Okay – maybe Joe Gibbs doesn’t know how to coach anymore. I can’t say for sure one way or the other. But he knows how to lead this team – and it looks like they had to completely crash out and hit rock bottom before they could start climbing back up. Since the brain-cramp against Buffalo that lost the game, the Redskins have not trailed. Today, Dallas went 0-11 on 3rd down and combined for one yard rushing. Read that last sentence again. ONE YARD.
Todd Collins is running this team better than any QB has since the Brad Johnson season in 1999. Guy sits as a backup for a decade and then, flip of a switch, rattles off four wins. Well done young old man. The defense has, amazingly, managed to gel even without Sean Taylor (RIP 21) and has put the wood to most everyone they’ve played in December (don’t forget, Buffalo did everything with field goals). And don’t look now, but at 9-7. the Redskins are off to the land of rain for a playoff game.
So…four years into The Return, Joe Gibbs has delivered two playoff appearances – and made the Dallas games competitive every year. During the years in the wilderness, you could write off the Cowboys as two losses almost every season. Playoffs every other year and beating the Pokes – you know, you could do a lot worse.
Maybe they had to have this whole tragedy to really come together as a team. Maybe you have to struggle through that kind of adversity to really become family. I don’t know, but this is manifestly not the same team that kept blowing 4th quarter leads in October and November. Something has changed – and if it carries over to 2008, watch out.