Redskins finding ways to win ugly

Call it ugly all you want but the Washington Redskins are finding ways to win. In fact if you had to pick any soundtrack to accompany last Sunday’s ‘Skins 17-14 win over the Chicago Bears, the Benny Hill theme may have been the right choice. And although NFL football doesn’t come with a laugh track, this game probably should have.

To recap, that game featured a combined nine turnovers and that number could have been even more embarrassing had the Redskins not recovered five of the six balls they put on the turf up for grabs. The game resembled a Pop-Warner football match, no offense to some of those youngsters who know how to handle the ball better than the Bears who owned six of those nine turnovers.

This was an ugly football game, plain and simple but in the end, if you’re a Redskins’ fan, you have to love it because a win is a win any way you cut it. In the first quarter, with a defender directly in front of his face, Donovan McNabb threw a seemingly blind pass that was deflected and then taken all the way back to the house to give the Bears a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

But outside of McNabb’s terrible first quarter decision, the difference was that the Bears, not the Redskins, ended the game looking like the Keystone Cops.

Five of the six second half Bears drives ended in turnovers.  This wasn’t all the result of a sputtering, pathetic offense either. For as much as Chicago was playing bad football, the Redskins rose to the occasion by playing the type of aggressive defense that could fully capitalize on Chicago’s blunders.

Football isn’t always be picture perfect taking place on a sunny, blue-skied afternoon with  McNabb producing a prosaic spiral into the sky that lands directly in the hands of Santana Moss in the end zone. Football is a game played in the muck and trenches. And the results are sometimes downright barbaric and ugly. Sunday’s game at Soldier Field was one of those.

The ‘Skins did it by playing aggressive football. Albert Haynesworth finally grew a pair, and spent the afternoon sending wayward objects backwards with the reckless abandon of Magneto. Not only did Haynesworth stop Bears quarterback Jay Cutler cold on the Redskins goal line giving linebacker London Fletcher time to force a fumble and secure the win, but he also created one of the first self-sacks in NFL history.

Redskins’ cornerback DeAngelo Hall has a career day against the Mike Martz offense that is getting the reputation of hitting the wrong colored jerseys between the numbers. Hall burned Cutler all day, constantly jumping routes. The end result was a record setting day for Hall as he recorded four interceptions to tie an NFL record.  

The Redskins though, were hardly magic makers themselves in the second half when they did not capitalize on getting the ball at the Chicago 13 yard line after another Hall interception and also fumbled three times on their end of the field.

And yet as both the Bears and Redskins created a bad highlight reel by the time the afternoon was done but again the Redskins found a way to win, just like they did the game earlier against a Packers team that dominated them for three quarters.

MORE NFL:

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Used with permission of the author.

Based in Washington, Michael Hoffman has covered D.C. sports for numerous publications. In addition to contributing to Sports Climax, he is currently the Washington Capitals and Washington Redskins columnist for Examiner.com

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