Part of what makes the NFL America’s Game is the fact that anything could happen. ‘Any given Sunday’ was expanded to a very wild wildcard weekend, as all four home teams unexpectedly won, leaving my playoff bracket dead in the water (1-3).
But I digress.
The Redskins actually had a rooting interest in each one of the four games this weekend. Here’s a recap:
Cincinnati 10, Houston 31:
Outside of the obvious Redskins coaching ties to Houston, there weren’t that many reasons to be excited about Houston winning this game. That is, unless of course you’re a special teams fanatic, and you cheered for Texans punter, former Redskins punter Matt Turk. Turk is the Redskins franchise leader in net punt average, a number that was threatened all year by Saverio “Down Under Thunder” Rocca, who fell just short of Turk’s mark. It may be a tad obscure to cheer for a punter who hasn’t played for the Redskins since 1999, but it’s nice to have a rooting interest. It was also nice to see Kyle Shanahan’s prodigy receiver Andre Johnson get five receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown.
Detroit 28, New Orleans 45:
New Orleans is the landing spot of recently-departed Redskins practice squad offensive lineman Eric Olsen, who thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere of his first career playoff game:
On top of that, former Redskins defensive coordinator Gregg Williams put together another solid defensive performance for the Saints, en route to a big time victory. Their next stop is in San Francisco.
Falcons 2, Giants 24:
The Giants were the only team that played this weekend that the Redskins played during the season. Given the 24-2 hurt that the Giants laid on the Falcons, the Redskins should feel a bit of accomplishment for beating the Giants twice this season. The Giants may be an 8-8 team from a division with no winning teams, but they had a dominant showing against one of the stronger teams the Redskins will face next season. I don’t cheer for other teams in the NFC East, but the Giants’ success boosts the value of those two Redskins victories.
Steelers 23, Broncos 30:
I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I am saying that most people outside of Colorado called the Steelers to win this game. I’m an anti-hype fan, but maybe there is something to this Tim Tebow thing. Redskins players certainly seemed to think so. Here’s a recap of the reactions:
Adam Carriker, a.k.a. “Big Poppa Pump,” has a point–according to the almighty Wikipedia, Tebow was actually born in the Philippines, thus disqualifying him for presidential consideration. And while as a football fan I can appreciate his grittiness on the field, I question his foreign policy credentials [This is a joke].
The other thing that should not be forgotten in the avalanche of ‘Tebowmania’ is that former Redskins star Champ Bailey was outstanding late in yesterday’s game. If not for a pass defensed in the final minutes of the game, the Steelers would have had the ball in field goal range and the game would have never gone to overtime. Instead–with his defensive prowess–he knocked former Redskins Ryan Clark and Shaun Suisham out of the postseason.
What were your thoughts on Round 1 of the 2011 playoffs? Did you remember a play or players with Redskins ties that I’ve forgotten? Feel free to share.