Sports Commentary: Redskins Back in Playoff Picture
Charles E. Sutton | 12/7/2012, 6:15 p.m.
With their win over the New York Giants on Monday night, the Redskins are part of the playoff discussion again.
With their dynamic duo of quarterback Robert Griffin III and running back Alfred Morris controlling the second half, Washington managed to get past the New York Giants 17-16 before more than 80,000 fans at FedEx Field to get back into the playoff race.
The Redskins (6-6) still trail the Giants (7-5) by one game in the NFC East, but three consecutive wins has placed Washington in a position to at least make a wild card run for the first time since 2007. After four straight bad seasons, Redskin fans will actually have a good reason to watch the final four games of the season.
Griffin gave the Redskins the lead on an 8-yard pass to Pierre Garcon, but it was the running game that kept Washington in it while New York controlled time of possession.
The game wasn't the high scoring affair that the capacity crowd was looking for, but the big-game atmosphere that's been missing at FedEx Field for years was clearly present. The parking lots were jammed with tailgaters several hours before the game, and concession stands had long lines when the gates opened two and a half hours prior to kickoff.
In the first half, New York gained 273 yards on only four possessions by holding the ball 20:15 to Washington's 9:28. The Giants' 40 plays from scrimmage were twice the Redskins'. Washington was close because Josh Morgan recovered Griffin's fumble for a touchdown.
Washington fans were relatively quiet until the Redskins first series of the third quarter. Griffin gained 46 yards on an option play. The crowd erupted, and from that play on the decibel level was high enough that the screaming fans could be heard in Georgetown.
But on the next play, Morris fumbled on the Giants' 9-yard line, and Washington's opportunity to take the lead was gone. However, the Redskins bounced back quickly. On the next drive, Griffin and Morris teamed up again to make it the winning drive. Griffin's touchdown pass to Garcon followed 41 rushing yards by Morris. With the dual threat having real success, the Giants had difficulty focusing on either one which kept their defense off balance. Ultimately, the Redskins took advantage of the Giants' imbalance and came away with a victory.
I know it's hard to believe, but it's true: It's December and the Redskins are in the playoff hunt. So, let's collect ourselves, relax and enjoy the rest of this resurgent season.