Yesterday the Redskins had about as good a Sunday as they could have had without playing and winning a game. As they looked on, two of their division rivals saw late leads disappear as they lost in gut-wrenching fashion.
Well, gut-wrenching for the players and their fans, anyway. There was some delight expressed by Redskins fans on Twitter as the Cowboys and Giants both lost in the final minutes of the game.
The Giants were involved in a shootout in the Superdome, as Eli Manning and Drew Brees combined to throw 13 touchdown passes, the most in any game in NFL history. Brees threw seven, tying the NFL record for TD passes in a single game. His last one came with 36 seconds left and it tied the game at 49.
Then a combination of yet another case of bad late game situation management by the Giants and a former Redskin’s late heroics won the game for New Orleans. After three incomplete passes, the Giants punted with 30 seconds left. But instead of punting it out of bounds to set up overtime, the ball went to returner Marcus Murphy, who dashed up the middle of the field for 24 yards to the Giants 47. A facemask penalty moved the ball to the 32.
Kai Forbath, who was the Redskins’ kicker for 41 games up through Week 1 of this season, booted a 50-yard field goal as time expired to give the Saints the win. It was Forbath’s first field goal of 50 yards or longer since 2013.
The late game had the Seahawks playing in Dallas. If the game in New Orleans, the third-highest scoring game in NFL history, was too much offense for you, this one was the antidote. The Cowboys did not score a touchdown while Seattle mustered only one. Dallas took the lead early in the fourth quarter on a 27-yard Dan Bailey field goal. Seattle had a couple of chances in the fourth quarter, including a field goal try that was blocked, before finally getting a 24-yard game-winning Steven Hauschka field goal with 1:06 left to play.
The Eagles, tied with the Redskins for second in the NFC East with a 3-4 record, also enjoyed Sunday’s results from their couches while on their bye week. The Giants are 4-4, a half game up but tied with Washington and Philadelphia in the loss column.
It sees doubtful that the Redskins will have only four losses for long, with road games against the undefeated Patriots and Panthers coming in the next three weeks. But both the Giants and Eagles have New England looming on their schedules. The Giants get Carolina in December. Philly has already lost to Carolina and has a date with the NFC West leading Cardinals in Week 15.
The Redskins still should be considered the underdogs to win the NFC East, perhaps even behind the Cowboys, who will get Tony Romo back in Week 11. But Washington can get some of its injured players back on the field and rediscover how to move the football on the ground, they could be playing meaningful games in December for the first time since 2012 and the second time since 2007.
As is usually the case, the division games will be key. The Redskins are 1-1 in the NFC East with a loss at New York and a home win over the Eagles. They have two shots at Dallas (both should be with Romo back behind center) and one more each with Philly and the Giants. Again, they are underdogs but if they can win three of those four division games they could have a shot.