Redskins victory secures playoff berth

Jan. 2, 2006, midnight | By Alex Hyder | 18 years, 6 months ago

Win over Eagles has Washington faithful set to party like it's 1999

No one would have thought it at the end of last season, when Joe Gibbs, fresh from retirement, led the redskins to a disappointing 6-10 finish. No one would have thought it at halftime of game two, when the Skins were scoreless against their Dallas Cowboy rivals. Yet when Sean Taylor returned a fumble 39 yards for a touchdown to secure a victory against the Philadelphia Eagles in the waning minutes of Sunday's must-win game, it became apparent to all: the Washington Redskins were playoff-bound for the first time since 1999.

With the win — the fifth in a row for the team — the hopes of thousands of Skins fans were realized. At long last, Owner Dan Snyder's decision to retain Gibbs, despite last year's losing season, was vindicated. And just like that, burgundy and gold were fashionable colors within the confines of I-495 once more.

Now, the Redskins find themselves in the playoffs, taking to the road next week to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in round one of the NFC playoffs. Washington fans find their spirits soaring, as Gibbs prepares to make a run at his fourth Super Bowl ring.

They may do well to hedge their bets, as the 11-5 Buccaneers could offer Gibbs and the Redskins some fierce competition — more than they had bargained for. The last time the two teams met — at Tampa on November 13 — the Bucs beat the boys in burgundy, 36-35, in a wild, hard-fought game. Oddly enough, the last playoff action the Skins saw was a loss to the Buccaneers in round one of the playoffs. Even Gibbs seems to be concerned. "I would particularly want to play somebody other than the Bucs," he said in a press conference after the game, "because I think they are awful good."

However, as Gibbs remarked Sunday night, wins come when, as a team, you "try and make steady progress and put the best team that [you] can put out there and have [your] players play hard." The Redskins have been doing that all season. If anyone can make it to the Super Bowl, Washington fans feel, Gibbs and the Redskins most certainly can.

Alex Hyder. Hyder, as he is affectionately (or, as is often the case, not-so affectionately) known, is thoroughly enthused about his position on SCO. A junior in Blair's Magnet Program, he is too lazy to write a more extensive bio but nonetheless finds the energy to write … More »

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