Yes, with Week 1 behind us, the official 2013 NFL season is finally underway! In DC, there was a ton of buzz and anticipation leading up to the Monday Night Football game featuring the Washington Redskins vs. the Philadelphia Eagles.
Of course, Washington looked very strong after an undefeated preseason (4-0), but all eyes were on Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (RG3). This season opener was his first chance to play in front of a hometown crowd at FedEx Field since the knee injury he sustained at the end of his phenomenal rookie year last season.
After battling back from surgery and intensive rehab in the offseason, many still questioned whether RG3’s recovery had been fully completed. However, according to Dr. Andrews, Coach Shanahan and Robert himself — he was good to go and cleared to play.
So, what happened?
Chalk it up to nerves, first game jitters, lack of cohesion or team rhythm, the Redskins looked pretty awful in the first half. The offense had three turnovers, including one that resulted in a safety. They just couldn’t get anything going. Local sports announcers rationalized that RG3 hadn’t been able to “shake the rust off” from sitting on the sidelines and not seeing real game time action for so long.
Philadelphia, on the other hand, came to play — 53 plays in the first half alone, to be exact. Eagles QB Michael Vick was masterful and seemed to carve up the Redskins secondary with ease. At halftime, it was 33-7. Philly had scored 33 unanswered points and the only Redskins score came from an oddly botched Eagle play that resulted in a Redskin defensive touchdown by DeAngelo Hall.
However, the second half (specifically the 4th quarter) seemed to paint a different picture. Things started to click. When it was all said and done, Griffin finished strong completing 30 of 49 passes for 329 yards and two touchdowns to WR Leonard Hankerson (#85) including one in the last couple minutes of the game. Alas, it wasn’t enough. Fighting the clock, the Redskins eventually fell short and lost the game by six points 33-27. As the old saying goes, “We didn’t lose, we were just a little behind when time ran out.”
Still, if the rest of the season for the Redskins looks more like Monday night’s 4th quarter, it should still be a great year for the defending NFC East Champs.
Personally, I think we need to be patient. How quickly we forget where we were over a year ago! The Redskins were struggling and the QB spot was wide open. Below is a little visual recap to add some much needed perspective — embellishments courtesy of Photoshop:
Remember this? Former Indianapolis Colt Peyton Manning was up for grabs. Before the Denver Broncos scooped him up, rumors began to swirl that he could possibly head to Washington.
Robert Griffin III from Baylor wins the Heisman Trophy. Forget about the “Super Socks” complete with little capes, RG3 was clearly destined to be a Redskin — “For Life!”
Only one way to get him. Make a deal to secure the #2 spot in the first round of the NFL draft. Done! Indy picks Andrew Luck, Washington invests in the promise of Robert Griffin III.
Griffin III sports his ceremonial #1 Redskins jersey just after he was drafted.
Washington, DC buzzed with excitement. Redskins fans from all over collectively rejoiced! RG3 represented the prospect of creating real “hope and change” on the gridiron here in the Nation’s capital.
Fans were anxious to show their support. Screensaver, anyone? Sure, but who is #11? Robert was #10 at Baylor.
Here we go, that’s better! But can he play?
Yup! 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year, NFL rookie records, 10-6 on the regular season, a playoff berth (Playoffs?!?!) and the 2012 NFC East championship to boot. Of course, Kirk Cousins deserves some credit, as well, for stepping up when RG3 was unable to play due to injuries. Overall, not too shabby, especially after the team fared 5-11 in 2011.
So, yeah — not going to lie. This loss hurt, a lot. Hopefully it will serve as motivation to reach the ultimate goal…
Bring the Lombardi Trophy back to Washington! It’s only in Baltimore, we can send a car.
Bottom line, as we enter Week 2, this is not about one player — it has to be a team effort. And, as fans, we will be right there with them all the way.
Hail to the Redskins! #HTTR