Whats Ahead in Q3 For The Redskins

Justin DixonContributor INovember 3, 2008

The third quarter of the NFL season is here for the Washington Redskins. These next four games are going to tell a lot about the team and how they will handle the second half of the season.

First up, the Pittsburgh Steelers are coming to town. With the Redskins banged up and badly needing the bye week to come how well will they perform? Will it be another performance like they had against the Cowboys and Eagles or will it be another let down like the one against the Rams?

If the team shows up like it did against the Cowboys they have a real shot at playing with, and beating, the physical Steelers. However if the team shows up like they did against the Rams, the Redskins could get embarrassed on national television.

With the Steelers' offensive line not being as good this year the Redskins should be able to pressure Ben Roethlisberger and not allow him to have a big game. Of course, they still have to get something going on offense to have a chance at winning this game.

It will probably be the same basic game plan, get Clinton Portis going and have Jason Campbell protect the ball. If Portis gets going early it will take a lot of pressure off of the offensive line and the quarterback against the team with the second most sacks so far this season. However, getting Portis going might be tough against this Steelers defense that has not allowed one hundred yard rusher all season.

Then comes the much needed bye week. After the bye everyone needs to come back healthy. There are a lot of nagging injuries with big name players like Santana Moss, Chris Samuels, Shawn Springs and Jason Taylor just to name a few and the Redskins will need all of them healthy and performing at a high level to have a solid second half of the season.

After the bye the Dallas Cowboys come to FedEx Field for a rematch. Tony Romo should be back and healthy by then as well so it should be another battle. The Redskins have another Cowboys weapon to defend in wide receiver Roy Williams. Its hard to say at this point how much success Romo and Williams will have working together, but regardless its very important that Jim Zorn comes out of his first bye week with his team running on all cylinders to have a chance at making the playoffs.

The Seahawks are up next with the first of two trips to the west coast in the second half of the season. The Seahawks have been down this year but the Redskins have proved that they can keep any team in the game.

If the Redskins continue to play down to the level of their opponents with all the mental mistakes they could definitely lose this game. However, if they are fully healthy I think that Clinton Portis will stay on track to have the best year of his career and help to lead the Redskins in what should be a fairly easy win over the Seahawks.

Finally, in the fourth game in the third quarter of the season, the Redskins will face the Giants at home and the Redskins will have revenge on their minds. The Giants are a great football team and perhaps that's why they made Jim Zorn actually look like a rookie head coach during the first match up this season.

Zorn and the Redskins are playing much better after that game though, and could close the gap in the division race late in the season if they can beat the Giants at FedEx Field.

It all starts tonight against the Steelers on Monday Night Football, so stay tuned for the second half.