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2012 - Week 15 @ Cleveland Browns

Blognosticator - Henry

Ok, I’ve known I’d be doing the Cleveland game for a couple months now. I didn’t give it much thought early on. I saw this as a pretty low-pressure gig. Cleveland was going to be one of the four or five games we’d win this year, and by the time we actually played the game no one would really care what I wrote. We’d be a crappy team playing a crappy team at the end of the season. Ho hum.

But a funny thing happened on the way to December. The Redskins became relevant. We’ve won four straight. We pasted the Eagles so badly I almost felt bad for them (almost.) We marched into Dallas on Thanksgiving and handed the Cowboys their only loss since week 9. We beat the Giants during their 'Wait, we actually have to start playing now?’ stretch, right after they demolished the Packers and right before they demolished the Saints. We beat the Ravens, handing them their first loss-following-a-loss in three years. We’re not just on a roll. This isn’t just some winning streak. We’re in uncharted territory here. We keep winning games that historically we just don’t win. Like, ever.

Again, this should be an easy gig, right? After the Murderers Row we just went through, Cleveland should be little more than a speed bump for us at this point.

Except for one small detail: Our quarterback, our rookie phenom, the catalyst for all this unprecedented amazingness … well, he might not play. As of this moment we don’t know, and I now have to explain why I think we are going to win or lose this game.

Let me get the easy part out of the way right now. If Griffin plays (and by mean 'plays’ I mean plays at or close to full speed) we win this game. I like the Browns. They play hard and make most teams work for it. They’ve played the NFC tough this year. They lost to the Eagles by one point, and this was before Philly had fallen apart. They jumped up 17-7 on the Giants before New York started paying attention. The Cowboys needed overtime to beat them. They have won three straight and are tough at home. They aren’t going to roll over on us. That said, with Griffin at the helm we win this game by two scores.

But what if he doesn’t play?

This is where I break stuff down. I mention the Browns have legitimate weapons in Richardson and Josh Gordon, that Brandon Wheedon has put together a solid rookie season which has gone unnoticed simply because of who he was drafted with. I’d note the Redskins will probably still give up yards through the air and that Morris will need to have a banner day to keep the pressure off Cousins. That Trent Williams is still limping and our offensive line is going to be a problem for a quarterback who is less mobile than the Most Mobile Quarterback in the History of the NFL. There are a lot of things I could talk about, but … I’m going to do something else. I’m going to put it out there … something I haven’t done in a couple years now. I’m going with my gut. I think we’re going to win this one. I have no logical reason for suggesting we can win with a rookie QB starting his first game as a pro on the road against a team riding a three game winning streak. It’s just something about this Redskin team is different. Almost as if Griffin turned the crank on it’s back and now it can go even if he’s not playing. I think with Cousins starting, this is a trap game for the Browns. I think we’re going to win it. In fact, I’m almost looking forward to it.

For years I’ve been on this team’s case. I’ve called out the flaws in the coach, the owner, the players, the owner and personnel people. I’ve pulled my hair out and expected the worst at every turn.

But a funny thing happened on the way to December.

I’m calling it. So help me, I’m calling it Redskins. I don’t care who’s playing. This team will not accept losing. We win this game.

Hail to the Redskins, and may the football gods have mercy on my soul.
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