WASHINGTON – It was clear after the 30-24 overtime win against the San Diego Chargers that as a drama series the Redskins win would some awards. They also might be good enough or lucky enough, or both, to make it to the playoffs for a second consecutive season.
The win over the Chargers has a potential to be a turning point in a season saddled by questions and inconsistency.
From uncertainty over quarterback Robert Griffin III’s knee to the team’s 0-3 start, we were starting to think the party was over. Maybe last year was just a tease and the days of hand-wringing on a regular basis were on their way back.
Luck in the form of timing is on the Redskins side. This is the year to be a part of the NFC East. At 3-5 the Redskins are very much in the mix in the division. The first place Dallas Cowboys are only 5-4.
It begs the questions: Are the Redskins on the rise or is the NFC East on the decline? It doesn’t matter.
Teams that make the playoffs in the NFL find a way to make plays, even when they are not having the best of days. Darrel Young scored three touchdowns on 1-yard runs including the game winner in overtime. In the third quarter, Griffin kept a drive that resulted in a touchdown alive when he scrambled and lunged 10 yards for a first down.
The game and maybe the season came down to the fourth quarter.
The Redskins blew a 24-14 lead and appeared set to lose in regulation. The Chargers thought they had the winning score on a Danny Woodhead touchdown catch with 21 seconds left. It turns out Woodhead did not touch the pylon with the football or cross the goal line and upon review the touchdown was called back.
Still the Chargers had first and goal inside the 1-yard line. Not to be a buzz kill, according to ESPN, the Chargers have only scored touchdowns twice in 11 tries this season from the 1-yard line. That means the Chargers have only scored touchdowns on 18 percent of their chances from the 1-yard line, compared to the league average of 49 percent.
Despite the Chargers curious play calling, one rushing and two pass plays from the 1-yard line, the Redskins defense refused to bend. The defense is part of a Redskins team, which despite all of its stumbles and blunders, still believes in itself.
In the NFC East, belief might be all that matters.