Snider: Celebrating the Redskins First Home Win in 400 Days!
It took 400 days to build both the Empire State Building and the Space Needle, two iconic engineering symbols of our East and West coasts. Two icons that have already lasted two generations.
It took the Redskins 400 days to win at FedEx Field.
Washington finally found an awful visitor without its quarterback willing to do equally dumb things. Indeed, the Redskins won 19-16 over the Detroit Lions on Sunday without scoring an offensive touchdown. That’s not easy to do.
Things have gone so badly for the Redskins that beating a 3-7-1 Lions on a last-second field goal passes for a good game. In fact, it was offensively awful and defensively sloppy. Only thanks to special teams scoring all 19 points on a return touchdown and four field goals was Washington able to end its 13-month home winless streak.
Not that it mattered to most fans because the majority among maybe 30,000 at FedEx Field were Lions backers. Anymore, the Redskins are lucky to have 15,000 home backers because the market has finally worn out.
It took 20 years for owner Dan Snyder to destroy the ticket base that once claimed 200,000 on a waiting list. Conversely, it took 20 years to build the Great Pyramid in Egypt. Tell me how owner Dan Snyder will be remembered.
Still, fans were finally singing along to “Hail to the Redskins” thanks to three interceptions by Lions passer Jeff Driskel, including two that set up Washington’s last two field goals to win. Throw in six sacks split among seven Redskins and the defense overcame allowing 175 yards rushing.
But it wasn’t a great win. Washington seldom ran through the line with Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson each carrying 10 times for 32 and 27 yards respectively. Leading receiver Terry McLaurin, an old college teammate of Haskins, only caught 5 of 12 passes targeted to him. Kelvin Harmon was the only other Redskins with more than one reception and his three came largely late.
Indeed, Haskins was amid another poor game before completing three of his final five passes on the last drive while gaining 10 yards himself on a keeper. He was only 13 of 29 for 156 yards with one interception and a 47.5 rating. Yet, the victory allowed teammates to talk of what a gamer Haskins is with his first late win.
“It’s a clutch factor,” Harmon said. “Some players have it, some don’t. He obviously has it.”
Well, that’s for the rest of the season to decide, but for one moment, Haskins found his future. It was enough to tolerate the present and force fans to give the rookie a chance in a town that has seen 29 quarterbacks start since the team’s last Super Bowl victory in 1991.
“That last series was all on me,” Haskins said, “as far as helping the offense go down the field and making something happen. I looked everyone in their eyes in that huddle and told them we’re going to do it and we did.”
Rick Snider is an award-winning sports writer who has covered Washington sports since 1978. He first wrote about the Redskins in 1983 before becoming a beat writer in 1993. Snider currently writes for several national and international publications and is a Washington tour guide. Follow Rick on Twitter at @Snide_Remarks.