It's way too late and my brain far too fried from just now finishing up (it's way past my bed time) etc. non-Redskins related obligations. Why do they exist? To torment me.
As does this team, apparently, even in victory. As Chris Mottram mentioned to me in an email, posted here without his permission because I doubt he'd take offense, though I promise I'm not in the habit of posting your emails without permission, would-be reader(s) emailer(s), here goes:
And then we throw a pick in their territory. And then Fred Smoot can't hold on to what necessarily would have been a game-clinching interception. And then Antwaan Randle-El somehow comes away with a reception on a giant tipped hail mary, which by itself is enough to cause cardiac arrest, but decides not to run away from the defenders only to be tackled mere feet away from victory. It hurts. And then I suffer through a coin flip knowing damn well that it decides at a pretty decent clip the winner of any given overtime. And to win on a field goal by Shaun Suisham -- who is earning my respect by the way -- knowing damn well that he used to be another team's excess baggage and questions remain about him as Your Washington Redskins kicker. [editor's note, by Skin Patrol] OMGoose I left off Cam Cameron frantically trying to find a place for his gigantic ballsack while calling in a successful touchdown on 3rd and goal with 4 seconds remaining in the half. They don't make underpants that can fit testicles of that magnitude. I screamed.
But that doesn't really capture the entirety of why this game was so difficult. As zknower points out in his excellent postgame analysis below:
* Campbell bad decisions
* Smoot dropping easy picks
* Saunders not trusting the running game more
* Jansen's ankle
Jansen's ankle was the worst result of the game. I love me some Gary Fitzgerald at the Official Site, but his delivery of doom wasn't well played. I go to Redskins.com to be wooed, whined, and dined on Redskins goodness. If bombshells need dropping, dance around the issue first. Tell me that, like, we don't even need Jon Jansen. That everything will be ok. That I shouldn't worry. Instead:
Surgery is likely. The injury would appear to end Jansen's season.
The team will update Jansen's status on Monday.
Where's the silver lining? For all our faults that game, for all the drops, the picks, the injury (which happened early enough to affect the outcome), the ups, the downs, the laughs, the cries, ugly or not, we still won our home opener. That means, 1-0, as predicted by mmford (who, by the way, got loved for his efforts at AOL Fanhouse; thanks to BnG for upgrading that from diaries). The silver lining is that we won in spite of ourselves. It's very difficult to win in the National Football League, moreso when you lose the turnover battle, which we found out in aggregate last year. Already we are on pace to shatter 2006's dismal 12 total turnovers, and we shoulda coulda woulda had more with a few timely interceptions. How did it happen? Generally strong defense (acknowledging the competition) and a robust running game that scoops 191 total yards on 4.7 per carry against a stingy ass defense that as recently as last year was giving up just 3.5 (3rd in the NFL). Jason Campbell had his faults, and his overall numbers weren't really indicative of his performance given that hail mary had no business getting completed, but he threw about as fine a long ball as FedEx field has ever seen. And he completed 5 of those passes to a guy who didn't look at all like a #3 or #2 wide receiver, but rather a #1 receiver, and I'm talking about Antwaan Randle-El. Poo poo his 54 yard anamoly, and he's still 4 receptions on 108 yards, 27 per reception.
Some might call that winning ugly, or a gritty win, or doing what you can to snatch that W. I call that fighting your fucking guts out. Your Washington Redskins are undefeated. One cannot spell 19-0 without 1-0.
Hat tip to Irrelevance for the guts out reference, condolences to The Phinsider, a worthy opponent.
Mister Irrelevant, Fish Don’t Swim, or How the Skins O-Line Saved Us the Embarrassment
Bullets Forever, [Insert clever link title here]