Washington Redskins 2012: RGIII, Alfred Morris and a Year for the Record Books

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Washington Redskins 2012: RGIII, Alfred Morris and a Year for the Record Books
Al Bello/Getty Images
Despite the Wild Card Game loss to the Seattle Seahawks, the rookie tandem of Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris led the team to success in the 2012 season.

The Washington Redskins' 2012 season ended on a low note with the talk centered around Robert Griffin III and his injury, who is to blame for the decision to let him play at less than 100 percent and, oh yeah, the loss to the Seattle Seahawks in their first playoff game in five years. However, there is good reason to look on the bright side.

The 2013 Redskins have a lot of time to regroup, rebuild, rebound and recover from an otherwise satisfying 2012 regular season.

I often comfort friends who have lost loved ones to allow the death of a family member, relative or friend to be a celebration of their life and not a mourning. In my estimation this is what needs to be done with the beloved Redskins as it will allow fans to remain optimistic during the offseason. 

Here is an overview of the 2012 season that was—where magical plays occurred, rivals were crushed in spirit and defeated, winning streaks were enjoyed and rookies left their mark on the field and in the record books.  

 

NFC East Champions

 The Redskins finished the season 5-1 in the division with their only loss in Week 7 against the New York Giants. In that game the 'Skins had the lead late in the fourth quarter only to have Giants QB Eli Manning find WR Victor Cruz on a 77-yard touchdown en route to a 27-23 win.  

The 'Skins have only won both regular-season games against the Dallas Cowboys twice since 1987 (2012, 2005). This was the 'Skins' third 2-0 sweep of the Philadelphia Eagles in seven seasons (2008, 2005).

Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
Coach Mike Shanahan and the Redskins finished atop the NFC East for the first time since 1999.

 

Seven-game winning streak

The 'Skins had a bye week at the midseason (Week 10) and held the bottom spot in the NFC East with a 3-6 record.  Fans were highly disappointed, players and coaches frustrated and opponents excited to face the team on their schedule.  

 

Facing three straight games against division rivals, the 'Skins started with a win over the Eagles and the Cowboys during the week of Thanksgiving.  During the seven-game streak the team averaged 30 points per game and the 'Skins secured a berth in the postseason for the first time since the 2007 season.

 

Regular-season record: 10-6

 The last time the team finished the regular season with a higher winning percentage (.625) was the 1991 season when the 'Skins finished 14-2 and won the Super Bowl against the Buffalo Bills 37-24.

This was the third time since the 1991 season the team finished 10-6 (2005, 1999).

 

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Running back Alfred Morris

 The 'Skins hit the jackpot with their sixth-round draft pick in 2012 with the selection of Alfred "A-Train" Morris. In his rookie season, Morris finished the regular season with 1,613 rushing yards and second in the NFL among running backs.  

With his phenomenal freshman effort, Morris is the all-time single-season rusher with the franchise. Morris was selected Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week three times and NFC Offensive Player of the Week and FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week in his 200-yard rushing performance against the Cowboys in Week 17. 

Morris finished the 2012 season with 13 rushing touchdowns, also a Redskins rookie record, and averaged 4.8 yards per carry and 100 yards per game.  Morris also holds the franchise record for most carries as a rookie running back—a record that had stood since 1975.

 

Quarterback Robert Griffin III

RG3 not only set franchise records but also set NFL records in his rookie season.  Griffin finished the season with a passer rating of 102.4, held previously by Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger (2004).  

 

With only five interceptions on the season, Griffin now has the NFL rookie record for the lowest percentage of passes intercepted (1.3 percent), held previously by Detroit's Charlie Batch (1998). 

USA TODAY Sports

He broke a 51-year Redskins record for completions by a rookie (172) while becoming the 59th NFL quarterback ever to complete a game with a "perfect" passer rating of 158.3 in the Week 11 game against the Eagles.

Griffin set a rookie quarterback record with 815 yards rushing this season. His Redskins jersey set the sales record for NFL jersey sales while also becoming the first player to have Roman numerals on his jersey among the four major sports (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL).

He is the only non-specialist rookie selected to the 2013 Pro Bowl, selected twice as the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month, twice as the NFC Player of the Week and seven-time Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week. 

There are multiple records, both team and individual, worthy of mention, and entire articles could and maybe should be written about kicker Kai Forbath, 15-year NFL veteran linebacker London Fletcher and other standout performers from the 2012 season.  

Most importantly, this season was a building block for a solid foundation on a Redskins team in need of stability, leadership, character and positive attitudes that will enable the 'Skins to grow, develop, mature and continue to be among the top in the division and conference.  

Positive attitudes bring about positive results, and the 2012 Redskins were able to bring about change that was much needed for 'Skins fans, players and staff.

Statistical information provided by ESPN.com and pro-reference.com.

Follow on Twitter @JohnBibb

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