Outside of the Beltway, the Redskins have exceeded expectations in the first season under Robert Griffin III. The Redskins are 6-6 through the first 12 games of the season, and enter a critical four-game stretch that will make or break their hunt for the first playoff berth since 2007.
Here is a look back at the first dozen Redskins games of the 2012 season:
Week 1: Redskins (1-0) 40, Saints (0-1) 32.**
Defining Moment: Big time offseason acquisitions Robert Griffin III and Pierre Garçon teamed up for the first of several highlight reel plays this season, this one in the form of an 88-yard touchdown to open the 2012 season. The Redskins never looked back in this contest, as Griffin III earned his first NFL win in emphatic fashion.
Week 2: Redskins (1-1) 28, Rams (1-1) 31.
Defining Moment: The Rams played a physical brand of football from the opening whistle, causing tempers to flare as the game wore on. The Redskins had the ball in the final minute of the game, but receiver Joshua Morgan drew a personal foul penalty that put the Redskins out of field goal range. Kicker Billy Cundiff was short and wide right on a desperation attempt, dealing the Redskins their first loss.
Week 3: Redskins (1-2) 31, Bengals (2-1) 38.
Defining Moment: The Bengals came out with a razzle-dazzle approach, lining up quarterback Andy Dalton at wide receiver and putting rookie receiver Mohamed Sanu under center. In the ensuing chaos on defense, A.J. Green got behind the Redskins secondary and hauled in a 73-yard touchdown for the the quick-strike score. The Redskins tried to keep pace, but the Bengals outlasted them, handing the Redskins' their second-straight loss.
Week 4: Redskins (2-2) 24, Buccaneers (1-3) 22.**
Defining Moment: Clinging to a two-point lead in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, Robert Griffin III and the Redskins' offense watched the Buccaneers' offense move down the field for a field goal and the lead. Griffin III then led his team 56 yards in the final 1:39, setting up a game-winning 41-yard field goal, giving Griffin III his first NFL fourth-quarter comeback.
Week 5: Redskins (2-3) 17, Falcons (5-0) 24.
Defining Moment: Griffin III struggled against the Falcons' defense, completing 10-of-15 passes for only 91 yards before being knocked out of the game with a concussion. Rookie backup Kirk Cousins found some magic in the form of a 77-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss, but threw two interceptions in the game's final two minutes to seal a Falcons' victory.
Week 6: Redskins (3-3) 38, Vikings (4-3) 26.**
Defining Moment: The Redskins scored a decisive victory against the NFC's second-best team, breaking a Redskins' streak of eight-straight losses at FedExField. Griffin III led his team in passing (182) and rushing (138) yards, including an electrifying 76-yard scamper for the game-sealing touchdown.
Week 7: Redskins (3-4) 23, Giants (5-2) 27.
Defining Moment: A 30-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss gave the Redskins the go-ahead score with less than two minutes remaining, but the Giants didn't needed only 19 seconds to reverse their fortune. On second down from the Giants' 23-yard line, Eli Manning found Victor Cruz over the middle, who streaked past double-coverage for a 77-yard touchdown.
Week 8: Redskins (3-5) 12, Steelers (4-3) 27.
Defining Moment: The Redskins' offense turned in a miserable performance on a rainy afternoon in Pittsburgh, illustrated by 11 drops on offense and a missed extra point on special teams. The Steelers played it close until halftime, but the Redskins' never threatened in the second half.
Week 9: Redskins (3-6) 13, Panthers (2-6) 21.
Defining Moment: Celebrating Homecoming Weekend, the Redskins came out flat in front of more than 150 Redskins Alumni and a soldout crowd. The Redskins never led, and entered the Week 10 bye week with their third-straight loss.
Week 11: Redskins (4-6) 31, Eagles (3-7) 6.**
Defining Moment: Teeing off on an injury-depleted Eagles offense, the Redskins' defense had a hallmark game, keyed by the debut of safety Brandon Meriweather. The Redskins offense found their early-season stride, as Griffin III went 14-for-15 for 200 yards and four touchdowns. It was the Redskins' first win over the Eagles at FedExField since 2008. This was the Redskins' first win over an NFC East opponent this season and broke a season-high three-game losing streak.
Week 12: Redskins (5-6) 38, Cowboys (5-6) 31.**
Defining Moment: Looking for an encore performance on the national stage, Griffin III broke three franchise records in route to a Thanksgiving Day victory in Dallas. The Redskins leaned on a 28-point second quarter and some timely defense at the end of the game outlast the Cowboys. This was the Redskins' first win on Thanksgiving in 40 years, the first win on Thanksgiving in Dallas, and the first win ever at Cowboys Stadium.
Week 13: Redskins (6-6) 17, Giants (7-5) 16.**
Defining Moment: After allowing the Giants to convert eight-of-10 third-down conversions and control the clock for more than 20 minutes in the first half, the Redskins' defense held strong in the second half, limiting the Giants to just three points and only one third-down conversion. The defense also responded to the offense's go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter with two straight potential go-ahead drive-killing peformances to seal the victory and give the Redskins three straight divisional wins for the first time since the 2005 season.