2012 Washington Redskins: A Dreamer's Guide to a Redskins Postseason
It's okay to dream.
Dreams rarely become realities, but it's not a sin to dream.
The 2012 Washington Redskins are fulfilling a dream that many thought was impossible. They are pushing for their first NFC East title since 1999.
After the love they received from ESPN preseason projections, this in itself is a dream.
With two weeks remaining in the 2012 season, they hold their destiny in their own hands. With a phenomenal rookie quarterback, a surprising rookie running back, a late-season surging wide receiver and a slowly-improving defense, the Redskins are attempting to do the impossible.
Worst to first.
That's not a dream. That's a 3-6 team committed to living up to its potential. Fans in the DMV have fallen in love with this team. A team that has offered little to fall in love with for 20 years.
This one is for the dreamers.
Week 16: At Philadelphia Eagles
The Redskins enter Philadelphia with playoff implications on the line for the first time since 2005.
They had put together a late-season surge after a four-game winning streak, in a bid for a wild-card spot.
That year, in Week 17, Donovan McNabb was sidelined due to injury, and the Eagles called upon backup quarterback Mike McMahon to lead a struggling Philadelphia squad.
The Eagles, playing the role of spoiler, jumped out to a 17-7 lead. However, the Redskins responded in the second half, and after a Clinton Portis touchdown gave them a 24-20 lead, they never looked back.
The final score was 31-20.
Fast forward to 2012. The Redskins enter Philadelphia with a five-game winning streak. Michael Vick, following a concussion, has been replaced by rookie QB Nick Foles.
Prediction: Philadelphia surprisingly builds an early 17-7 lead, but a dedicated and focused Redskins team responds. In the fourth quarter, Alfred Morris gives the Redskins a 24-20 lead, and they never look back.
Final Score: Redskins 31, Eagles 20
Week 17: Dallas Cowboys
Following victories in Week 16 for all three teams in the NFC East—the Redskins, Cowboys and Giants—all enter the final week tied at 9-6.
Dallas and Washington face off in a winner-take-all Week 17 showdown for the rights to the NFC East. The game is moved to NBC's Sunday Night Football, as the nation watches the NFC East Championship.
Both teams enter high on confidence, and the game is a bruising hard-fought slug fest to the finish.
Romo hits Bryant with 2:10 remaining in the fourth quarter to give the Cowboys a 27-23 lead. Anxiety rushes over the stadium as its beloved team must rally one more time.
After moving the team down the field, Robert Griffin III runs for 30 yards and out of bounds to the Dallas 12-yard line with 0:06 seconds remaining.
Final Score: Redskins 30, Cowboys 27
Wild Card Round: Seattle Seahawks
In 2005 and 2007, the Redskins' only playoff appearances in the past decade, the road in the playoffs went through Seattle.
The 12th man has not been kind to the Redskins. In 2005, after an emotional six-game winning streak, and a Wild Card Round victory of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington fell in Seattle 20-10.
In 2007, following the death of their teammate, Sean Taylor, the Redskins' emotional journey came to an end in Seattle, by the score of 35-14. The Redskins held a 14-13 lead in the fourth quarter.
In 2012, the Seattle Seahawks travel across the country to face the Redskins' home crowd.
Prediction: The crowd isn't kind to Seattle. Both defenses hold very strong, and the Redskins secondary plays its best game of the season. The two rookie quarterbacks perform well, but Griffin betters his opponent.
Final Score: Redskins 21, Seahawks 17
Divisional Round: At San Francisco 49ers
An old Redskins fan's dream comes true.
A rematch of two of the best teams of the 1980s. During the 10 years between 1982 and 1992, the Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers accumulated seven Super Bowl titles.
The glory that both teams played with during that time frame is on full display in this 2012 divisional game.
Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III showcase a zone-read attack and a filthy play-action game. The 49ers defense plays stout as usual, but fails to stop Alfred Morris within the final four minutes.
Trailing 24-26, he pounds through for 41 yards on the Redskins final offensive drive, and sets up a play-action pass from Robert Griffin III to Pierre Garcon to put the Redskins in field-goal range.
Kai Forbath connects as time expires.
Final Score: Redskins 27, 49ers 26
NFC Championship: New York Giants
In the most unlikely matchups from the NFC, the Giants, on a hot playoff run, face a Redskins team that has not lost in nine weeks.
Eli Manning and RG3 face off for their third showdown of the season. And the drama captivates the NFL.
The Redskins need a miracle to come back on Big Blue. Facing a 4th-and-10, Robert Griffin III keeps the Redskins' season alive with his legs, and connects on a desperation throw to Logan Paulsen. With 1:23, remaining Griffin finds Santana Moss in the end zone to give the Redskins a 23-20 lead.
Eli Manning takes the field, preparing for a signature fourth-quarter playoff comeback.
After a strong series of downs from the Redskins defense, the Giants face a similar 4th-and-10. Eli Manning heaves a deep ball to Victor Cruz, and FedEx Field holds its breath.
Cedric Griffin just gets a piece of it, and the ball falls to turf.
Go crazy Washington.
Final Score: Redskins 23, Giants 20
Super Bowl XLVII: Indianapolis Colts
In something that NO ONE saw coming, the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins face off in New Orleans for the Lombardi Trophy.
The question of Rookie of the Year will be answered on the biggest stage.
The two teams that picked No. 1 and No. 2 in the 2012 NFL draft, now claim the No. 31 and No. 32 slots in the 2013 draft. (St. Louis, I know...)
RG3 jumps out to a large 27-10 lead at the half, but Andrew Luck attempts a Luck-like comeback in the second half. Bringing the Colts to within three points, trailing 30-27, the Colts need one more defensive stop to complete a miracle comeback.
Alfred Morris says no.
Final Score: Redskins 30, Colts 27