12.26.2011 / Blog Posts Redskins
By Brian Tinsman
In the NFL, too much is made of pregame predictions and letting season records predict who will win on any given Sunday. If those were the only things that mattered, then the Redskins would have won one of their last two games, but it would have been over the Vikings, not the Giants.
With that being said, they were right in the thick of things against the Purple People Eaters, and had a chance to put the game away during a wild third quarter.
[“Purple People Eaters”: This was the nickname for the Vikings defense in the 1960s and 70’s, and is similar in lore and reverence to “The Hogs,” “The Posse,” “The Fun Bunch,” and “The Over The Hill Gang” in Washington.]
The play of the game was set up by a Brandon Banks kickoff return for 43 yards. With the ball in Minnesota territory, the Redskins got to work, and Rex Grossman keyed on Jabar Gaffney right away. On a 3rd-and-9 play, Grossman hit Gaffney for a 20 yard gain over the middle, which took the Redskins into the red zone.
Three plays later, on 2nd-and-goal at the 4-yard line, Grossman dropped back to pass. He appeared to hesitate, waiting for a receiver to get open. Then he threw a pass across the middle to Gaffney, who leaped up and made a sensational one-handed grab for a touchdown.
Gaffney pulled in the ball using his right hand, cradling it to secure the grip. He made sure to get both feet in bounds for the score, which gave the Redskins a 20-17 lead.
Gaffney has grown to become Grossman’s favorite target this season, and looks like one of the team’s best offseason acquisitions. Back at the beginning of training camp, Gaffney was brought in from Denver, in exchange for defensive lineman Jeremy Jarmon. Jarmon never made the Broncos’ roster out of training camp, while Gaffney has been the Redskins’ top receiver this season.
Unfortunately, his third quarter score on Saturday was the last lead of the game for the Redskins, who were unable to catch up in the fourth quarter.
The Redskins stare down the division-rival Eagles on New Years Day.
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