It seems hard to believe but it has been ten years since the 2012 team stormed down the home stretch to win the NFC East.
Washington (3-6) had seemingly fallen out of playoff contention. All that was missing was the Redskins being mathematically eliminated.
The bye week could not have come at a better time. The Shanahan’s Mike (head coach) and son Kyle (offensive coordinator) made whatever adjustments were needed, because Washington came out and destroyed the Eagles 31-6.
On Thanksgiving Day the offense raced out to a 28-3 halftime lead and the team held on for a 38-28 win over Dallas. Next was a Monday Night Football contest at RFK where huge luck appeared to fall on Washington. Robert Griffin fumbled, but the ball bounced right up to receiver Josh Morgan who ran it in 13 yards for a touchdown. Washington beat the Giants 17-16, and were .500 at 6-6.
Griffin was then injured against the Ravens when he once again did not slide as the Shanahans repeatedly had instructed him. Kirk Cousins connected with Pierre Garcon in the last minute, ran the two point conversion and Washington (7-6) won in overtime when Richard Crawford made the punt return of his career.
Griffin being out for the Browns game, Cousins passed for 329 yards and two touchdowns as the Redskins won in Cleveland 38-21, raising their record to 8-6.
In Philadelphia, Griffin returned (though noticeably ailing) but played courageously, going 16 for 24, 198 yards and two touchdowns in a 27-20 win over the Eagles. Washington was 9-6 headed to the season finale at RFK against the Cowboys for the NFC East title.
The running game would be nothing short of phenomenal, running 42 times for 274 yards, led by Alfred Morris who enjoyed his best game in the NFL, running 33 times for 200 yards. Griffin, still ailing, managed to run amazingly for 63 yards in only six carries, including a 10-yard touchdown run in the 28-18 win over the Cowboys.
Washington had won their last seven consecutive games, finishing 10-6, atop the NFC East.
In the playoff game the offense again seemed so precisely planned, scoring quickly, gaining a 14-0 lead. But Griffin tweaked his knee and was visibly worse, limited even more.
Griffin would stay in the game much too long limping around. Everyone could see, he was not going to be able to contribute anything else. Finally, the rookie of the year from Baylor further injured the knee, ending his day.
He too had been guilty in the entire drama, being overheard on the sideline informing tackle Trent Williams he indeed was injured, but not to say anything. Sadly between Mike Shanahan, James Andrews and Griffin there was more than enough blame to go around.
Cousins this time when entering the game was ineffective. The offense was shut out the final three quarters for a 24-14 defeat to Seattle.
It had been a magical seven-game run, and what is most often overlooked is kicker Kai Forbath was a major contributor. Being picked up in October, Forbath then connected on his first 17 attempted field goals, a new NFL record.
Ten years ago the 2012 Washington Redskins were certainly not a great team. However, they certainly had a fascinating and exciting seven-game winning streak to finish the season.