Monday, January 02, 2006

5 and 0 and We Go -- To The Playoffs

After the low point of the Raider's game, Who besides Tony Kornheiser thought it possible that the Redskins would make the playoffs. The team stated its goal simply: "5 & 0 or we don't go!" And five wins is what they got.

Yesterday, they fought off the Eagles in Philadelphia. Surprisingly, the Eagles put up a stiff fight. They got off to a strong start by doing what had been difficult for them, running the ball and making big plays! It didn't help that Mark Brunell was hurt as clearly shown in his play. His timing was off and he missed open targets. By half time, the Eagles held a seven point lead, jangling the nerves of Redskin fans everywhere.

Fortunately, the Skins got down to business in the third quarter. Brunell tossed a beautiful 54 yard bomb to Santana Moss, then Clinton Portis ran it in to tie up the score at 17. The Eagles came back to score a field goal to retake the lead. It was their last gasp because the Redskins started playing Gibbs ball -- rugged defense, power running and forcing turnovers. The defense recovered four fumbles and made two interceptions. The team converted a total of 21 points off turnovers. Clinton Portis rushed for over 100 yards (again) and scored two touchdowns. Portis' tough inside running set the tempo for the second half. That more than anything set up the win.

Portis and Santana Moss set new team single season records supplanting Stephen Davis and the legendary Bobby Mitchell.

Clinton Portis' family was escored from the stands down to the field during the game. Portis mother had been struck by an object thrown by some Iggles fan. Philadelphians are nice, decent people, I'm sure. However, when they put on their team colors and go to the game, they become the lowest form of life. It takes effort to live down to that boorish reputation.

Speaking of boors, it's possible Terrell Owens will be in an Eagles uniform next season. Heck, Ricky Williams is playing for Miami, isn't he?

The Giants clinched the division title because they did two things the Skins failed to do:

  1. consistently make big plays, and
  2. beat the Raiders.

But this is no time for nit picking. The Skins achieved their goal. They won their last five games and go to face Tampa Bay in round one.

Joe Gibbs, who engineered this feat, take no credit for it. He cites Daniel Snyder as most responsible, followed by the players and the fans. Right! The foundation of the team's success was laid by Joe Gibbs. It was Gibbs who made defensive coordinator Gregg Williams his first hire. It was Gibbs who brought Clinton Portis to the Skins. It was Gibbs, and only Gibbs, who saw something special in Santana Moss and Mark Brunell. The Redskins' fortunes and Snyder's reputation improved the day Snyder lured Gibbs out of retirement.

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