- I am not sure if everyone out there is fully aware, but the Redskins season is actually still going. In fact, there are two games left to play. If this was “A Christmas Carol,” instead of Ebenezer Scrooge celebrating because he “hadn’t missed” Christmas, he would be begging the ghosts to just fast forward a couple of weeks. At 3-11, this Redskins squad has been done for weeks now, but the ugliness of the season in all of its totality is really starting to come into focus. For those of us still gathering around the television on Sundays, the show has gotten somewhat laughable—that is, if you can keep your sense of humor throughout this whole charade.
- I have spent many a pixel in this column focusing on those things that have drawn the eye on Sundays in a positive way. Terry McLaurin, for example, continues to be fun to watch. As long as you don’t ask yourself questions like, “How will Dan Snyder ruin this guy?” you can enjoy the rookie season for one of the best young wide receivers in the league. We have spent time talking about Jonathan Allen and DaRon Payne (and Matt Ioannidis). I have praised the lack of quit in this team despite the lack of a postseason opportunity. Most of the bullets in the “look over here” bag have been spent, meaning we are painfully close to having to talk about some things I have willfully set aside until after the holidays to dig back into (I have also spent plenty of pixels addressing the negative, but writing that post each week would simply drive me insane).
- I have two that I have been sandbagging for a few weeks, and I figure now is the time to break them out. Let’s start with the easiest one first: Adrian Peterson. Yesterday, #26 changed the record books a few different ways. He went over 3,000 carries, which makes him only the tenth man to do so. With a rushing touchdown on the day, Peterson moved into a tie with Walter Payton for the fourth-most career rushing touchdowns. As if that wasn’t enough, Peterson also passed Curtis Martin on the all-time rushing list and now sits in fifth-place all-time. I understand there is some baggage that goes with the Hall of Fame-bound player, but having him in the backfield these last two years has been a very underrated treat. I say underrated because many people rightly suggest his best days are behind him and therefore they don’t really pay attention (well, also because the team has provided very little in the way of compelling play to draw them back to the game). I have thoroughly enjoyed having Adrian Paterson in the backfield. I wonder if people fully appreciate that he put in a TEN-YEAR career’s worth of work in Minnesota before getting bounced from the Vikings. After a year where he floundered in a system where he was essentially sharing with Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara (and he doesn’t like sharing) and provided minimal value to a Cardinals roster that also had other players taking carries, it is pretty cool that Peterson has essentially BEEN our ground game for TWO YEARS. I get that is not how things were drawn up, but that is how they went down, and I feel like Peterson fits superbly into the group of running backs that came from other places to log some great minutes for the burgundy and gold. If you are reading this today, please give me your favorite examples and perhaps some memories from watching them play. Guys like Terry Allen, Earnest Byner, Gerald Riggs, and yes, even Clinton Portis and John Riggins all came from somewhere else and put in work in D.C. That certainly isn’t an exhaustive list. At this point in his Redskins career, Adrian Peterson has wedged himself in at #17 on the Redskins all-time list of rushers (right between Joe Theismann and Andy Farkas) and has a chance to challenge the likes of Ricky Ervins and Joe Washington. It’s otherwise hard to sell a 66-yard performance, but when he is being inducted into the Hall of Fame, there will be a part of us with a legit claim to a part of him. I don’t overlook such things...even on days like the ones we have been getting with regularity around here.
- I’ll be accused by some of REALLY straining to find ways to be positive, but once again, Tress Way has excelled. At some point, we will all turn around and realize that he may very well have been the best Redskins player we watched during his time here. Tress leads the league with his 49.4 yard average punt. He is eighth when it comes to inside the 20, but try and remember that he punts from the deep end of the pool more times than not as evidenced by his league best 79-yard punt. He is fourth in total punts and third in net average. Time and time again, Tress booms a kick that results in a flipped field. I argue that we would not even have a chance most games for slightly-less-than-even-remotely-somewhat-mediocre outcomes if it wasn’t for the leg of Tress Way. I am confident that the Redskins will keep up their streak of Pro Bowl appearances by a player with the initials T.W.
- If you couldn’t smile yesterday when the Eagles ran back that fumble for a touchdown with no time left, try harder now. The outcome of the game was decided, and I had ZERO dollars on the line, so I was able to be more thoughtful about it. Points scored with no time left on the clock are the worst points in the world to give up. I am often reminded of the manner in which the Redskins have given up meaningful points at the end of the first half with no time left. Samari Rolle did it to us with an interception back in October 2000, as I watched him go sideline to sideline and score with no time left on the clock in the first half. The Redskins lost 27-21...but that wasn’t as bad as...Pete Kendall. I can’t even write his name calmly. The big man grabbed a batted ball and tried to run it but coughed it up himself. I was also there on that October 2008 day as I watched O.J. Atogwe go 75 yards for a score at the end of the first half. The Redskins lost that one 19-17...SERENITY NOW!! All that said, NOTHING compares to Sean Taylor returning a blocked field goal against the Dallas Cowboys with no time left on the clock at FedEx Field on that November 2006 (and not 2016) day. It remains as a top-five Redskins memory for me, and easily eclipses those other plays in my heart. How is Nick Novak doing these days?
- I hope everyone gives the basement a shout tomorrow night, as we finish the year strong with some holiday cheer. We will spend very little time breaking down game film from this week or any recent week, instead focusing on those things that make us happy as Redskins fans (yes, there are still some of those to celebrate). Maybe we will even cover the whole “Alex Smith as GM/Urban Meyer as HC” conspiracy theory! If you are able to join us, please comment and help guide the discussion. “Thank God It’s Tuesday” airs every Tuesday night at 9ish, and is the official Redskins podcast of Hogs Haven. You can subscribe for FREE here on our YouTube channel. Thanks for your support, and we’ll pick it up from the comments section below in the basement tomorrow!
From where shall we derive our pleasure from this week?