The Redskins find themselves, at 8 PM on Sunday night, in a huge make-or-break game. This game resembles the feeling of all the must wins of the past two seasons, having to win out to make the playoffs.
Even though the Redskins are 6-3 and could afford a loss, there is so much fan and media expectations for this team that has accomplished so much this season.
In the recent past, fans, coaches and management would be ecstatic about 6-3 record into a bye with Dallas on deck at home. However, this year, the Redskins, have shown that they can step up and play with the best of them.
They have proven to themselves, the fans and the media that they finally may be breaking a 20-year hangover and back to a more consistent elite NFL team.
Through the first five games of the season, obviously including the Giants home opener, the 'Skins offense produced 21.8 Pts/G while the defense allowed 19.6. Certainly ranked in top of the NFL. Since then, starting with the miserable Rams loss, the 'Skins are scoring 15.5 Pts/G and playing better defense allowing 17.5 Pts/G.
The big discrepancy with these stats is the schedule. The past four games have been against the Rams, Browns, Lions, and Steelers. Clearly, we are doing the right things on the defensive side of the ball.
Fortunately, we are dead solid, and the acquisition of Hall will prove to tighten up nuts and bolts in the secondary. Offensively, it makes no sense, how can the 'Skins drop nearly a touchdown in scoring while playing teams that have been getting torched.
Plus, we had a punt return against Detroit, so in reality, the offense itself is truly producing less. Have NFL teams caught up with Skins tactics, is it injuries, is Zorn putting the reigns back on Campbell, is the O-line crumbling?
Unfortunately, I think it is all of the above and it needs to be fixed now. Sunday Night, without Portis, will be a great example of the heart, desire, coaching, and strength of this team.
People can say all they want about how the Cowboys are on a downhill spiral, but they can easily blowout any team in the NFL on any day. This game will define the morale of the team. Players, fans, and coaches have had high expectations for this team and this game will set the precedent throughout the NFL and media outlets.
If the 'Skins win
The Redskins know how to overcome adversity and injuries. Coaching staff knows how to prepare and game plan. The 'Skins will be 3-1 in the toughest division in football. Morale will be lifted significantly, given the tough road the past four weeks. 'Skins are real playoff contenders, watch out!
If the 'Skins lose
No one will believe that the Skins are for real anymore, even with a 6-4 record. The past five weeks, they would prove that the league has caught up, and that the 'Skins are NOT a new face in the NFL.
The road to the playoffs gets that much tougher given the NFC South tight race. Still have to play the Eagles, Giants, and Baltimore, all with great defenses. Team morale will be a season low. Not good.
Case in point, this is the biggest game of the season thus far; the Redskins BETTER show up Sunday night and stuff a hungry Dallas team in the face like they did Week Four.