Imagine your state of mind about one year ago as a Redskins fan.
Washington had just ended its season with a 34-10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles to end the year with a 5-11 record, as the team had several issues to address heading into the offseason.
They addressed those issues, alright — and then some.
They got two key free agents at the wide receiver position — Pierre Garçon and Joshua Morgan — and then traded up in April’s NFL Draft to get Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III with the No. 2 overall pick. They also continued building depth along their offensive line by selecting guys like Josh LeRibeus and Tom Compton, strengthened the quarterback position even more by selecting Kirk Cousins, and, snatched a guy named Alfred Morris from Florida Atlantic in the sixth round.
The result? Well, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King put it perfectly in today’s “Monday Morning Quarterback” column:
“Then, in the 256th and final game of the regular season, the Cowboys imploded (Tony Romo most notably, in a car crash of a game for him), and Washington won its first division title in 13 years. A year ago, no one inside the Beltway thought the Redskins would ever have a chance to draft Heisman winner Robert Griffin III, and no one there had heard of Alfred Morris, and no one there had seen anything like a Pistol formation morphing into an option offense. But that’s life in the NFL. Washington’s dangerous now because of one draft and one scheme, and will be for some time.”
He’s referring, of course, to Sunday night’s 28-18 Redskins win, the team’s seventh straight that claimed its first division title since 1999.
And the Redskins were able to do it by riding Morris to the tune of a career-best 200 yards and three touchdowns, as the rookie broke Clinton Portis’ single-season Redskins rushing record in the process. King talked via phone conversation with Morris after the game:
“For once, the hero wasn’t Griffin,” King wrote. “This time it was the NFL’s second-leading rusher in 2012, sixth-round rookie Alfred Morris, who drives a 1991 Mazda (“with 125,000 miles on it, but it’s still young,” he said after the game) and seemed shellshocked when he was told: “You just ran for 200 yards on national TV against the Dallas Cowboys, knocked them out of the playoffs and sent your own team to the playoffs.”
“Coming [from] where I’ve come from, it’s a dream,” he said over the phone from the Redskins’ locker room. “It’s a dream. You have to know where I came from. At Florida Atlantic, we went 1-11 my senior year. We started 0-10. It’s kind of a small school, and I thought the odds were slim to none that I’d even be drafted, never mind make an NFL team. When I got here, I didn’t care what the offense was. I was just going to buy into whatever.”
Hs 33-carry, 200-yard, three-touchdown effort was vital Sunday night, because Griffin is still feeling the effects of a sprained knee suffered three weeks ago. And with the ferocious rush coming Sunday from Seattle, it’s likely Morris isn’t done being the worker bee in the Washington offense.”
King places the Redskins at No. 7 in his “Fine Fifteen,” writing, “I can see Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and his staff firing up the tape this morning and wondering how they’re going to stop the unstoppable Redskin in their wild-card meeting Sunday. “Anybody got any ideas about putting a lid on Alfred Morris?” he’ll ask.”
He also gives Alfred Morris his co-Offensive Player of the Week — and gives Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (and his three interceptions vs. the Redskins) his “Goat of the Week.”
King also features an in-depth look at Sunday’s Wild Card playoff matchup between the Redskins and the Seattle Seahawks at FedExField from ProFootballFocus.com’s Neil Hornsby that’s worth a read, though, as a warning, it’s not very pro-Redskins.
And, per the usual, King concludes his “Monday Morning Quarterback” column with a Haiku:
“BobGriff v Wilson
Wild Card dream is coming true.
Will Obama watch?”
Tags: Alfred Morris, Monday Morning Quarterback, Peter King, Robert Griffin III, washington redskins
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