By Kevin Ross
Almost exactly six years ago to the date, the Washington Redskins were in nearly the exact situation that faces this year’s ball club. It was January 1, 2006 and the Redskins needed to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles on the road to ensure a playoff birth. It was the typical do-or-die game that the Washington Redskins always seemed to lose.
The situation was set for the Redskins to dominate. The great Donovan McNabb who had traumatized Washington for years, would not be under center. The Eagles would be leaning on backup Mike McMahon, to spoil the Redskins playoffs chances.
Entering the game, The DMV had high hopes and expected the Redskins to dominate a bad Eagles team. But as we have come to learn with the Redskins, easily winnable games, are hardly that. On that cold day in Philadelphia everything seemed to be going wrong. The Eagles came out blazing and took a 17-7 lead. The Redskins kept things close and battled the pesky Eagles. But the game took on a vibe where everyone knew that the Eagles were going to end the Redskins season.
However, Sean Taylor had something different in mind. He returned a fumble 39-yards for a touchdown, and gave Washington the win. To date, that is one of the franchise’s proudest moments, and is constantly seen on the late Sean Taylor’s highlight reel.
Sean was the truth and the reason why the Redskins made the playoffs that season. And the question that will be answered on Sunday is this: Who will be this season’s Sean Taylor? Will it be Robert Griffin, London Fletcher, Rob Jackson? We’ll find out Sunday, as you can be that your Washington Redskins will be in a typical NFC East dog fight. Make no mistake about it, the Eagles want nothing more than to sour Washington’s playoff hopes like spoiled meat.
They say misery loves company, and to get a glimpse of exactly how the Philadelphia locker room views this game, look no further than the comments made by the team’s play-by-play analyst this week. Play-by-play guys, sometimes can give viewers the most in depth look at what actually is going on with a team. These broadcasters generally travel on the team plane with the team,stay at the same hotel as the team, and for the most part know the players and coaching staff as well as anyone. Merrill Reese who has been a longtime radio voice for the Eagles, expressed exactly how he (and possibly the organization) feels about the Redskins.
“I mean, I would hate to see Daniel Snyder happy….. I would hate to see Daniel Snyder leave here [Philadelphia] in a good mood,” Reese continued on to say. “I’d like to see [the Eagles] go out there and say to the Washington Redskins, ok guys, we did our part, now go [play] Dallas and see what they’ll do to you. They’d be the last of the three teams that I’d like to see get in, the Redskins, absolutely.”
This quote from Reese, should quickly remove any doubts that the Eagles aren’t going to give everything they have against Washington. This is the Super Bowl for Philadelphia, and emotions will run high for this team, as they essentially give Andy Reid his last home game. Who will be this team’s Sean Taylor?
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Kevin Ross is a freelance writer covering all things Washington Redskins. His work can be found on Examiner.com.