The Redskins are 6-2. No other NFC team has won more games; they are a
half game out of the NFC East lead and a game up in the race for a Wild
Bad news: They haven't played
particularly well lately. Mistakes, including fumbles, at key times are
stalling offensive drives. They lost to the then-winless Rams and
struggled to beat Cleveland and Detroit.
Nobody seems to be satisfied with the performance of the team. There is
not a Norv-like "what we do works" mindset at Redskins Park. After his
defense held the opposition to 274 yards, including just 57 yards
rushing, 13 first downs, and 17 points in a win, Greg Blache likened
the performance of his unit to "the South end of a North-bound skunk".
Jim Zorn said, "We have to play more sudden. We have to know our
assignments and know the technique. . . Were almost getting there
just need to fix those little things."
The injury bug is biting this team hard. Five starters—Chris Samuels,
Cornelius Griffin, Jason Taylor, Shawn Springs, and Chris Horton—missed
the Detroit game. Taylor and Springs already have been ruled out for
Monday night's game and none of the other three is 100% certain to go
against the Steelers. Clinton Portis and Santana Moss got dinged up
later in the game and, at best, their practice time will be limited
Good news: It could be a lot
These injuries are day to day, week to week issues. There hasn't been a
season-ender or even a multi-week injury (typed with one hand while
knocking on wood with the other). The bye week is coming after Monday
and that's not a moment too soon.
Bad news: For
the next four weeks, the schedule gets tougher than a three-dollar
steak. There are contests against the two of the legitimate Super Bowl
favorites in the Giants and Steelers. Another game is against the
preseason favorites, the Dallas Cowboys, who will be coming off of a
bye with Tony Romo back under center.
All three of those games are at home. On top of that there is the
aforementioned bye coming in between the Steelers and Cowboys so Dallas
has no advantage in terms of being rested.
Bad news: The Redskins will pay
for all of that November home cooking by hitting the road for three of
their four December games.
Two of those games are against teams that are flat-out bad, the Bengals
and 49ers, and the other is against the up-and-down Ravens. It's never
easy to win on the road in the NFL but it's unlikely that the Redskins
will be facing stadiums packed with amped-up fans in Cincy and Frisco.
Rich Tandler blogs about the Skins at RealRedskins.com and he is the author of the upcoming book The Redskins Chronicle. You can reach Rich by email at firstname.lastname@example.org