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    • By Destino in ES Coverage
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      Good afternoon Redskins nation!  I’m in beautiful Landover, MD with Spaceman Spiff who has been pulled away from Instagram models and tailgating and sent down to the field to do what he does best (roll around in the mud).
       
      Let’s get down to business...  Can we block them?  There are other story lines entering into this game but worrying about them feels largely academic.  The Texans have two terrifying pass rushers and the Redskins intend to block them with optimism and underdog stories.  Alex Smith isn’t a statue but he does take time in making decisions and getting the ball out.  This combination looks disastrous.  The sort of thing that has us all after the game consoling each other with things like “well, it was just a bad matchup" and “we caught them at the worst possible time.” 
       
      Or... we could walk away wondering just how the heck this team managed to pull off another improbable win.  Last week the gave up something like twelve thousand yards of offense to the Bucs, I’ll have to check those numbers to be sure, but only three points.  That’s not supposed to happen.  Maybe we can enjoy an outrageously unlikely result again.  Not probably, not likely, but you know... maybe.  I’m saying there’s a chance.   
       
      I’m here for that chance.  (and you know... the free food and climate controlled free seats) 

      1st Quarter Update
      Redskins are running their bend and break defense, and I’m not sure a little over three quarters is enough time for the Redskins offense to close a 10-point gap.  I’m having flash backs of week nine, but having human emotions is considered “disruptive behavior.”  I'm fine.  Everything is fine. 
       
      That Quinn celebration, whatever that was, was the highlight of the 1st quarter. 
       
      2nd Quarter Update
      Is there a better way to start a quarter than by scoring a touchdown?  There is, if you follow that TD drive with a forced turnover on defense.  Things are looking good! 

      So much for that.  A great start was quickly ended up canceled out by the Redskins offense.  With a chance to take a lead Alex Smith throws a pick six in the red zone and takes the air out of the stadium.  He followed that up by throwing another interception on the very next drive.  Alex Smith almost made me forget about Vernon Davis dropping that pass.  Almost. 
       
      Texans missed a field goal attempt and the lead remains frozen at 10. 
       
      This quarter feels like a giant blown opportunity.  
       
      Halftime Update. 
      I should have stopped at one hotdog.  I deserve this.
       
      3rd Quarter Update
      You know the feeling where you say and think all these bad things about a player and then he breaks his leg and you immediately feel bad about it?  I live there now.
       
      Colt McCoy has freed me from that place of sadness! 
       
      As much as I love this defense, they have to start forcing teams to punt at some point.  Is there a stat for defense tha thas forced the fewest punts?  We have to be near the top of that list.  Texans have punted just once today.  Holding them to three was good, though.   
       
      The lead is down to six and Colt McCoy has arrived to save us.  (Please let that be true.) 
       
      Personal Note:  Someone just stomped, loudly, out of the press area like a while muttering at his phone.  Laughter and comparisons to toddlers followed him.  The media's laugh is an evil laugh!  Good times. 
       
      4th Quarter Update
      Colt has brought us back.  Welcome to the first lead change of the season, Redskins fans.  You like that?!  (Yeesh, was that always so lame?)  I guess you could say Adrian Peterson contributed by actually scoring the touchdown.  I bet Colt told him to score though, so you have to factor leadership into things.
       
      Once again, the defense cannot force a punt, hard to feel great about holding a team to a field goal when that field goal gives them the lead in the 4th quarter 
       
      Remember that whole "can we block them" thing?  The answer was absolutely not on the Redskins 2nd drive of the 4th quarter.  Watt and Clowney each sacked our man Colt, and ended that drive before it really had a chance to begin. 
       
      Horrible, no good, very bad holding called on Norman gifting Houston a first down at the worst possible time for it.
       
      Colt chooses to throw deep at an inopportune moment resulting in a 60+ yard attempt for an injured kicker.  Heartbreaking end to a game that cost this team entirely too much (via injury) yet still seemed to be within reach several times. 
       
