By Tony Kornheiser
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, January 8, 2006
Come closer, I don't want to shout this:
The Redskins are the luckiest people alive.
Did you hear me? I said the LUCKIEST people alive!
That was a touchdown, boys and girls. A touchdown that would have tied the game late, and given all the momentum to Tampa Bay. Except it wasn't. Because Edell Shepherd couldn't hold the ball. Shepherd had everybody beat, and he couldn't hold the ball.
Those were game-changing fumbles. The one on the punt by Antonio Brown, and the one after the catch by Chris Cooley. Game-changers. Both times the ball scooted around like a hot potato, and somehow -- even with all those red shirts diving for it -- it was recovered by the guys in the lucky white shirts.
Whenever the Redskins needed luck, it came to them. For everything else there was great defense. Priceless!
For the second straight game, the Redskins' offense vanished. Gone, like ghosts in some medieval novel. And again the defense covered for them.
Chris Simms completed 25 passes, but how many of them went for scores? None. When the Redskins needed to sack him on third down, or intercept him, they did. When they needed to rush him and unnerve him on fourth down, they did.
Essentially, the Redskins won the game in the first quarter on two huge defensive plays -- LaVar Arrington's interception, and Marcus Washington's forced fumble of Cadillac Williams that Sean Taylor (in his pre-hawk-a-loogie mode) ran in for a touchdown. Two giant takeaways in the first quarter to go with those four giant takeaways in the fourth quarter in Philadelphia last week. The Redskins' offense looks like lost luggage. The defense looks like gold.
Just last week Gregg Williams signed a contract that made him the highest-paid assistant coach in the history of Western civilization. (We're not sure if that third "g" stands for "genius" or "gazillionaire.") This morning he looks like a steal. How lucky can you get?