Washington Redskins: Epic Season Nonetheless

Lose 24-14 in first game of the playoffs.

No one can say that the 2012 Washington Redskins team has no heart.

This team has taken the city of Washington, DC on a ride not enjoyed in recent memory since Doug Williams stepped in to help the Redskins win the Super Bowl XXII back in 1987. The team’s current quarterback, Robert Griffin, III took a limited, lackluster, and some would argue lame NFL franchise football team from a decade of mediocrity to a team that was on every football fan's mind - every week of the 2012 NFL season.

With RG3 at the helm the team beat its arch rival, the Dallas Cowboys, twice in one season; it beat its I-95 rivals THE Baltimore Ravens (Baltimore has beaten Washington three of its four times since their last meeting in 2008); it beat  Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints (but then again, who didn’t?), and they beat the 2011 Super Bowl Champions New York Giants. The team has set records never before seen, and set records the team hasn’t enjoyed since the days of Sammy Baugh.

That's a long time.

No one can refute this team’s integrity, grit, or courage. No one can refute the talent, ingenuity and intelligence of one Robert Griffin, III. So while the week in sports talk will be focused on 1) whether or not RG3 should have been taken out of the game at the first sign that his knee was re-aggravated, or 2) whether coach Shanahan made the best decision to give the team the best chance to win, or 3) whether the doctor gave Griffin clearance to play at all after his initial knee injury, the script was written and the commander-in-chief has spoken: “There’s no way I was coming out of that game.”

“It’s a simple process", remarked Griffin. "Coach[Shanahan] asked me if I was OK. I said, ‘Yes.’ I’m the quarterback of this team. My job is to be out there if I can play. The only time I couldn’t play was when I went down. I took myself out of the game. That’s just the way you have to play. Just to tackle the next question, I don’t feel like me being out there hurt the team in any way. I’m the best option for this team, and that’s why I’m the starter.”

With that mindset, what could the doctor or the coach do?

One could argue that sometimes athletes have to save themselves - from themselves – as in the case of players with concussions, or other serious injuries, who want to continue to play the game they love.

Said Griffin, “I can agree with you on that. I think I did put myself at more risk by being out there. But every time you step on the football field in between those lines you’re putting your life, your career [and] every single ligament in your body in jeopardy. That’s just the approach I had to take toward it. My teammates needed me out there, so I was out there for them. When it comes to the impact of the injury, I’m not sure what it is. We’ll figure that out here in the next few days. Whatever it is, I’ll make sure I come back healthy from it.”

One could argue that Griffin could have set out of 2nd half after helping the team put two TDs on the board to give the Skins an early 14-0 lead. He really wasn’t effective after that.

Hindsight is 20/20 and in the final analysis Griffin (who will have an MRI today to determine the severity of his knee injury), his family and legions of fans can be thankful that he walked off FedEx Field yesterday of his own volition. He wasn’t carted off, he wasn’t wheeled out, and best of all: he will have six months of healing time before he returns to thrill Redskins' fans, and the world, one more time.

The question remains, will he and coach Shanahan know how to handle him in Act Two?