It turns out that the Redskins and Ravens both got what they needed out of the Week 14 clash at FedExField.
For the Redskins, it was one of the most thrilling finishes in stadium history, as backup quarterback Kirk Cousins took over in the game’s final seconds, finishing off a touchdown drive and two-point conversion to complete the comeback. In overtime, Richard Crawford busted a 64-yard punt return, setting up a game-winning Kai Forbath field goal.
The win was the fourth in a row for the Redskins, and gave Washington regional bragging rights for the next four years. More importantly, it was a milestone during the team’s seven-game win streak that delivered the team’s first NFC East title since 1999, and their first playoff appearance since 2007.
For the Ravens, it was the first back-to-back losses under fifth-year head coach John Harbaugh, and left a team that started the season 9-2 scrambling for answers. Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron was fired the next day, ushering in former Colts head coach Jim Caldwell to call plays.
The Ravens got healthy and hot at the right time, clinching the AFC North title and scoring decisive playoff victories over the Colts, Broncos and Patriots.
Although the Ravens are currently game-planning for the Super Bowl and making travel arrangements for the road, they should consider sending the Redskins a thank you note.
Week 14 was only the second time in five games against the Ravens that the Redskins were victorious, with the other win occurring in Week 7 of the 2000 season.
That loss in 2000 touched off a three-game losing streak for the Ravens, who wound up replacing their starting quarterback (and future Redskins quarterback) Tony Banks with journeyman Trent Dilfer.
As most of you will remember, the Ravens went on to embarrass the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV, after being keyed to make changes following their loss to the Redskins.
Along the same vein, the Redskins have played at least one Super Bowl participant in every regular season since 2004. They have also hosted at least one of those participants at FedExField every year since 2007. Here’s a look (updated 5:30 p.m.):
2003: vs. New England Patriots, @ Carolina Panthers.
2004: vs. Philadelphia Eagles, @ Philadelphia Eagles.
2005: vs. Seattle Seahawks.
2006: @ Indianapolis Colts.
2007: vs. New York Giants, @ New York Giants, @ New England Patriots.
2008: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, vs. Arizona Cardinals.
2009: vs. New Orleans Saints.
2010: vs. Green Bay Packers.
2011: vs. New York Giants, vs. New England Patriots, @ New York Giants.
2012: vs. Baltimore Ravens.
In those 14 games against future Super Bowl teams, the Redskins have 8-9 record (.471). Over that same span, the Redskins are 63-81 (.438) overall, meaning that they have played some of their best football in the last nine years against some of the best teams in the NFL.
Of the eleven Super Bowl participants that have played the Redskins in the regular season over that stretch, those teams have gone 6-5 in the Super Bowl, with the Ravens yet undetermined.
So, the next time you see a Ravens’ fan celebrating his or her team’s good fortunes this season, just tell him or her, “You’re welcome for losing to my team.”