With the playoffs approaching this weekend, teams start to prepare themselves for a brand new season. As Mike Shanahan puts it, “It’s a four week season, three week season for those who have a first-round bye.” There isn’t a clear cut favorite to win the Super Bowl in my opinion, and that leaves the gate open for the ‘hottest’ team to make a run for it.
One of those scorching hot teams are the NFC East champion, Washington Redskins. They have won their last seven games, after starting 3-6, and now have the opportunity to host a home game at FedEx field in the postseason. Outside of the Denver Broncos in the AFC, who have won 11 straight, the Redskins have the longest win streak going into these playoffs.
Even with that winning steak, Washington had to sneak their way into the playoffs by beating the Dallas Cowboys in the season finale. Now that they have found a way to get there, could they make it to the Super Bowl?
Over the past two seasons, the Super Bowl winner didn’t know they’d be playing in the postseason until after week 17 was all wrapped up. In 2010 the Green Bay Packers got hot at the right time. They won their final two regular season games, and headed into the playoffs as confident as could be. Aaron Rodgers and company won a total of six straight, en route to earning a Super Bowl ring. In 2011 the New York Giants played copy cat. They had a seesaw of a season, but found a way to win their last two games to win the NFC East. Once in the playoffs, a new season begun and they won four in a row to also earn themselves a Super Bowl ring.
The Redskins are on the type of run where it seems no matter the circumstances, they will find a way to pull out a win. That’s because of the confidence the team has right now. I think Robert Griffin III has helped instill that mindset. Even during the losing times early on this season, Griffin was always positive and never put his head down. With veterans like London Fletcher, DeAngelo Hall and Santana Moss seeing the way the rookie was handling himself, it almost made it mandatory that they respond in a similar manner.
With Griffin’s go-to receiver Pierre Garcon on the field, the Redskins are 9-1. In the six games he didn’t play, they are a combined 1-5. This may also play a huge part in why Griffin displays the confidence that he does.
Garcon will play a huge factor in their first-round game against the Seattle Seahawks. With their monster cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner, Garcon will have to continue his physical play on the outside. The Seahawks are also one of the hottest teams in the league right now as they have won five straight, including three games where they scored over 40 points.
If Washington can find a way to slide past the impressive Seahawks, they may be on their way to a Super Bowl run. Seems quite far-fetched now, as odd makers give them a 20/1 chance, but it isn’t impossible.
Redskins columnist/Josiah Turner