Raise your hand high if you thought quarterback Kirk Cousins was going to lead the Washington Redskins back after the Seattle Seahawks had just scored the go ahead touchdown on a pass from the slippery Russell Wilson to his scrappy wideout Doug Baldwin to take a 14-10 lead with 1:34 seconds left.
Put your damn hand down, you liars!
Even the most delusional, ardent, blind faith super fan watched Baldwin score and held their head in their hands in disgust and disappointment.
“Game over” many friends texted me or pronounced online.
I agreed wholeheartedly. I shook my fists in the air and cursed the Redskins as a team who would always get your hopes up and inevitably let you down and then for good measure, break your heart in the waning moments of the game.
Losing by so little always hurts way more than losing by too much. It’s such a cruel fate.
Up to that point, the Redskins defense had played such a brilliant game. They had risen to the occasion, while the offense was limp and impotent. The offense seemed to lack any real passion or interest. Lame drive, after lame drive kept the game painfully close. Yet, the defense was up to the task and fought like the season was on the line.
And it was, because while the division is out of reach the wild card is still in play. A win against the Seahawks could help go a long way toward the end of the season. But I digress, the game seemed out of reach with 1:34 left and those dreams seemed hopeless and silly.
With injuries depleting the offensive line and with the wideouts making little impact who was Cousins going to throw to? Ryan Gruden (Grant)? Please, that’s fan boy stuff.
To make matters worse, Seattle’s 12th man was now at full throttle. Is it not enough that the 12th man adores the loud neon green color that burns the eyes, that they too must burn the ears with their deafening sound?
It just seemed to much to overcome, jet engine loudness, an offense that hadn’t found any rhythm all game, and a determined Seattle defense.
I texted my friend the following: “You think the Cap’n can lead them down the field? AHHAHAHHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH!”
He texted back with an equally long “HAHA”. Gallows humor seems fitting when you can see the hangman waiting for you.
“The season’s over.”, “We’re doomed!”, “Expletive”, “More expletives!”, “Is the new Will & Grace worth watching? Expletive”, “My wife likes it. Expletive” and on and on it went online, across cell phones, and across Redskins Nation.
And then the unthinkable, the unimaginable, the unbelievable, happened.
Cousins hung in the pocket and delivered a 31 yard strike to #83. Who the hell is #83?! In the excitement I had forgotten it was wideout Brian Quick who had a catch earlier in the game. Quick took a wallop and still held on to the ball as the Redskins were now on the Seahawks 39 yard line.
On the very next play, Cousins must of said let’s give the people what they want and threw the ball toward wideout Josh Doctson who made an outstanding, diving, outstretched 36 yard grab and rolled to the 1 yard line. Running back Rob Kelly would proceed to bulldoze his way in on the next play and give the Redskins an improbable 17 -14 lead.
It took 35 seconds to go 70 yards and score the go ahead touchdown. Remarkably, I am surprised the entire Redskins fan base didn’t die from shock.
And yet, it wasn’t over. There was still 59 seconds left in the game and Redskins fans know all too well that’s 59 seconds too many. Thankfully, the Redskins defense who had caused two turnovers and somehow kept Wilson in check seemed poised to handle the task.
Wilson and company moved down the field and aided by the referees had one last Hail Mary left to throw with 4 seconds left. I can assure you many Redskins fans were bending the knee and praying to the old gods and the new. As the ball floated down and a sea of hands reached for the ball it fell harmlessly out of bounds and the Redskins faithful could finally breathe in relief and scream in jubilation and victory.
In a game for the ages, I think all Redskins fans aged just a little bit more because of this game and can start to rebuild some hope for what seemed like a lost season. With so many injuries, we got to see that the depth on this team might make watching the rest of the season more interesting. A win next week though and the playoffs might start to come back into the conversation as well.
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