With less than two minutes to go, facing 3rd and 7, needing a first down to ice the game, we all knew what was coming. The Eagles knew what was coming. My grandfather, dead for nearly 20 years, knew what was coming.
The Redskins were going to run it. Worst case scenario, they punt and hope the defense holds. Best case scenario? The line politely escorts Eagles defenders away from Matt Jones so he can take a brisk afternoon jog 57 yards down the left sideline.
Game over. Everyone drive safely home. Someone get me some new pants, mine are too creamy.
Immediately after the game, as per Hess ritual, my dad called me.
“THAT’S THEY DID IN THE 80’s!” he yells.
“You let the line beat the shit out of the defense, then you ice the game with a run. Gibbs did it all the time.”
Our conversation got me thinking. It’s been a slow burn up to this point. The first two games were pass-stravaganzas, obviously resulting in two deflating losses.
The Redskins were much more balanced against the Giants. The game ended with a spectacular Cravens interception, but it was slowly suffocated by a violent, clock-killing drive of runs.
Next week the Skins also leaned more heavily on the run. They scored 14 points in the 4th quarter to defeat Cleveland.
The Redskins didn’t have great success running against the Ravens, but they stuck with it, allowing them to play a close game...which good teams need to win on the road if they wish to play in January.
Then came last week. The Redskins faced one of the best defenses in the league. Surely they wouldn’t be effective against a team that held the Steelers to 3 points.
The offensive line of the Redskins humiliated the Eagles from whistle to whistle.
And this wasn’t some aberration, a blip on the radar. This was a slow-roasted cup of drafted fat boys, finally being savored on a fall afternoon. This is what we’ve been screaming for. It finally happened.
Trent was Trent, the best left tackle in the NFL. Shawn Lauvao, the 3rd round draft pick signed by Washington in 2014 was again strong. Spencer Long, the 2014 3rd round pick is playing center at a level anyone under the age of 40 doesn’t remember seeing in this town. Brandon Scherff, the 5th overall pick (CAN’T DRAFT A GUARD THERE) made a $100 million defensive tackle non-existent. Morgan Moses continued his ascent as one of the best right tackles in football.
All young, all strong, all violent blockers. And all will be on the team for the foreseeable future. It begs the question, are these really The Hogs 2.0?