I would be lying if I told you that I don't feel terrible about everything today (except for one thing: Kevin Ewoldt and I brought home the Mike Wiggins Invitational trophy last night!!).
The way that game ended, preceded by the way it began, and factoring in all the crap between...it was not pretty. We can say it many other ways, but sloppiness was the flavor of that treat. I am trying to find silver linings today, mostly because they are there in a way they typically have not been in recent iterations of our terribleness.
The Redskins wake up this morning in first place in the NFC East. Am I trumpeting that from the hilltops? No, but it remains a fact.
The Redskins control their playoff destiny. Again, this fact offers little comfort right now, but it is still true.
As bad as the result was, and as bad as the plays that doomed us were, it would be wrong to ignore some bright spots that give us at least some reason to hope during the holiday season.
The band sounded great, and the cheerleaders were wearing camouflage spandex, which just...worked.
I thought our defense played pretty well against one of the best offensive lines in the league. Holding Dallas to less than 100 yards rushing is actually pretty admirable, when you consider we did it with a patchwork linebacking corps. Our secondary also deserves a pat on the back, given the fact that at times we were guarding Dez Bryant with a player who was a receiver himself a matter of months ago.
I don't hang this loss on Kirk Cousins by a long shot. Although you can't omit his occasional accuracy problems last night. He was beaten up pretty good and managed to keep his interception total at zero. I think I was most shocked to see his 101.4 passer rating, but again, I just didn't think he was our main problem.
As much as I wanted to see Josh LeRibeus take the center job by the horns, even the most casual of observers could see the gigantic hole in our offensive line last night. There isn't enough Flex Seal on the planet to plug the leak we saw in the center of our line. It was there all night, and the bruises on Kirk's body are the evidence.
This loss hurt. Whether there were bright spots or not doesn't change the fact we lost to our rival, on national television, when we had a chance to really change the national perception of our team. Again.
I am used to this feeling at this time of year, but what I am not used to is not only still being alive for the postseason with this feeling, but being in charge of our fate with this feeling. I can see myself holding onto this loss for a long time, but if the team doesn't figure out how to shake it off, the Chicago trip is going to be a disaster.
The 2015 Washington Redskins are a resilient bunch. They have seldom been knocked out, regardless of how many times they have been knocked down. That could be the difference in the next couple of games. Nobody is going to feel sorry for a team that gets to host a playoff game, so let's get it done!