In the last six days, the Redskins have knocked off the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants and arguably one of the best teams that the American Football Conference has to offer in the Baltimore Ravens. That is now four wins at FedEx Field, which far surpasses that foolishness of last season when the Redskins won just one game at home.
This wild ride story for the burgundy and gold continued with Sunday's win over the Ravens, proving to be the most bizarre chapter yet - and all thanks to guys who were not on the roster last season.
Down eight points with minutes left, franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III sprained his right knee trying to make a play. The courage he displayed by coming back into the game to lead half of the final drive on one leg is further confirmation that the Redskins got it right by giving away all those draft picks to pick Griffin No. 2 overall. This kid is a changing the culture around here every time he steps on to the field and up to a microphone.
In came Kirk Cousins, who many bristled as to why the Redskins wasted a fourth-round pick on another quarterback, and finished off the drive and converted a season-saving two-point conversion to send the game into overtime. I was one of those who bristled at the selection and part of me still wishes they got offensive line help back then, but the line is doing OK right now and I definitely did not mind seeing Cousins do what we all know Rex Grossman could not.
Then, in the extra frame, came an outstanding 64-yard punt return by seventh-round pick Richard Crawford. I love this move by Mike Shanahan. So many times, we hear the coach talk about hard work and how it will be rewarded and then we don't see that manifestation. This is a time that you saw it play itself out. Brandon Banks was not getting the job done. Crawford was inactive for weeks, but practicing hard. Shanahan needed some depth at cornerback and to try some new faces in the return game. Mission accomplished. My only beef is that this move should have been made weeks ago, as the entire fan base already saw that Banks was not getting it done.
The fabulous return set up a 34-yard game-winning field goal by Kai Forbath, who has put himself in the discussion for team co-Most Valuable Player. Yes, that's right. I said it. You can hate on kickers all you want, but he is saving this team's backside. That is now a perfect 14-for-14 in the field goal department and nine of the 14 have been from 40 yards or more. His efforts are so crucial that Shanahan rewarded Forbath with the game ball after the win against the Ravens. Enough said.
All this is on top of the efforts by Alfred Morris, who despite his troubling second fumble in six days, racked up 122 yard rushing; Josh Morgan, who at one point was a villain for his unsportsmanlike conduct outburst in St. Louis, but now has two touchdowns in six days; Pierre Garcon, whose injured toe has been one of the biggest stories of the season, nit now has a touchdown in three straight games and the team is 6-1 with him in the lineup.
I think it is safe to say that all of the above are a breath of fresh air to a franchise that desperately needed it.
This run reminds me so much of the playoff run in 2005, when I witnessed the Joe Gibbs-led team win in St. Louis, in Arizona, at home against Dallas and the Giants, and then the New Year's Day game in Philadelphia that produced that iconic Sean Taylor diving-into-the-end-zone moment. I sure do hope 2012 has the same outcome.
What stood out to you most about the win against the Ravens. Was is Griffin's courage, Cousins' late heroics, Forbath's clutch kicking or something else?