Despite a disappointing finish to the 2011 season, the Redskins had very rare success against the conference rival Giants, sweeping the season series for the first time since 1999.
On Sunday, the Giants will take on the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC conference crown, leaving Redskins fans to wonder if this has any bearing on the value of the Redskins’s season. Redskins.com’s Gary Fitzgerald felt one way about it, and I outlined another. With so many variables at play in terms of roster composition and schedule, everyone is entitled to his or her own valid opinion.
Which brings us to former Redskins general manager Charlie Casserly, who approached the issue from the perspective of the players and the organization. In a recent interview with Jennifer Williams of CSNWashington, he outlined the feeling in the Redskins proverbial locker room, following the Giants’ run of success:
I think, having been in the situation where you beat the team that’s going to the Super Bowl, it makes you feel good. It gives your players confidence, it gives you confidence in what you’re doing.
Now, you have to understand the bigger picture: you’re not as good as them. But on those two days that the Redskins beat ’em, they were good enough to win. So I think it’s a confidence factor for the players and the organization going forward.
I think that’s a very important factor for a team that won only two of the last 12 games, including the final two after an impressive Giants victory. As far as Redskins wins were concerned this season, they started and ended with the Giants. And while some will suggest that it’s petty or bitter to celebrate two wins over the Giants, I do think that it will serve as motivation going into the offseason.
These were the thoughts of linebacker Brian Orakpo following the Giants-Packers game on Sunday afternoon:
Sounds to me like Casserly may have hit that confidence nail on the head.