      I'm off to the post game press conference and locker room, check back later for updates.
       
      Final Thoughts
      I’ve always found it preferable to watch my favorite team simply get destroyed, than to feel that they were the better team and still managed to lose.  The Redskins gave this game away with mistakes in the 2nd quarter.  Fred Davis makes a routine catch and Alex Smith doesn’t throw a pick six, and the scoreboard shows at least 7 fewer points for the Texans.  Even if the Redskins had settled for field goals, that’s a 13 point swing in 2 point game.   
       
      Losing the game wasn’t even the worst part.  Losing Alex Smith, for at least the remainder of the season, is likely enough to push the Redskins past the point where they can continue toughing their way through key injuries. 
       
      We'll all feel better after a win against the Cowboys next week. 
       

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Art

First playoff appearance since 1999. I'm GOING -- Tampa Blog :).

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Starting this week a little early cause I wanna.

6:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 1 -- Minutes after the Skins beat Philly, I pour two fingers of 25-year-old Scotch, then run upstairs to mail the team that we're going to Tampa. The dream season just gets better and better. Must convince team that year's accomplishments directly because of relationship with ExtremeSkins and the fans. We rule.

7 a.m. Monday, Jan. 2 -- Send note to ES staff that this is the first playoff game since 1999. The honor of attending in the special way we get to attend should go to Blade and Die Hard. Die Hard the founder. Blade the first co-owner. Secretly hoping one of them says they can't go so I can, because there's no way Tarhog's going ahead of me unless the old Marine can whip me in arm wrestling. Not a chance little man. NOT A CHANCE.

8 a.m., Monday, Jan. 2 -- Send note to team that we need appropriate credentials because ES is in the house. Notify Larry I may not go, but I might and will let him know. We make arrangements for "Bennigans" just in case. Fond memories of Tampa despite a 1-point stolen loss.

9 a.m., Monday, Jan. 2 -- Settled. I'm in. Blade has patients or some such nonsense. Surprisingly my wife pretends to be happy for me when I shout I'm going to Tampa. Send message off to team regarding travel arrangements and reservations. First big idea hasn't hit me yet. Larry thrilled that "Bennigans" is on the table -- so to speak.

8 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 3 -- Arrive at work, announcing to co-workers my attendance in Tampa. Collect three weeks of winnings from guys I have a standing bet with, making sure they are fully aware how much they owe me and why. Sam Huff is next. See you in Tampa :).

10 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 3 -- See first exciting thread about fans joining to see team home. I add idea of seeing them off and commit two people to do work for this as if I'm their boss. I'm not, so, thanks Pez and Huly. Contact team and beg that when a few dozen fans show up, not to kick them out. :).

4 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 3 -- First big idea hits me. I figure why fly me from Minneapolis to Tampa when you can fly me from Minneapolis to D.C. Then, I could simply wander over to Redskins Park and hitch a bus ride to Dulles with the team. Then, well, fly down WITH the team, take the bus to the hotel, then after the game, bus back, and plane back. Team everything. Reaching beyond my grasp I was. :). Forward this brilliant idea. Talk about a Fan View there :). Die Hard from Buffalo and me from Minneapolis, cruising on the team jet. That's dreaming big :).

6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 3 -- First contact from member wishing me well in Tampa, citing how cool it is, and offering up services to carry anything I'd want to tag along. I know how you feel, G :).

8 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 4 -- Informed the direct flights to Tampa are going to occur. Damn. Can't blame a guy for trying, can you?

11:30 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 4 -- First actual disappointment of the week. We're not staying at the team hotel for the first time. We got bumped to the Wyndham. Apparently the tag-a-longs have grown or something :). Now I have to drive drunk from "Bennigans" to the team hotel to drop off the crew to my hotel. That's a whole new level of danger. But I'm a risk taker. And, of course, you can only drink water at "Bennigans" so it'll be fine.

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