Don't Blow It Up

This post is late by a few days. I had a pretty crazy week.

But I wanted to say as early as last Monday, "Dudes. Chill."

It's indisputable that the 'Skins played like crap against the Lions. But a shitty loss was blown out of proportion by the Lions' winless streak and the media calling for Zorn's head, Campbell's head, anyone's head. Every team in the league takes a complete dump in the field once in a while.

But calling for a complete rebuild 3 games into the season?

C'mon. I expect better than that from HH. That's Daniel Snyder-esque impatience. 

Today's mildly successful win against the pathetic Bucs doesn't exactly inspire confidence, but there were a few sweet plays in it. Portis got on track a bit. The Campbell-to-Moss hookup was poetry. Cooley had a number of clutch plays. To balance out the goodness, there were some inexplicable play calls, some horrible Campbell INTs, a blocked PAT for chrissake. But in the end, the team bore down and did what it needed to to win. 

The fact is, this team went through a horrible period of being snakebit. It was obvious they were playing tight. You could see on the field during the Rams game that everyone, from the head coach on down, was pressing too hard, due to the insanely elevated expectations of "playing in Washington, DC, in Zorn's second season." They were supposed to have worked everything out and been stupendous somehow 'cause, you know, they had all last year to become perfect.

That same tightness, the choking, the tense/nervous/jittery energy pervaded the team through the next 6 quarters or so.

Today against Tampa Bay, they shook some of it off. You could sense the tension seeping away. Once you've hit rock bottom, what is there to be tense about? Some of the guys look like they had a wakeup call in Detroit. The O-line looked particularly improved this game. 

I'm not saying this is a playoff team. I really have no idea, and neither do they. But there is an awful lot of talent on this squad, and now that no one gives a rat's ass about them, maybe, just maybe, they'll start to ease up a bit and remember what got them to the show in the first place. 

Next up are two teams that still haven't won a game this season. We could conceivably be hosting Philadelphia in three weeks with a 4-2 record. It might be a sloppy, not-living-up-to-potential 4-2 record, but honestly, I don't care.

As I said in a previous post, let the team figure out its identity during this early, soft part of the season. They're not an elite team right now. They can't even claim to be a playoff team. But maybe enough of a lesson has been learned from these few weeks of putridness that by November, they'll be a step close to making that claim.

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