"DC" Skins Postgame #11 - Titanic Effort Returns Hope

Yes... another late blog. I do realize this should have been posted about two days ago, but who's keeping track?

Anyway, after being left for dead after the massacre against the Eagles last Monday night on national television, the Redskins have gotten some hope back with this 19-16 overtime win against the Titans. This was a game that the Redskins had to win, and going into the game, it didn't look good because the Titans won all the games against the NFC East, and they were very banged up with a lot of key injuries. Not to mention, the Titans are just plainly a lot more talented than them.

As the game was played, it didn't look to good for the Skins initially as well. They allowed the ball deep into their own territory for the first Titans possession, then allowed a touchdown punt return during the next. But fortunately for them, they were only down 7-0. They responded a possession later and tied it at 7, but they could have easily been down by a lot.

Then, the injuries started coming. Special teams players started to go down, then some offensive linemen, then Clinton Portis (again), then more offensive linemen. They were banged up already to start off the game, and they started to lose even more players? It looked bad. Very bad. The coaches were moving people around the line, putting tackles as guards, players who played normally played on the left on the right side, and so on. That offensive line was a patchwork job, and it didn't look like it was going to hold up, especially against a defense that sacked the quarterback the most in the NFL.

But the Redskins offensive line really surprised me. Despite this line being banged up and abnormal, it still probably put up the best effort it has all season. McNabb was only sacked three times, and in most cases, they gave him time to throw the ball. The mistakes that McNabb made and the interceptions he threw were more on him than on his offensive line. There was even one interception he threw where he had forever to throw the ball. Along with the fact that Vince Young was replaced by a rookie quarterback in the 4th quarter, this gritty play of this offensive line, as well as key stops on defense kept the Redskins in it in the end, and the game came down to a Redskins field goal in the end of regulation, which wasn't made. Therefore, it went to overtime.

Overtime was more of the same. The Titans moved the ball a little bit, and depended on Chris Johnson to do so, but apparently the Redskins play made it clear that they would make Rusty Smith (Vince Young's replacement) try to beat them. And of course, he wasn't able to. And after they punted, and when the Titans gave the ball back to the Redskins, offense did it's thing and allowed McNabb to make a few plays. But at the same time, Titans also committed a lot of stupid penalties in this period, including a few unnecessary roughness and holding penalties. So, in the end, the Redskins moved the ball far enough so they had a chance at a field goal. Ironically, that field goal was a yard longer than the field goal that was missed to end regulation. However, Gano (the Redskins kicker) was able to boot it in for the win.

As I said, this is a good win for the Redskins, and it restored some hope in this town and showed that the season is not lost (yet). They beat a team that they weren't supposed to beat and are clearly more talented than them on paper with a very bad offensive line, after a demoralizing loss a week before. Therefore, people in DC have started to rejoice for the week, because the smiles are more apparent after the win. Not to mention, the "P" word could be back in the conversation if there happens to be a couple more key wins. And that starts next week, with a very winnable game against the Vikings (who has a geriatric quarterback with some off-the-field camera phone "issues" and also just fired their head coach).

But, with this win, people here in the DMV should feel good, for now. If they play with that same heart, as they get healthy, they will definitely get back into the postseason conversation. But, it's still very hard to say whether this win determines if this team will be playoff bound. It may be doubtful that the line will perform the way it did that day, and how well (or if) everyone heels up as the season goes on. 

For now, just take it for what it's worth... a win against a more talented Titans team. Whether it gives momentum throughout the upcoming games, we'll just have to wait and see. It does restore hope though. I always believed that hope is the rope of the faithful and loyal. And from living here all of these years, the fans of this team are one of the most faithful in the country. 

That being said, Redskins fans can have something to hang on to for now. Let's just see how long it hangs out there.


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