It was something perhaps the Mayans were trying to prevent.
Prior to this season, the Washington Redskins had played five games in the month of December five times in their 79 years as an NFL franchise. Never had they run the table in those opportunities.
That all changed this season with a Washington team playing inspired football and in the hunt — at the very least — for a spot in the playoffs.
The Redskins this season won five games in December for the first time in their 80-year history, indicating a team getting hot at the right time. Their reward? Washington’s first NFC East title and home playoff game since 1999.
It was also just the third time ever the team had won five games in a month. The Redskins also went 5-0 in November 1986 and September 1991; you might remember those 1986 Redskins advanced to the NFC Championship game, and the 1991 team, of course, won Super Bowl XXVI over the Buffalo Bills.
Here’s a look at the past five-game Decembers in Redskins history (sorted by wins):
- 2012: 5-0
- 1990: 4-1
- 2007: 4-1
- 1993: 2-3
- 2001: 2-3
- 2006: 1-4
And, in case you needed a refresher, here’s a look back at the five December games this season and their defining moments:
Dec. 3: Redskins 17, Giants 16
Defining Moments: After allowing the Giants to convert eight-of-10 third-down conversions and control the clock for more than 20 minutes in the first half, the Redskins’ defense held strong in the second half, limiting the Giants to just three points and only one third-down conversion in their 2012 Monday Night Football matchup. The defense also responded to the offense’s go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter with two straight potential go-ahead drive-killing performances to seal the victory and give the Redskins three straight divisional wins for the first time since the 2005 season.
Dec. 9: Redskins 31, Ravens 28
Defining Moments: The Redskins needed two quarterbacks and 64 minutes to secure their fourth-straight victory, shocking their neighbors 40 miles to the north. The Ravens entered the game having not lost consecutive games in their previous 15 opportunities, but the Redskins mounted a fourth-quarter comeback with Kirk Cousins at the helm and Robert Griffin III hobbled with a knee injury. After finding Pierre Garçon in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown, Cousins ran a quarterback draw for the game-tying two point conversion. In overtime, the defense held the Ravens before Richard Crawford’s 64-yard punt return set up a 34-yard game-winning field goal by Kai Forbath.
Dec. 16: Redskins 38, Browns 21
Defining Moments: The Redskins took their four-game winning streak on the road, with major uncertainty at the quarterback position. On Saturday night, Griffin III was ruled out and fourth-round pick Cousins got his first NFL start. After a dismal opening, Cousins found his stride with a 53-yard touchdown pass to receiver Leonard Hankerson. An interception by Rob Jackson to start the third quarter gave the Redskins the ball in the red zone, and they never looked back. Cousins won Rookie of the Week for his performance, completing 26-of-37 passes for 329 yards and two touchdowns.
Dec. 23: Redskins 27, Eagles 20
Defining Moments: Griffin III returned to the lineup against the Eagles, still limited in his ability to run and wearing a knee brace for protection and support. He needed just 198 yards and two touchdowns through the air, as the Redskins employed a balanced offense for their fourth division victory. Eagles quarterback Nick Foles was sacked five times, and running back LeSean McCoy was held to less than 50 rushing yards again. With a victory, the Redskins closed out their road record at 5-3, their first winning road record since the Super Bowl season of 1991.
Dec. 30: Redskins 28, Cowboys 18
Defining Moments: Alfred Morris put the Redskins on his back and carried them to their first NFC East crown since 1999 in the win-or-go-home Week 17 matchup against the Cowboys that was seen by millions on “Sunday Night Football on NBC.” Morris ran for 200 yards and three touchdowns, and, in the process, broke Redskins great running back Clinton Portis’ single-season rushing record with a 10-yard scamper in the third quarter. The Washington defense also intercepted Dallas quarterback Tony Romo three times, including Jackson’s pick late in the fourth quarter that allowed the Redskins’ final score and sealed the big victory, sending Washington to the playoffs for the first time in five seasons.
Tags: 2012 regular season, washington redskins
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