Enough On That Godforsaken Washington Game

Unless you’ve been sleeping the last 14 hours (guessing some of our readers have) you’ve missed the fact that the Washington Redskins have traded an absolute boatload to the St Louis Rams for the second overall pick in the draft where it’s widely assumed they’ll select Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III. How much to be exact? Well the Rams will get the Skins’ second round pick in this Aprils draft and their first-round picks in 2013 and 2014. All that to move up 4 spots in the draft!

So today the talking heads of the Minnesota sports media (there are far too many to name and half of life is keeping the peace) are saying that the victory in week 16 versus the Washington Redskins was far too costly for the Vikings beyond superstar running back tearing his ACL. And I get it. Times are gloomy on the Minnesota sports front. The Wild have gone on a skid, the Twins nearly lost 100 games, anything Gophers related is in the toilet and the Timberwolves hopes may have been gashed with Ricky Rubio hurting his knee. There are just two major problems with this sort of logic…

1) It’s not fair to point a finger at two backups who were called upon. When looking back at that game, the two heroes who lead the Vikings to victory were that of Joe Webb and Toby Gerhart. Adrian Peterson unfortunately tore his ACL and Christian Ponder suffered a head injury when being sacked by Adam Carriker and London Fletcher (It was later deemed a concussion… Any doubts that we shouldn’t go o-line at 3rd overall? More on that in a minute.) So when given their chance both Webb and Gerhart came in and did what any professional should do – put forth their best possible effort when being called upon with hopes of leading their team to victory. Webb finished the game going 4 for 5 for 84 yards and 2 touchdowns. Gerhart had 11 carries for 109 yards (that’s almost 10 yards per carry, impressive math I know) including a 67-yard scamper. Wouldn’t you do the same? After all, every backup in the NFL should want to show their worthy of a starting job. More importantly…

2) Robert Griffin III wasn’t even deemed the 2nd overall pick on that Christmas Eve. If anyone cares to google mock drafts from late 2011 you’ll notice that Robert Griffin III was slated to go anywhere from 5 to 15. There were mostly two major campaigns going on for two top shelf prospects – Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck’s “Suck For Luck” and USC tackle Matt Kalil’s “Fall Flat For Matt”. There was not one mention of “Whiffin For Griffin”. Yes, RG3 had already won the Heisman Trophy, but he hadn’t lead his Baylor Bears to 67 points in a video game style Alamo Bowl nor had he blown members of the NFL away at the combine (including running a 4.41 40-yard dash and interviewing like someone who should be running for political office). His draft stock was indeed solid in December, but hadn’t soared until the past couple of months.

So go ahead you guys. Whine all you want about winning a football game that costs us plethora of draft picks and be glass half empty sort of folks. Go invent a crystal ball that can see into the future. You’ll be rich. Maybe with a little hope in the next several days we’ll see a few more glass is half full personas amongst our fanbase. If anything we should be grateful for the ascension of RG3 allowing us to be in perfect position to take Kalil. A franchise left tackle is tremendous building block for any team, let alone one that has young quarterback who has to account for Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers four Sundays a year. 13 losses turned out to be enough falling flat for Matt.

Jon Merckle may be followed on Twitter @thevikingpig

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