I could think of two things after the NFL’s penultimate regular season weekend that made news.
Sunday morning on my way to the Colts-Dolphins game I realized how amazing it was that the Redskins had captured the sub-par NFC East title.
Later that day on my way home from the game, I thought it was not amazing that the Panthers saw their perfect season come to an end.
People cling far too much on how close a team in any sport is to a perfect record.
It doesn’t mean a thing.
Championships mean everything.
So when Carolina lost to Atlanta I felt relief for the Panthers.
The pressure was off. The intense spotlight was removed.
Now, they could go about the business of getting ready to go to a Super Bowl.
All Sunday proved was that the Panthers are having a fantastic season.
They can lose to any team, just like any other team.
Their concern first should be holding off the Cardinals who are formidable.
As for the Redskins, I think many folks failed to realize what their triumph meant.
This franchise has been one of the most dysfunctional for a long time.
Their owner, Dan Snyder, couldn’t get out of his own way.
His judgment in the players he signed in free agency missed the target by a wide margin.
But here’s what this year’s division championship really means.
Dan Snyder hired Scott Mc Cloughan as his GM and let him do his job.
Mc Cloughan hired Jay Gruden as Head Coach and let him do HIS job.
Gruden, under the intense pressure of any football figure in Washington, put his chips on Kirk Cousins as his quarterback.
He knew Robert Griffin III couldn’t get it done.
Griffin was Snyder’s latest marquee foray.
He stuck with Cousins, who struggled and was under fire by fans and media alike.
But Kirk Cousins has settled down and delivered what no Washington quarterback has delivered in ages.
I know, the record is nothing to shout about. But the Washington Redskins captured their division.
NO ONE thought that would happen.
And maybe NO ONE thought Carolina would lose either.