Will the Washington Redskins Crumble Under the Eyes Of Observation?

Brad VippermanCorrespondent ISeptember 26, 2009

DETROIT , MI - OCTOBER 26:  Jason Campbell #17 of the Washington Redskins drops back for a pass against the Detroit Lions on October 26, 2008 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Domenic Centofanti/Getty Images)

I am terrified of 2:00pm PT Sunday afternoon.  I am terrified for so many reasons that thinking about them causes my body physical angst.  Allow me to explain.

I have been a Washington Redskins fan for as long as I can remember.  Unfortunately, rather than Super Bowl championships and playoff runs, that usually means overpaying free agents and wallowing in mediocrity. 

Every year when I buy the new “Madden” video game, there is always some new Redskin(s) that I am excited to play with for the first time.  This year was Albert Haynesworth and Brian Orakpo.  Last year was Jason Taylor, Devin Thomas, and Malcolm Kelly.  The year before that was LaRon Landry.  Before that...Adam Archuleta.  The list goes as far back as Dan Wilkinson and Dana Stubblefield.  Bruce Smith and Mark Carrier.  Deion Sanders and (gulp) Jeff George.

The Redskins have made so many questionable decisions in the last decade.  Some decisions have worked beautifully (Sean Taylor, Chris Cooley, London Fletcher, Clinton Portis, Santana Moss, etc.), whereas others have not (Archuleta, Wilkinson, Stubblefield, Sanders, Smith, Jason Taylor, etc.).  All of the choices, good and bad, have led them to this point...and I have been on board the whole way. 

Something inside me is starting to change though.  I’m starting to become less of a fan and more of a critic.  When you’re younger it’s hard to criticize personnel moves because you don’t totally understand.  As you grow up, you’re afraid that dissenting will jinx the incoming arrival and the bad karma of your negative thoughts will condemn them to fail.  Now, as a 23 year old college graduate, I’m starting to get fed up.

I’m fed up that my team’s coach has to be literally mugged by our special teams coach to avoid calling an idiotic timeout.  I’m fed up that with an offensive line currently thinner than the thread Jim Zorn’s job is hanging by, he would still try, and fail, to pound the ball in the redzone.  And as a change of pace…Why not a little halfback pass on third-and-goal from the five?  Seems like Jim Zorn has been playing too much Madden.

These are all new feelings for me.  Even when Marty Schottenheimer was clashing with everyone, I was on board.  When Steve Spurrier turned us into the ’96 Gators, I was on board.  And when Joe Gibbs came back I was definitely on board.  Jim Zorn, however, is one bad move away from losing me completely…and that’s saying something.

I’ve never liked fans who openly bashed members of their favorite organization.  In a way, players and coaches (at least in-season) are sort of like family.  Love them or hate them, you’re stuck together for the next 17 weeks.

This leads me to Sunday’s game.  I live in Arizona and will be watching the 10:00am kickoff as the Lions try and avoid losing an amazing 20th game in a row.  National media and bloggers alike seem to have pegged this as the perfect chance for the Lions to end the streak and finally put one in the win column.  All this because the Redskins failed to score a touchdown against the hapless Rams last week, and, at times, looked completely inept in the process. 

The reason this game terrifies me is because the Redskins have absolutely nothing to gain.  If they win, who cares?  They were supposed to.  If they lose, they will literally make history and become the answer to the trivia question, “What team did the Lions beat to end their 19 game losing streak?”

All this being said, the Redskins are the superior team right?  I mean, their quarterback is experienced, their running back is better and their defense has some legit stars on it.  At the same time their receiving corps leaves much to be desired and their offensive line is banged up to the point that Chad Rinehart is starting at RG.  And he’s never even dressed for an NFL game before!

If the Redskins lose, all hell is going to break loose in the Nation’s capital and I don’t think Jim Zorn makes it to October as head coach.  If they win like they did last week, it will just delay the inevitable.  The only way to save face in this situation is to beat the Lions by a touchdown or more.  That, plus the reality of being 2-1 with a few winnable games coming up, should be enough to settle the storm. 

Needless to say, I’m terrified of 2:00pm PT Sunday afternoon.