Last week, I will admit, I wanted to panic. But this week I have decided to be the friendly version of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and tell everyone not to panic. I hope to be able to provide some sound reasons for this, but perhaps I am just delusional.
The Redskins have a defense that is capable of keeping them in ballgames, and, if the offense can do any of the lifting, win some games. They showed that again yesterday, against one of the best offenses in the NFL. The Bills came into the game averaging over 31 points a game. The defense, with absolutely no help from the offense, held them to 23. London Fletcher, even with a bad hamstring, played a great game, and Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo were still a force, albeit somewhat diminished from what they were in the first 4 games this season.
The only other positive is yet another positive of comparison. Our offense is downright offensive, but I have to ask: how many teams would have even a decent offense playing without their best all-round tight end, their best receiver, their starting tailback, and the left side of their offensive line? The Patriots are light-years better than the Redskins in terms of depth and talent, but I am sure they would struggle without Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, whoever they are starting at running back these days, and the left side of their line. Admittedly, their struggling would still be good enough to win some games, but we know they would struggle. Imagine, in our own division, the Eagles without Brent Celek, Lesean McCoy, and DeSean Jackson, not to mention the two linemen. They would struggle to beat anyone. The same holds true for the Cowboys without Jason Witten and Dez Bryant (they have lost their starting running back). The Giants are the only team that I think might be able to overcome it.
I don't pretend for a moment that our players are anywhere near the level of the players mentioned above (except the players on the 'girls. I'd take Cooley and Moss any day over Witten and Bryant.) But still, we started with a lot less. We were only averaging 20.75 points per game before the rash of injuries.
I have to believe that Shanahan and Allen will continue to add depth, and that next year, with the added experience of all the back-ups, the team will be better for it. The defense should get Jarvis Jenkins back next year, and be even stronger. Some improvement in the defensive backs and the offensive line could make this team into the contender we all thought they might be during the bye week.
On another note, I have to feel sorry for John Beck. He really has not had a chance to show anyone what he is capable of. He was sacked repeatedly during his four starts in Miami, and it might even be worse during his two so far in Washington. Hopefully, the line will be able to keep him upright for at least one game, so we can see what we have with him. There is clearly some promise there; he has done better than Wrecks Glassman would have behind this sorry excuse for a line.
I truly believe: the Redskins will win another Super Bowl before I die. The downside is that I'm only 26.