Truth is I only have one real wish for week two:
Don't crash and burn.
With their unexpected dude-what-just-happened-here debut blowout win last week, Mike Shanahan's Redskins set the early bar almost impossibly high for themselves. That's a nice problem to have, of course, but it doesn't leave a whole lot of room for improvement. Not in preseason anyway.
You can't prove anything in preseason, just offer glimpses and set the expectations pendulum swinging. The Redskins swung it pretty damn far in the direction of the good last week...will they be able to keep it from reversing course just as dramatically?
Chances are the Redskins won't blow out the Baltimore Ravens. In fact, I'm prepared to predict right here and now that they will not. Bold, I know.
But they can definitely make a statement.
So to flesh out the "one real wish" thing a bit...I do have one. It has nothing to do with the score. It doesn't have that much to do with individual performances, although obviously I'd like to see more of what I saw from key personnel and units last week.
No, this week it has to do with attitude.
It's a short list:
3) A continuation of the professionalism we saw last week. In every phase and form every unit. Last week it was relatively easy—the Redskins got ahead early, got some breaks and good bounces and steamrolled an opponent that lacked the wherewithal to dig in and fight back.
This week it is unlikely to play out that way. Baltimore is tough, confident and will not roll over if things go sour early. Regardless of what the scoreboard says tonight, even if it is tilted badly in the wrong direction, I want to see Washington continue to look like the smart, composed, well-coached and motivated professional football team we caught such a tantalizing glimpse of last week.
2) Toughness. Baltimore hangs its hat on physicality. They don't beat you with speed, precision or trickeration. They just beat you. They use both fists, both feet, and if things get chippy they aren't above the occasional well-placed head butt. I want to see the Redskins respond in kind. Stand in, stand tall, punch first, punch hard. When necessary, suck it up and counter-punch.
The Redskins got bigger this offseason. I'd like to see that pay early dividends in the most elemental way possible. The neighborhood bully is wandering into the Redskins' front yard saying "I have come to tear up your shrubbery. What are you to do about it?"
I want to see that myself.
1) No injuries.