The absence of Pierre Garçon for the majority of this season has hindered the Washington Redskins offense. He was supposed to be the big-play receiver Kyle Shanahan was used to having during his time as offensive coordinator with the Houston Texans.
Now that Garçon is back and playing at full speed in spite of his injury, the Redskins' playoff hopes can be taken seriously.
In a perfect world, Garçon would have played an entire season at the clip he started it with against the New Orleans Saints. He caught four passes for 109 yards, including an 88-yard catch and run, all in the first half.
He appeared in just three other games, visibly limited, and caught seven passes for 49 yards and no touchdowns.
Seemingly out of the blue, Garçon shows up on Thanksgiving Day, catches four passes for 86 yards and a touchdown, including a 59-yard catch and run that saw him reach that extra gear he displayed prior to tearing a ligament in his foot.
Then he follows it up with an eight-catch, 106-yard performance against the New York Giants, where he made some difficult catches on a few errant throws from Robert Griffin III.
Though Alfred Morris and his 313 yards over the last three games have kept the Redskins afloat, and the offense churning, but the dynamic created by Garçon's presence has fueled an otherwise lacking passing attack.
However productive Griffin has been using Santana Moss, Logan Paulsen, Leonard Hankerson, Josh Morgan and Aldrick Robinson, none of them bring the consistent threat that a full-strength, full-speed Garçon can.
With Morris firing on all cylinders and Griffin finding his groove with Garçon in particular, the Redskins offense has all the pieces to be a formidable unit as they sprint towards a playoff bid.
Considering the defense has only shown flashes of any sort of ability to stop opposing offenses, Washington needs Garçon to aid in copious amounts of scoring to set a blistering pace and hope it holds for the duration of the game.
It would have been nice to see a completely healthy Garçon to start his tenure in Washington, but if he continues to come up big down the stretch, he'll be well on his way towards establishing himself, and the Redskins, as a threat to make some noise in the postseason.