Sunday afternoon, The Washington Redskins beat the San Francisco 49ers in a wild contest, 26-24 in front of 75,568 (mostly) Skins Fans. The Victory moved Washington to 3-2 on The Season, the 2nd time The Redskins have had a Winning Record this year.
So that’s all good, right? Skins Win & DC is happy.
If only it was so simple!
Nope. This narrow Win caused plenty of frustration among the faithful. Now I suspect it had to do with Washington being billed as an 11 Point Favorite going into Sunday’s action. Said plainly, most observers (and fans) expected this to be a cakewalk.
I did not. These Niners had played everybody to date to a standstill, but couldn’t close the deal. They did come to FedEx as a Winless team, but their record was misleading.
Upon closer inspection, they had fallen to each of their Opponents by 3 points or less. That told me they weren’t laying down for anyone. The line on the game led most folks to believe that this ballgame would be a rout. But I wasn’t buying it. I publicly said so here and here before Kickoff.
And as good fortune would have it, The Skins did indeed Win (in a close game). And that’s when things got real interesting!
Check out some fan reactions:
Why do the Redskins seem to let down when playing a bad team? Up by 17 and barely squeak by with a win? Are they lacking discipline? Pride?
— JayDee (@jaydee5799) October 15, 2017
Tough games coming up and it may come down to the kicker and I’m not that confident…
— Tee (@DC_SportsFan_2) October 15, 2017
I don’t agree Otis, they escaped with a win. SF could have gotten into FG position and won it. Should not have to come to that.
— Ashburning (@johnnylocal) October 16, 2017
— Andrew Schuster (@AndrewOpticalA) October 15, 2017
And every last one of these folks is a loyal, Diehard fan. Suffice it to say for Jay & the boys that escaping games with a Win (against inferior Opponents) isn’t acceptable to many fans anymore.
Believe it or not, that’s a good thing!
Because it means that the team is dealing with real expectations. And what’s more, they are expected to meet them!
It was apparent immediately after The Game that many fans were unhappy with the circumstances.
I see this contest as another step forward in the maturity process this team needs to reach the status of Perennial Contenders.
I say this because in today’s NFL, not only is every game an adventure, but the margin between the teams is so close that wildcard variables like Injuries and Turnovers can sway a contest any given Sunday.
Yes, that may be cliche. But it’s still absolutely true.
My view is that these young Redskins learned that there is no such thing as an easy Win. It seems like after the fellas got up 17-0 late in the 1st Half, they (mentally) eased off, treating the 9ers like Weber State.
17-0 vs. 17-17 pic.twitter.com/aerMMDwDF1
— Not Robert Griffin (@Pseudo_RGIII) October 15, 2017
There ain’t no Weber States at this level. And San Francisco almost beat them to prove it.
But they didn’t.
Six or seven years ago, they would have.
And that makes all the difference.
The bottom line is that to become a consistent Winner in Pro Football, a team must possess the ability to Win when not at their best. Or, to rally and preserve (or steal) a Victory.
Now we know that Washington can do that. And that’s progress.
So…The Team is 3-2 and headed to Philadelphia for a huge Monday Night Division Game. Exactly where they should be.
These Redskins are right on schedule.