Billed as the Battle of the Beltways… Sunday’s game at Fed Ex Field turned into Cousins’ Comeback.  A fourth quarter TD plus two point conversion sent the Redskins and Ravens into overtime… where a Richard Crawford 64-yard punt return set up a game winning field goal.  In the aftermath of a 31-28 triumph, plenty of questions and concerns while one ponders the postseason possibilities.

 

RG3ver– in the “outside of the obvious, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?” department…Robert Griffin III’s afternoon was par for the excellent course he’s charted this fall.  Many rookie QB’s do one thing well:  if they complete a high percentage of passes they’re usually dump-offs… if they stretch the field they throw interceptions… if they run well they can’t throw consistently or vice versa.  This kid is accurate… has range… and can make teams pay with his legs.  Unfortunately his knee paid the price of a run… and a grade one sprain plants RG3 in the land of limbo for Sunday’s game with Cleveland.  But it looked much worse on replay… especially slowed down.

Cousins!– Kirk completed both pass attempts in relief… tossing an 11 yard TD while running for the game-tying 2-point conversion.  Nice sample– and while he did throw a touchdown pass in his regular season debut against Atlanta…this rookie playing a full 60 minutes with an opponent preparing for him may not fare as well.  But would you rather have Turnoverasaurus Rex prowling around?

Mr.  Morris– give this guy a Max-Burger… he started the day with a 29 yard run and seemed to be one step ahead of the Ravens D.  He did fumble for the second time in two games… but a 122 yard and a touchdown effort on the ground make one recall the Palm Springs Episode where Jessie’s dad gets remarried– Zack is solid in his scenes with Kelly, but the real drama is Jessie accepting her stepmother and/or Slater being called “real American Cheesecake” by some foreign princess or something.

Garcon And On and On– Pierre was on point again…pacing the Skins with 5 catches for 87 yards while grabbing the TD that helped the team tie things up with under one minute to play.  His presence not only stretches the field but also allows Josh Morgan, Leonard Hankerson and Santana Moss to be in their natural spots and thrive.  Since returning to the lineup, #88 is operating at a season-long pace of 80 catches, 1136 yards and 12 touchdowns– while the Skins are 4-0 in that stretch.  More than a coincidence.

Third Down Doughnut– the Skins converted their first two and last two third down attempts of the day– in the middle failing to move the chains on seven tries.  The breakdown: 1-3 on third and 1-3 yards… 3-4 on third and 4-6… 0-4 on third and 7+.  RG3’s numbers?  2-5 passing for 12 yards and a TD… 2 carries for 10 yards and a fumble.  Best drive of the day?  The second score in the first quarter was an 8 play 83 yard march that saw no third downs.

Can’t Spell “Second Half” without a D– After allowing 21 points in the first half… the Skins D began the third quarter with a fumble recovery and an interception (both leading to field goals) before successive three and outs.  In overtime, another three and out.  Despite numbers that would lead one to believe that this defense is near the bottom of the league–they more than came through when it mattered.

London Calling– not only did the defensive stalwart notch an interception that easily wiped 3 points off the board (the Ravens were at the Washington 11)… the veteran tallied 9 tackles despite being banged up.  Perry Riley also produced with 15 stops.

Kai-cking Game– okay, unlike “Tracking the Triumvirate” and “Turnoverasaurus Rex”… this feature title will take time to develop.  But Mr. Forbath notched three field goals:  48 and 49 yarders in the third quarter and the gamewinning 34-yard kick.  The UCLA product is now 14 of 14– last year Graham Gano went 16 of 26.  The tiny upgrade at some positions often has huge improvements on the big picture.

Dissecting the Division– the Giants win over New Orleans keeps them one game ahead of the Skins… who own second place thanks to the head to head tiebreaker with Dallas.  Philadelphia’s win over Tampa Bay keeps its hopes alive in avoiding last place– but the Eagles need three more wins plus a Skins three game losing streak to avoid the cellar (the common opponents record replacing conference record a few years ago).

Wildcard Watch– Seattle and Chicago (8-5) stand a game ahead of the non-qualifiers… with the Seahawks OT win in the Windy City one week ago providing the tiebreaker.  Right now the Redskins are 7th due to wins over Minnesota and Dallas… with St. Louis lurking one half game behind.  The Rams can actually make history if they win their final regular season game in Seattle;  they’d likely become the first team to go unbeaten in its division (5-0-1) yet miss the playoffs-at 6-6-1 they’d need to sweep their remaining games and get two losses from Chicago or one more from Seattle plus one Minnesota and one Redskin loss.

Dueling Divisions…and NFC re-assertion– so much for the AFC making a December drive to take the interconference contest.  After dropping four games in week 13… the NFC went 3-0 thanks to gamewinning field goals by the Redskins and Dallas, plus Buffalo being Buffalo against St. Louis.  The NFC owns a 31-23 lead with two more weeks of interconference play.  The AFC North, NFC North and NFC West all have the equivalent of 28 -24 marks (the NFC West’s 2 ties cancel each other out.  The AFC West remains the weakest at 20-32… with turmoil targeting at least two, perhaps

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