Sunday, December 27, 2015

Hail yeah! My Redskins are NFC East champs

Finally, I saw the Washington Redskins play a great game.

And what a game it was! A 38-24 manhandling of the Philadelphia Eagles to take sole possession of the NFC East championship.

Meme by CARY ASHBY/CARY'S COMICS CRAZE
NFC East champs! Awesome. Hail to the Redskins!

Or as we say on social media, HTTR!

Living in Ohio there aren't a lot of opportunities to watch my 'Skins on TV.

True, I did see them beat the Cleveland Browns in the preseason — but as Dad always said, I'm not sure that counts.

The first time my team was on national television it was the fugly loss to the New York Giants.

I got to see some bonus coverage of the Chicago Bears game, so I at least saw a few plays of a Redskins victory. I was with my sister and brother-in-law over Thanksgiving when they played the red-hot Carolina Panthers — and I could only take a half of all that ugliness.

Then a couple weeks ago the 'Skins played the struggling Dallas Cowboys at home on Monday Night Football.

Since I don't have ESPN on my cable TV package, I made plans to see two of my buds and former Target co-workers to watch the game at Buffalo Wild Wings. At least it was great being with Andrew and J.B. Aaron Dees, you fellow crazy-ass bastard, we missed you!


Thanks to the Buffalo Wild Wings waitress who took this photo of us.
Meme by CARY ASHBY/CARY'S COMICS CRAZE
Locked up with identical records at the time, the Redskins had a chance to take a decisive step atop the NFC East in which everybody had a chance to take the division.

I saw the advantage going to the 'Skins since they were coming off a victory and we were facing our arch rivals.

But my Redskins played like the Deadskins.

The Cowgirls took an early sack on Kirk Cousins, the offense never got rolling and the defense just couldn't capitalize on Dallas' enemic offensive effort. It got uglier from the beginning, the score was a pathetic 3-3 at halftime and the Cowboys squeaked out a 19-16 win.

ARRRRGH!

The next day, my friends said the ending was exciting. And it was. But it wasn't THEIR team that lost to their most dreaded archenemy!

A flag fest — as I called it on Twitter — turned into a thriller (with a chance to win it) but ended as a heartbreaker.

(Some shameless self-promotion: I'm on Twitter as "Cary_reporter" — and you can tell from my name, aside from posting my memes and links to Cary's Comics Craze, I use it as a professional account. So my Redskins psuedo-coverage was unusual.) 

So when it came to facing the 6-8 Beagles … excuse me, the Eagles … in a national game on the NFL Network with only one road victory to their credit this season — and the NFC East and playoffs on the line in Week 16, I could only hope Washington would take care of business.

Way to go, 'Skins! Way to pull it together. Every touchdown felt awesome.

Photo by MATT ROURKE/AP: Meme by CARY ASHBY/CARY'S COMICS CRAZE
When they had a 21-point lead in the middle of the fourth quarter, I still wasn't sure I could breathe. It's at that point in every game that looks like it be a Redskins win that I root for the clock. (Watching the 'Skins on TV is bad enough for my anxiety, but when they bumble and stumble like they have been …!)

I won't bore you with a breakdown of last night's game; you can look that up.

Meme by CARY ASHBY/CARY'S COMICS CRAZE
But I will give credit where credit is due: Cousins looked impressive.

Yet another game without an interception — the turnover that haunted him the first half of the season.

Cousins gives the Redskins the confidence at the QB position they so desparately need. And that's saying something since I had him No. 2 on my personal preseason depth chart.

Lock this guy up with a nice contract in the offseason.

We've found not just our QB, but our field general. Cousins has proved he can overcome versatility with class, he can learn from his mistakes and shares the praise and blame. A QB who has earned the NFL Offensive Player of the Week twice this season deserves respect. And Cousins seems to have won the respect of his teammates; that's HUGE in the NFL.

Yup, I'm officially Team Cousins. That's not to say "Captain Kirk" doesn't still make me a bit nervous whenever he passes down the middle of the field or heaves the long ball …!

The clock on my wall may not work, but it says it all
for this diehard Washington Redskins fan!
CARY ASHBY/CARY'S COMICS CRAZE
Aside from his boneheaded, brain-fart decision to kneel down at the end of the half instead of spiking the ball for a chance to kick a field goal for a 19-10 lead at halftime, Cousins looked good last night. (31-of-46 for 365 yards and 4 TDs.) In fact, he set the franchise record for most games with 300 or more yards in a season (seven)— putting him in the rare air of Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgenson, Jay Schroeder and Super Bowl XXVI MVP Mark Rypien.

To quote Darth Vader, "Impressive. Most impressive."

Having an 8-7 record going to into Week 17 to end the season at Dallas (4-10 when I posted this) isn't necessarily something to crow about.

But the Washington Redskins are the NFC East champs. We're going to the playoffs. We went from worst to first in the division. Again! SPORTS ILLUSTRATED predicted we'd go 3-13. (Take that, Cowgirls, Beagles and Gnats! Yes, I have nicknames for all our division rivals.)

HTTR baby! Through it all, I'm HTTR4life.

Now chant it with me: We want Dallas! We want Dallas …!

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