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The Winds Of Change
Greetings From The Booth!
If you’re a Washington Commanders fan, don’t go ordering your tickets to The Big Game just yet. (We’ll leave that to the Dallas Cowboy faithful, who do that every September. If the NFL had it’s Super Bowl at the start of the season like NASCAR, the Cowboys would have more banners than their massive new stadium could hold.) But there is reason today to think things are moving in that direction. For the first time since 2011, the burgundy and gold have started a season 2-0, following their heart-pounding 35-33 win against Denver on Sunday.
As one player put it, “this feels different.” And it does. The Denver game could have ended like the countless games we’ve seen in the last 23 years: with a last second loss or a blown lead or a comeback that falls just short. We’ve seen that movie over and over, and the ending never changes.
Only, Sunday it did. Calls that would have gone against Washington in the Snyder era went in their favor. The football bounced their way , and the Commanders even got a fortuitous no-call on the 2-point conversion attempt by Denver that would have sent the game into overtime. That play followed a 50-yard “Hail-Mary” touchdown pass by Bronco quarterback Russell Wilson on the game’s final play. I’m sure a lot of you were grumbling something like, “here we go again, same-ol same-ol” (I took out the expletives) as I did when that happened.
And, how many of you turned your TV to reruns of “Naked and Afraid” when the score was 21-3 Denver, and the Broncos threatening for more after a long punt return? Amazingly, the game turned on that drive with a Denver turnover, and the Commanders were able to weather the storm and get to within 7 at the half. A fired-up Washington defense shut down Wilson and the Broncos while Sam Howell and the Washington offense built a 35-24 lead late in the 4th quarter.
Old habits die hard, though. When Denver got to within 8 and the Commanders left Wilson with 56 seconds to work with, the familiar feelings of the Snyder era came flooding back. But, Washington found a way, and in the process scored it’s biggest road comeback since 1990. You remember that year, right? That season, the then-Redskins would make the playoffs at 10-6, laying the foundation for their Super Bowl year in 1991.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Two games does not a season make. But, the winds of change are blowing, and at 2-0, the Commanders are finding ways to win, as opposed to finding ways to lose. It, indeed, “feels different.”
Until the next visit from The Booth…HAIL!