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Was It Over When the Germans Bombed Pearl Harbor? Redskins Defeat Broncos To Keep Season Hopes Alive 3-6, I am not digging around for the keys to the bandwagon. In fact, as much as I want to talk about our strong finishes down the stretch in recent years, the sting of last season's 2-6 finish is still too painful. So I am going to do the best thing I can think of--enjoy the hell out of a home victory and lose myself a little in the euphoria.

There is certainly something to the fact that the Broncos are in a big-time rut right now. They brought in a raw, tentative Chris Simms in the second half and that was helpful to our defense ( to say the least). And for whatever reason, they decided not to throw it to Brandon Marshall on every play (huge mistake). For these reasons and others, I am going to refrain from overblowing the value of the win in NFL terms.

But for Washington fans and players alike, the value of this win is priceless. We have crammed a whole season's worth of drama, intrigue, and shenanigans into 9 weeks. The mounting losses this year have shifted attention to areas and topics away from the field. For better or worse, the win brings the focus of this city right back between the whistles. Despite any of those things I mentioned above with regard to this game, the Redskins actually played well enough to win the game. The game was not handed to them. The numbers don't lie--we dominated our opponent this week. Worthy of a second glance: two penalties, and zero turnovers.

Team Stat Comparison
1st Downs 14 22
Passing 1st downs
8 13
Rushing 1st downs
6 9
1st downs from Penalties
0 0
3rd down efficiency
5-12 8-16
4th down efficiency
0-2 1-2
Total Plays 56 70
Total Yards 305 388
Passing 185 214
14-31 18-27
Yards per pass
6.0 7.9
Rushing 120 174
Rushing Attempts
22 40
Yards per rush
5.5 4.4
Red Zone (Made-Att) 0-1 2-4
Penalties 4-45 2-19
Turnovers 2 0
Fumbles lost
1 0
Interceptions thrown
1 0
Defensive / Special Teams TDs 0 0
Possession 24:17 35:43

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All week long, I kept saying, "I have a good feeling about this one." To most people who know me, that is like hearing Lindsay Lohan say, "I might have an STD." Of course I had a good feeling. But I found the more people I talked to, the more people I was hearing agree with me. Everyone bought into the "short week/cross country trip/struggling Broncos" argument. The Vegas line shifted towards the Redskins all week long. There was no place where the positive vibe was more apparent however, than FedEx Field. I was a little shocked to be honest. It was loud in there. I didn't think the place was particularly full, but the people who were in the seats came ready to yell and scream. (Though there was certainly some unrest after Brandon Marshall git his second TD of the day...seriously, how do you not just throw it to him on every play against us?)

On the field, Jason Campbell protected the ball. The offensive line played well and Ladell Betts reminded everyone why he has been considered one of the better long relievers in the game in recent history (whether he gets to go for a few more innings or not discussed below.) On defense, Carlos Rogers played himself onto the bench and the defensive line really did a good job of applying pressure as the game progressed. I always get a little giddy when I see Jarmon and Orakpo in the game together, but you know who played a pretty good game yesterday? Andre Carter. He had 7 tackles (5 solo), 2 tackles for a loss, and 1.5 sacks. He had 4 QB hits. Orakpo's stat line is equally impressive (6 tackles, 3 for a loss, and 1.5 sacks), but I found myself watching Carter on more plays than Orakpo. I really respected what Andre did yesterday. I even watched him after the last whistle. He was spent. He couldn't move from his spot, on one knee, for a good 3-4 minutes. I appreciated that even more since I had noted in the second half how hard he seemed to be playing. Haynesworth deserves a lot of credit for the success of our defensive line, but Orakpo and Carter are still out there earning their stats. For those who watched the broadcast yesterday or listened to Sonny and Sam, I am interested in hearing any commentary regarding our defensive ends.

We can't talk about this game without talking about Hunter Smith can we? We showed the fake, called a timeout and then came back out and ran the fake! I was looking for the crane it was going to take to hoist Zorn's balls back to the locker room. At the outset of the season, we identified Hunter Smith as one of our "Irreplaceable Players." Two touchdowns later, he has exceeded my expectations. The pass to Mike Sellers seemed to take an eternity to land in his arms, but when it did, one thought occurred to me: "This is our Lavar play." You know the one...the interception return for a touchdown against the Panthers when we were 0-5 under Marty Schottenheimer.

I still don't know how all this plays out in the offseason, but after that Hunter Smith TD pass, things were different. Holding the Broncos to a field goal before the end of the first half sealed it for me. Closing out the Broncos in the second half seemed like a foregone conclusion--aided immensely by the insertion of Chris Simms into their lineup. Everyone was that confident too, not just me.

I just re-read this thing as I look to wrap it up and get it out. I am wondering to myself if this article is begging to end with some kind of preposterous, open-ended question like, "Is this the win that propels this team to a run at the wild card?" All I can hear is the voice of Chris Rock, after he recounts the story of a dude who gets a G.E.D. and thinks now he can to college. "Slow down! Not so fast!"

Here is what this win gets us to 3-6. The best thing about 3-6 is that it is not 2-7. The difference between the two means little to many of the onlookers from outside our little world here. But to us, it is huge. Enjoy it. We deserve it.

But get it out of your system quickly...Dallas Week begins today.