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Redskins @ Jaguars – Final Reactions

Posted by Matt Terl on December 26, 2010 – 4:28 pm

Here’s one where I talk about how wrong I was. That’s always fun, right?

The Redskins were facing fourth and goal from the 1 with just over twelve minutes left in the game and the score tied at 10; after the third down incompletion, I expected Graham Gano and the field goal unit to trot onto the field to give the Redskins the lead. Instead, the offense stayed on the field.

At this point, I was sure — SURE — that this was the wrong decision. And Ryan Torain taking the handoff, leaping, and stretching the ball over the goalline didn’t convince me otherwise. Here’s what I tweeted at the time.

.bbpBox19127787562467330 {background:url(http://a1.twimg.com/profile_background_images/29409954/wrtwitter_redskinsblog.jpg) #4f1f26;padding:20px;} p.bbpTweet{background:#fff;padding:10px 12px 10px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:#000;font-size:18px !important;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px} p.bbpTweet span.metadata{display:block;width:100%;clear:both;margin-top:8px;padding-top:12px;height:40px;border-top:1px solid #fff;border-top:1px solid #e6e6e6} p.bbpTweet span.metadata span.author{line-height:19px} p.bbpTweet span.metadata span.author img{float:left;margin:0 7px 0 0px;width:38px;height:38px} p.bbpTweet a:hover{text-decoration:underline}p.bbpTweet span.timestamp{font-size:12px;display:block}

That was a bizarre decision, regardless of the fact that it worked.less than a minute ago via TweetDeck

Which is as direct as it gets, I think. The defense had been playing fairly well, the Jaguars had been tripping themselves up, and a fairly sure three point lead seemed like a better bet than the risk of going for the touchdown. The folks following me on Twitter didn’t agree. Here’s a quick sampling of that disagreement:

With the exception of @SportsYack down there, that’s pretty much uniform disagreement, and all for compellingly argued reasons. It’s a 5-9 team; there’s nothing to lose; failure would likely just trap the Jaguars at their own goalline.

And lord knows events proved me wrong and the crowdsourced answer correct: the Jaguars’ touchdown was only enough for a tie, not for a lead — and, of course, that led to overtime, which led in turn to the Redskins getting their sixth win of the season, on a Graham Gano field goal.

So I was wrong, and I’m happy about it. I’m pleased that the coach demonstrated more faith in the offense than I did, and that his faith was rewarded. I like it when people make some careful arguments that lead me to change my mind. But mostly, I’m happy that the Redskins EARNED this win, against a team fighting for their playoff chances. On a day when they were forced to give playing time to a bunch of guys that I’ve barely heard of, when it felt like they couldn’t get any bounces their way, when they had several questionable calls go against them, and when they even lost the overtime coin toss.

Moral victories are usually for the losers, but this was a moral victory for the Redskins in the most literal sense. It showed that they hadn’t given up, they they weren’t satisfied with just playing to improve their draft position, and that they could overcome yet another week of CW-grade drama to win.

Given all of that, I really don’t mind being wrong at all.

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