Imagine my surprise when UGA not only lost, but played a game worthy of being placed right next to the Braves' wonderful effort.
That's right, I said that both teams would lose. Not because I really, truly thought it would happen, but that's the way of Georgia sports. When one team loses something important, they either all lose, or all end up losing in some important game.
Make no mistake, all three major Georgia teams (Tech doesn't count! But they still lost) had games of importance this weekend. The Braves had a chance to beat the Cardinals to head to the real playoffs, UGA had a chance to show it was the real deal against another highly ranked opponent, as well as take control of the SEC East, and the Falcons had a chance to go 5-0 for the first time in its 47th season of existence.
Sunday rolls around, and the game is blacked out for me, even on Sunday Ticket. So I flip over to Red Zone Channel and pray the Falcons get some coverage. By and large, they didn't. (Go figure, right?).
I almost didn't want to watch, because I knew how sad I'd be if all three of my teams lost in miserable fashion over the weekend, and I figured if they lost and I just saw the box score, I'd feel less bad about it. But like any 20something male (or perhaps insane fan, not sure which), I was too stubborn to go that route, so I stayed glued to the box score on the screen and to the Red Zone Channel.
As time passed, neither team was scoring! It felt like the longer we went without scoring, the more it played into the Redskins' hands.
Imagine my surprise when the first half started going downhill very, very quickly. A pick-6 to Kerrigan and then a fumbled snap shortly thereafter had my spirits pretty low. It's one thing to be down, it's another to be down after one of the worst weekends in the history of Georgia sports.
Come halftime, the game is tied 7-7...somehow.
Somehow, we were still in the game. Did we deserve to be in the game? No. Were we in the game? Absolutely.
This is why I don't like stats. Statistics cannot and will not prepare you for what happened on Sunday. They were correct in that the Redskins have trouble covering #2 WR and TE, as both of the Falcons that play those respective positions had good games, but they weren't correct in that the D would just roll over, nor were they correct in that it would be a high scoring game.
The Redskins' O struggled against the Falcons' D. The Redskins scored 17 points, but 7 of those were due to the pick-6 from Kerrigan, which was an excellent athletic play.
As the game wore on, it occurred to me that every game won't be a blowout. I HATE HATE HATE watching close games. I'd rather my team blowout every team they play, but the reality is that it simply won't happen. This isn't college ball, where teams like Oregon score 75 points a week because they're more athletically gifted than everyone else. Everybody in the NFL can play ball.
The evidence in this is the coaching change in San Fran. That was pretty much the same team in 2011 they had in 2010, with the exception of coaching, and they excelled in 2011!
There will be blowout games - the NFL is not immune to them - but the majority of the games are closer than you think. Heck, the Ravens-Chiefs game had a score of 9-6. NINE to SIX. That's a close game, and I think we all know which of the two teams should have won that game. They almost didn't!
Green Bay lost to the Colts. The Vikings are 4-1. There were no touchdowns in the Ravens-Chiefs game. We want this and that to happen with this team, but the reality of it is that winning every week is extremely difficult.
As much as we'd like a blowout, there will be games like the Panthers and Redskins, where we have to work some magic to win, but the great thing about this team is that they've shown the poise to not freak out when things get tough, and they're 5-0 because of it.
By all means, let the Texans and 49ers keep blowing teams out. After all, it did the Saints and Packers good last year, right?
Let's be thankful this team is 5-0, and be thankful that the close victories show we still have much to learn, but can still win while learning.