December 31, 2012 in Washington Redskins Post Game Recap
By Staff Writer John Manuel:
Postgame thoughts on Victory Monday, NFC Champs edition:
1. I have to look at the season as a whole first.
No one had the Washington Redskins winning the NFC East last summer and that is what just happened. Not only winning it, but winning it by winning 7 straight games, including a 5-0 run in the division.
They were supposed to be at least a year away from contention but Mike Shanahan and his staff was able to get this team from 3-6 to 10-6, and I am as shocked as anyone that it happened. Shanahan deserves a lot of credit for the turnaround but having a young leader in Robert Griffin and a true veteran leader in London Fletcher cannot be overlooked.
2. As for the game, the story was Alfred Morris.
Morris will end his rookie regular season only behind the great Adrian Peterson in rushing yards and as the Redskins single season record holder. And he saved his best performance for last night. Morris gashed the Cowboys defense for four quarters and three touchdowns. He probably stole some offensive rookie of the year votes from RG3 but who cares about that now.
The offensive line took care of a depleted Dallas front seven. What was a concern back in August, the Skins o-line has been very productive all season and an obvious bright spot giving the Skins their best team rushing season in team history. Staying a mostly healthy intact unit cannot be overlooked.
3. As for the defense on Sunday night there were many stars on the field and one major one on the sidelines.
Jim Haslett was once a goner in DC and now deserves much credit for the d's turnaround. His unit saved its best performance for last night in the biggest game.
And the struggling secondary led the way. DeAngelo Hall (yes, D Hall) and Josh Wilson were all over the Dallas receivers all night making it tough for Tony Romo. The defense was able to get pressure on Romo and force him into three huge picks including the 4th quarter game changer by Rob Jackson.
Finally, once again London Fletcher was London Fletcher. Forgot the Pro Bowl snub talk after every season, it is time to discuss Fletcher as a Hall of Fame candidate once his great career is over. Hopefully after a bunch more playoff games.
4. We can talk big plays from Griffin or Morris, Shanahan, the defense but what made this team NFC East champs is the turnover margin the Redskins had.
Once again Robert Griffin didn't turn the ball over while the defense forced three picks from Tony Romo. Romo will be feeling the heat in Dallas today so they can have fun with that. Our QB is a big game quarterback and no rookie QB has protected the ball like RG3 has in 2012. No one could have predicted that before the season. We knew it was going to be a key going into the Dallas game and it was.
5. Now the NFC East Champs have to get ready for the Seattle Seahawks next Sunday.
The two hottest teams in the NFC face off and should be a big game. Two solid rookie quarterbacks, two beast running backs and two Adderall suspension returners as well. Today is a day of celebration and we will look more into the Seattle game later in the week.