the final two games. Eagles first then, could it all come down to the final game of the season, at FedEx Field, against the Cowboys.
The Eagles don’t go quietly but Robert does enough to squeeze out a 27-20 win for the final showdown, winner-takes-all game, against the Cowboys.
We Want Dallas! We Want Dallas! Well, we got them, and some great defensive plays, particularly by new defensive star Rob Jackson, sealed a 28-18 and the division title. Robert doesn’t seem himself but we ride Morris all the way for 200 yards and a hat-trick of touchdowns to send the Cowboys packing. It doesn’t get better than that! NFC East title, and home game against the hot, but travel sick Seahawks.
And then it all comes crashing down. A perfect first quarter until Robert is slow to get up after trying to throw a pass. But I’m not going to second guess any of the coaching decisions regarding the health of RG3, or of his insistence to stay in. Our guys couldn’t quite make the plays needed to keep the Seahawks down. A very good Seahawks team led by a very athletic and mobile QB, and a punishing 1500+ yard running back, and a top ten defense.
Good luck to them in the playoffs. Our roller-coaster ride is over for the year. Next are free agency, then the draft, then the progress RG3 has made towards full fitness, then training camps and preseason. If you think this season was exciting, bring on 2013! I’m buying a ticket!