The way the Redskins’ eight-game joyride ended probably couldn’t have been much more of a punch to the gut. In time, if you haven’t started already, you’ll probably appreciate this season for the giant step forward it was, the fun you had and the way a once-proud franchise is again relevant.

But if you wake up the morning after with a handful of questions and not much else, well, you’re not alone.

  • How bad is RGIII’s knee injury?
  • If it’s not something that involves serious rehab, is all the criticism for naught? Or was a lesson learned?
  • Should RGIII have even been in the game?
  • When was it time to take Griffin out?
  • Is Mike Shanahan to blame?
  • Is it a coach’s responsibility to protect players from themselves?
  • Was the advice of Dr. James Andrews really disregarded?
  • How much should you protect future chances at winning it all if it costs you a current chance at winning it all?
  • Would the Redskins have been able to protect a 14-point lead with Kirk Cousins and a heavy dose of Alfred Morris?
  • Why did Morris only have 16 carries?
  • Can Morris be effective without the threat of RGIII running?
  • Did we watch London Fletcher’s last game in burgundy and gold?
  • How can this team be improved in the offseason with no first-round pick and an $18 million cap penalty?
  • Is it too soon to start looking ahead?

Far better scribes than I have covered most of these questions from every angle, and I’ll provide links at the end. Adam Kilgore got the Strasburg-RGIII comparison out of the way, and covered it pretty thoroughly. Barry Svrluga detailed how the offense went cold after the two long scoring drives. Dave Shenin and the columnists covered the agony, of both Griffin’s knee injury and the playoff loss. Any answer that was out there last night, a Post reporter went after it.

But still, you’re left with questions. Could this have been the Redskins’ shot? Do they go all the way with a healthy RGIII? The team should only get better, right? You know deep down that nothing is guaranteed.

Trent Williams is one of the first to see how seriously Robert Griffin III is hurt, a moment which might be the lasting image of this game for many.

I’m not sure how soon fans are supposed to get over the end of a season, especially when it’s abrupt. The Redskins were sucessfully protecting a 14-13 lead until the 7:08 mark of the fourth quarter, and two plays after going behind by seven, the franchise quarterback’s knee gives out. Suddenly not only are hopes for this game deflated, but the season is effectively over and the future is a great big question mark.

Maybe by the time you read this, word of RGIII’s condition will be public. But that’s only one answer, and perhaps a whole new set of questions. And therein lies the joy and pain of making the playoffs. There’s only one absolute: The team who wins the Super Bowl is the champion. Everyone else is left with a barrel of what-ifs, shouldas and if-onlys.

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