1. Every game during the course of an NFL season is a test. Starting 2-0 just means we've taken two tests so far and passed them both, but I don't automatically consider us at the top of the league by a long shot. Before you discount where we stand though, just look at Baltimore getting beat by Tennessee or the enthusiastic start to the season by Buffalo. Those are both stories that underline the value of our situation. We are not the greatest 2-0 team to ever strap on pads and helmets, but two wins in two tries is just about as good as you can do at this point--just ask the Ravens. I feel like when people ask me how the Redskins are doing, they expect me to immediately cop to not being a "for real" 2-0 team. I only pick on the Ravens because most people seem to agree they are a better team than the Redskins, but I am pretty sure they would settle for whatever kind of 2-0 we are.
2. Storylines in the NFL are both manufactured and organically grown. The manufactured ones are forced upon us during the offseason and in the opening weeks. The Redskins have had a good run over the last decade of manufacturing storylines. But the organic storylines that develop as a season progresses are far more interesting and fun to follow. The story of the 2011 Washington Redskins is potentially one of the better organically grown stories of the NFL. Nobody--except for crazy old Mike Lombardi--predicted any measure of success for this team whatsoever. When we whoop that ass on Monday Night Football next week, watch how the story of this team really starts to take off nationally. For one more week, it will just still be our secret.
3. I am rarely--if ever--accused of being a very smart man. I think the smartest thing I said all day on Sunday was, "The wind just totally weaponized that burrito." (This also explains why this morning, my fantasy football team name was changed from 3rd and Schlong to Weaponized Burrito.) Every once in a while though, I hit on a vein of intelligence...picking the Rams to destroy the Giants clearly was not an example of that. Seriously St. Louis...you just gift-wrapped that one man.
4. The numbers suggest that when you start the season 2-0, you have a 50% chance of making it to the playoffs (loosely interpreted of course.) Yesterday, I took the playoff side of that coin toss. Considering that as recently as a month ago, you couldn't find anyone outside of this fanbase to place a number higher than 0% on our playoff chances, I'd say zero to fifty in two weeks is pretty damn good.
5. Regardless of which Cowgirls players will or will not be available next Monday, Rob Ryan will be coaching that defense. Now that Ryan has a couple weeks of film to watch both of his own guys as well as of our offense, we should get a real legit gameplan thrown at us. Our offensive line will be poked and prodded like an amateur adult film actress. (You know what...she is an actress. You try acting like it is completely normal and acceptable that seven dudes who just minutes ago were fixing the cable are now taking turns...uhhhh...making love to you.) As far as tests go, this next one will be our biggest one yet, and will really put a fine point on our chances of making some noise this year.
6. As the season wears on, we will begin to fully appreciate what a break we caught by not having to face a healthy Justin Tuck in Week One.
7. It sounds like LaRon Landry might be ready to go for this game. It is crazy how much that one play at the start of the Monday Night Massacre influences my memory of him last season. While he was playing very hurt that night, the lasting image of Landry from 2010 is him getting burned by DeSean Jackson AND the back judge. (Seriously, that referee was moving.) When Landry was healthy, he was a Defensive Player of the Year candidate. If we are able to add that in Week Three for a nationally televised showdown against the Cowgirls, I would feel extremely warm and fuzzy about our chances.
8. Prediction: Ryan Kerrigan will knock Tony Romo out of the game. No, I am not wishing further injury or pain on Romo...I am merely stating that he is one hard shot away from missing significant time in 2011. If you want an even more specific prediction, I think that Kerrigan will beat Derrick Dockery for the sack. (I don't think Dock will start the game, but I think he will see the field.)
9. Despite the fact that the NFL has seemingly morphed into a pass-happy flag league, a defense's ability to stop the run will still separate the top of the league from the bottom of the league. Right now, the Redskins are giving up 84 yards per game on the ground, but at a 4.8 yards per carry clip. The Giants and Cardinals were forced to become at least partially one-dimensional at times during the first two weeks (the Giants more so, obviously.) Sure...Romo is a good enough quarterback for a coach to put the game on his shoulders, but I think we would all agree that we want the game on his shoulders (and those ribs.) If Dallas can't get a running game going against us, we should be sitting very pretty.
10. I am not looking past the Cowgirls, but since the Rams were on last night and we get them in two weeks, I thought I would just say that Sam Bradford looks like the real deal. I got the sense that if they had Steven Jackson and Danny Amendola on the field, they would have won the game. Two first-half mistakes could have potentially been avoided: Amendola probably doesn't fumble the punt that rookie George Salas did that set up a Giants touchdown, and Steven Jackson probably doesn't ignore a backwards pass while Michael Boley races to collect it and take it to the house. This is the dangerous game of coulda-woulda-shoulda at its wackiest, but in two weeks we could be looking at a different Rams squad that could be less mistake-prone. If that is the case, we will have to be on our A game.