This has been an interesting week for Skins fans, as far as bye weeks go it’s been anything but boring. Back in August when SOW was just a wee little baby, I wrote about how nice it was for the drama to have left Ashburn. We have covered the changes and aren’t going down that road again but it was pretty nice to have the circus leave town.
Since 1991 the Redskins as a whole have been less than impressive, since Dan Snyder took over it’s been worse. All the media attention this team has received this year has been pretty much focused on how we will only win 2 games if we are lucky because our QB situation is so miserable. I have to say it has been fun watching these guys start to eat healthy portions of crow, but I am starting to get a little freaked out.
I enjoy the Redskins flying under the Radar… media hate typically fuels the players to play with a chip on their shoulder and more passion, not to mention helps keep fan expectations in check.
This week has been the type of week some fans love, everywhere you turn the Redskins are in the news and it’s not because our QB was benched or because our $100 mil defensive tackle is planking in the middle of a divisional game.
For the first time since the first half of 2008 (when the skins went 6-2 before a disasterous collapse), the talking heads are showing the Skins all sorts of love in their weekly Power Rankings
All of this is great, and as a fan it’s a lot of fun to trash talk your coworkers pointing out that the Skins are ranked higher than their team but honestly it terrifies me.
For an over achieving team in their bye week, all this positive press could be the worst thing possible. Redskins Nation has been very happy about the team putting gin extra work and doing things like declining “Victory Monday” in order to take care of the task at hand. The last thing that this team needs is to start believing its own press and not play with the same intensity that has brought them the early success they are currently enjoying.
My favorite of the media quotes has to be Peter King’s (who put Washington at number 8 on his SI power ranking) because it completely addresses why most media asumed Washington was doomed, and the biggest reason they are being proven wrong.
In our collective obsession with the Washington quarterback situation, we sort of forgot that Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan have collected some good defensive talent, and Jim Haslett has molded them into a group that’s giving up just 297 yards a game through four weeks. Pardon us.
– Peter King
On the Sirius NFL Blitz even Adam Schein(who has been extremely vocal about how bad he presumed Washington would be) even back tracked on the 2011 Skins stating he was wrong, and that Shanahan has done a very nice job with the team. The fact is this team is not terrible, and has a shot to be good (8-8 or 9-7). If they get a few lucky breaks this team could be very good (9-7 or 10-6) but let’s not jump on the “We are going 12-4” bandwagon yet.
A quick look at the remaining schedule shows that the Redskins have a lot of winnable games but they also have some games where we are going to find how real this team actually is. Sure teams like the Jets are struggling and the Patriots team returning to FedEx field is not the same 17-0 team that blew the Skins out in 2007. But you cannot forget that December for both of these teams is going to be very important. The AFC East is not a one horse race anymore every game on the schedule is going to matter so you have to expect these guys to bring it.
Step one towards finding out how real the Skins actually are is one week from this Sunday.
With Philly coming to town next weekend the Skins face the first game in which they HAVE to win if they want to be taken seriously. When your Quarterback says you are going to win the division you have to be able to take out the reigning division champs. Depending on what happens against Buffalo this weekend the Eagles could be facing an early “must win” game versus Washington.
There are games that propel a team into the next level. Some call it a statement game others a breakout game. Whatever you want to call it Sunday October 16th is that game for the Redskins. If they can grab that game advancing to 4-1 and securing 1st place in the NFC East this team could actually be taking the first step in living the special season and becoming that special team that we all are hoping they are.