For the first time in my 21-year-old life, I can say it honestly.
Watch out for the Redskins.
There's something about this team that is just surreal, isn't it? We don't make mistakes -- no turnovers in 20 quarters on offense. We close out games with clutch plays -- Jason's slant to Santana week 2, Portis's battering ram through the middle today on 4th and 1 after we burned our last time out. We play great run defense -- so much that the Cowboys and Eagles both chose not to run their all-star-calibur RB's for much during the game. We run the ball HARD, with just the right amount of Betts and Portis. We defend brilliantly on the pass and protect our own passer.
This is a team that honestly is baffling opposing coordinators. We ran the ball all over the league's best run defense and shut down McNabb and Westbrook as well as anyone can hold them down. We hold the ball all game and even convert our field goals.
Let's talk about the defense, because they played their best game of the season today. London Fletcher and Andre Carter both had phenomenal games, absolutely locking down the run and bothering McNabb and by knocking down passes. The defense may not get sacks, but they don't let anything up deep -- and they don't get fooled by reverses and double reverses. They are fast and mean tacklers -- even our cornerbacks seem to tackle soundly.
This was the unit WITHOUT Shawn Springs, who is arguably its best player (though Fletcher probably is the most important), Jason Taylor, and Marcus Washington. Against the Philadelphia freaking Eagles, the team that put up 37 in Dallas.
Then, on offense, we get output from every single position. When our biggest receiving threat -- Moss -- is completely taken away, we run the ball right at the Eagles (their alleged strength), and pass to Cooley. Jason Campbell is creative, smart, and effective. He creates plays in pressure, including some nice runs.
We are absolutely beautifully coached as almost all of our problems from last year seem to be at least partially remedied, from play-calling to excessive fumbling. I am so pleased with Jim Zorn, and have no clue how he's doing it. He is so comfortable in his role that I think it is rubbing off on our players, who maybe couldn't identify with Gibbs's cerebral, old-fashioned, and possibly too-urgent coaching style. Zorn seems to keep it simple... and it's working. Meanwhile, Williams's Jaguars are only okay (although I always wish him the best) and we all know how the Rams are doing with Saunders...
And now, Zorn stands at 4-1 having gotten through the hardest part of the schedule by far. Now, we get three of the worst teams in the NFL, including two of those games at home. The Browns, Rams, and Lions are a combined 1-11 and are not looking so hot at all. The next four weeks, the 'Skins play those three teams and then get another home game against Pittsburgh on Monday night. Suddenly, it is not at all unreasonable to say the 'Skins could go ... take a deep breath... 8-1, or at least 7-2 before their bye week.
At some point, they're going to make some mistakes. At some point, they'll have a bad game, a bad break, and Jason will get his interception.
But for now, I'd take our position in the standings at this point in the season over anyone's. We have one loss, and it was to the Super Bowl Champs on the road. We are done the toughest part of our schedule and now have some dreadful teams on our radar for the rest of the season: Rams, Browns, Lions, 49ers, Bengals. We have the the very beatable Ravens and Seahawks ahead of us as well, in addition to our formidable division opponents and a tough Steelers team (that did get killed by the Eagles, by the way).
We're not going to go 15-1, but 4 wins in 5 games puts us in great position. And there's not one team on our radar that we can't beat if we play at a high level and stay healthy.
This is exciting stuff. I would do anything for a playoff game at Fed Ex.
Hail to Jim Zorn. Hail to the best Redskins team we've seen in a while. 4-1!!!