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Looks Like Someone Has a Sixpack of the Mondays

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The Redskins get back in the win column on the road against the Seahawks...who would’ve thunk it?

NFL: Washington Redskins at Seattle Seahawks Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
  1. Happy Victory Monday, y’all! As far as wins go, they don’t get much better than when they come on the road against a team that has absolutely had our number in games where we found ourselves needing a win. I read that the Redskins were just the seventh team to win a game in Seattle since 2012...really? We did that? I mean, it is improbable just to emerge victorious after a day at CenturyLink Field, but it is FAR more improbable when you trot out an offensive line that has only ONE actual front-line player on it. I felt like I was watching a high school lineup at one point—not because of the talent level, but because of the size disparity of Morgan Moses versus everyone else. You know those high school football teams where one guy (usually playing left tackle, or in T’s case, quarterback) is head and shoulders bigger than everyone else in attendance? Savor this one, guys...not only did this win put our season back on track, but it was also among the most enjoyable therapy sessions any of us have ever had.
  2. Poor Blair Walsh...okay, enough consolation. The Redskins benefited from Seattle’s kicker missing three field goals, but I don’t know why the world expects Redskins fans to feel like we got away with something. After all, no team in the NFL has gone through more kickers than the Redskins over the last 24 seasons. Few fanbases have had their nether regions punched with greater frequency than ours thanks to the performance of a kicker. I’m sorry. You won’t hear me ever say that we “got lucky” on that. If anything, we are owed like, a whole season’s worth of that kind of luck still. Give it up for a defense that kept putting Blair Walsh back out on the field to attempt field goals and not extra points.
  3. There were so many moments from that game that stand out to me, but the Josh Norman arm-tackle of Thomas Rawls on third-and-one is going to be imprinted on my brain for some time. When both are healthy, it’s a real toss-up as to who the best player on the Redskins is between Trent Williams and Josh Norman. That kind of timely tackle underlines that point. Between that tackle and Josh Doctson’s catch at the end, Redskins fans have a taste in our mouths right now that lacks any hint of the struggles associated with playing against Russell Wilson. Nobody is standing up here putting Doctson in Norman/Williams territory, but as our first-round pick last year, he is expected to be one of our best players. That catch moves him in that direction. With so many guys unavailable to play, we had to get plays from the best guys we had on the field, and Doctson is one of those guys.
  4. The most maddening memories yesterday are of Russell Wilson looking as comfortable as anyone in America standing in that pocket. I understand our containment plan was largely successful, but for God’s sake...that man is good enough to beat you by himself. Even when Wilson was stymied, there was rarely the sense that we “won” the play. He managed to avoid 1,000 sacks and got just about 400 yards of offense all by himself. It felt like Russell did just enough each play to give his team a real chance on the next play. Kudos to the Washington defense for being up to the challenge of just about every “next play” they saw yesterday. Our defense was outscored by Seattle’s defense (2-0), which was the difference in the game for much of the affair. As long as we are in the “maddening” category, none of you will EVER convince me you didn’t see that 10-2 score and think that the entire game was coming down to a 2-point conversion attempt. Of course that was what was going to happen. I was already thinking about my Sixpack at that point. How was I going to spin yet another one of those losses? (The Marine Corps birthday is this week on Friday, so I pondered punting on the game coverage altogether and going that route. Which affords me the opportunity to say it loudly and proudly: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARINE CORPS!!)
  5. Kirk Cousins’ agent must have had like five heart attacks yesterday. It’s one thing to play on a one-year contract behind Trent Williams, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses, Shawn Lauvao and Spencer Long. It is an altogether different thing to risk your future employability behind The Catalina Wine Mixer. It is so difficult to honestly judge the performance of a quarterback when he is joined by the defensive line in the backfield on just about every play. Luckily, I know one way to judge it, though: did he win or lose? For the 11th time, Kirk Cousins led a game-winning drive. Do Redskins fans truly appreciate that number? I understand that none of them were in the Super Bowl, and I also get that Kirk has thrown it away in clutch scenarios in the past. Still, he helmed a game-winning drive on the road against a defense that was physically destroying him each play in rain and sleet and without the ability to hear himself think. Despite poor stats, and even despite stretches yesterday where he just looked outmatched, Kirk Cousins did the exact thing that both fans and detractors have been begging him to do: come through at the end. With all due respect to Doctson, who made an incredible play on the ball, Kirk got rid of that throw quickly. He put it right where it had to be. It was a game-winning play made by a guy who gets ripped for not doing it enough. From here on out, the referendum on Kirk’s contract will be unavoidable. Welcome to our reality. At 4-4 and on the heels of a gutsy road win, Kirk Cousins is, for the most part, holding his value pretty steady. The most important thing for him and for us is that he survived the contest.
  6. You all know what comes next...been repeating it for two months. The Vikings and Saints games make or break our season. Two highly ranked NFC teams (2nd and 3rd in the conference I believe) provide two great opportunities to prove that the Redskins belong in the thick of the playoff race. (Seriously, Kansas City?? You couldn’t win one measly game when we needed it most?) It all starts at home this week against Minnesota. They have a very good defense, but are they better than Seattle at CenturyLink in terrible weather? The Saints are a quality team led by a Hall of Famer, but not even Drew Brees can do what Wilson did to the Redskins in the run game. At least I don’t think he can. These aren’t gimme games...not by a long shot. But the season is only HALF over. The only losses suffered by the Redskins have been at the hands of teams at the tippy-top of the NFL food chain. We might not get every player back from injury we would like to get back, but we will get some back. Teams very rarely have to do what Washington did yesterday when they suited up injured players that had no chance of seeing the field. We are a game back of Dallas, who has to play Philadelphia twice still. Given that every time the Redskins have made it to the playoffs in the last decade or so (2005, 2007, 2012, 2015), it was on the strength of a late-season run, we should feel pretty good sitting on this 4-4 record. Given our belief that this roster is by far better than the rosters we saw in those years, it stands to reason that if this team gets hot down the stretch, we could be talking about another UNBELIEVABLE and UNEXPECTED result: a playoff win. I can’t wait for Tuesday night in the basement podcast studio...the ‘Spirit of Sonny’ is going to be FLOWING! To everyone who partied their brains out yesterday (including those gathered in that very basement podcast studio), I salute you. To those Redskins fans who donned the burgundy and gold and repped us in Seattle, I salute you. I feel comfortable suggesting that there is about as much quit in this fanbase as there is in our team. Lot of season left, y’all. Don’t look now, but if the Washington Redskins can win a game like they did yesterday in Seattle, they can win a lot of the games left on their schedule. HTTR!