The Washington Redskins’ 2012 NFL season has been a successful season. I make this declaration regardless of the outcome of the Redskins’ season finale against the Dallas Cowboys. Currently in first place in the NFC East with a 9-6 record, Washington will face the Cowboys with the NFC East title on the line.
It’s been a while since the Redskins played for anything tangible in December. The main reason for the team’s resurgence is quarterback Robert Griffin III. He has more than provided clarity to the quarterback position for the Redskins. Further supporting that clarity is the play of backup quarterback Kirk Cousins, who has proven capable of filling in and performing well in the absence of Griffin III. If anyone doubts that statement, ask the Cleveland Browns about Cousins’ capabilities.
But I digress. 2012 saw the plan of Washington head coach Mike Shanahan and Redskins’ general manager Bruce Allen come to fruition. Shanahan and Allen focused on acquiring and retaining quality, character players, either by choice or necessity. Running back Alfred Morris (pictured above) is the best example of acquiring quality by choice. Chosen in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL draft, Morris has become the featured back for Washington, rushing for 1,413 yards as of this writing.
Two players that are an example of being retained or acquired by necessity are linebacker Rob Jackson and placekicker Kai Forbath. Jackson replaced injured starting linebacker Brian Orakpo Week Three against the Cincinnati Bengals, and has made the best of his opportunity. He has recorded 4.5 sacks and three interceptions in 2012, which has helped Washington’s offense tremendously.
Forbath was a real find for the Redskins. Although he had stints with the Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Forbath had never appeared in an NFL game for either team. His Washington debut occurred Week Six against the Minnesota Vikings. He rewarded the Redskins’ confidence in him by making the first 17 field goals of his NFL career with Washington. Placekicking clarity? The Redskins have found it in Forbath.
How far the Redskins can go in 2012 has yet to be determined. After Washington’s season finale with Dallas, the Redskins could be getting ready for an NFC playoff game. Then again, they could be sitting home with a 9-7 record. Nevertheless, it’s refreshing that the Washington Redskins have finally achieved some sort of NFL relevance after years of football futility. With Griffin III and Morris firmly entrenched building blocks, the sky could be the limit for the Redskins in the foreseeable future.