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Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) runs into the Cowboys secondary during their NFL game last Sunday.
RICHARD LIPSKI/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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Robert Griffin III has made believers of us all. He is the quarterback the 'Skins have been looking for since Joe Theismann went down on Monday Night Football.
In fact, they didn't get just one good QB in the draft; they got two. Kirk Cousins, their fourth-round pick, could be starting on many other teams in the NFL.
Alfred Morris, the running back who no one had ever heard of before the first game of the season, would be a good candidate for Rookie of the Year had it not been for Griffin, who is almost a shoo-in for that honor (either Adrian Peterson or Peyton Manning will probably be MVP).
What changed Washington from a 3-6 team to a legitimate Super Bowl contender? The defensive secondary.
During the first half of the season, I could have completed passes against those guys. Then, for whatever reason, they actually started covering receivers. That does help.
You have to give Washington's offensive line some credit, too. In past years, Redskin quarterbacks watched most of the game from their back. This year, both Griffin and Cousins got some pass protection.
The real hero? Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, the head coach's son. During whatever crisis that arose, Shanahan has been able to modify his offense to get the very most out of it.
Most fans think that Washington got to the playoffs Sunday night. They didn't! They got there on Dec. 9 with 4:19 left in the game with the Baltimore Ravens. With Griffin hurt, Cousins came in and threw an 11-yard TD pass to bring the Redskins to within two.
Needing a two-point conversion to tie, Shanahan called a quarterback draw and Cousins made it into the end zone almost untouched.
Brilliant? Cousins is a drop-back passer, not a running quarterback like Griffin. The Ravens might have considered the possibility that Griffin would run the conversion attempt but never would they--or anyone else in America--have guessed that Shanahan would have allowed a non-runner to run the ball on the most crucial play of the season.
If I want the ESPN guy as president, I want to back Kyle Shanahan at the poker table.
Yes, the 'Skins have this not-all-that-much-of-a football fan looking forward to Sunday's game. I'm not so excited that I would sit in the stands at Fed Ex Field and freeze (baseball is played at a much warmer time), but I will be in front of the TV with a hot fire and a pan of chocolate-chip cookies.
And the best part of the season? Owner Dan Snyder has stayed out of sight.
If he keeps hidden, the 'Skins may go all the way.
Whup them Seahawks!