I typically don't believe in must-win games this early in the season. In truth, they are all must-win games. The season only provides us with 16 chances to notch victories, so every week is a real test that requires our 'A' game. Against the Rams on Sunday, we will find ourselves pitted against a team we are capable of beating. Though I have suggested otherwise, you could argue that this is not a team we "should" beat, but rather a game we should not fall out of in the first quarter. Either way, the path to 3-1 could be a lot harder.
If we look at the schedule, we know that the end of it provides a few difficult tests. We need to get wins now because by the time we are staring down the Jets and Patriots in consecutive weeks, we don't want to be in the position of having to win or be mathematically eliminated. (I know...Buffalo ain't looking like a cakewalk right now either.)
Teams make the playoffs every year by doing little more than beating the teams they are capable of beating. Sounds pretty obvious...I know. Yet time and time again teams fail to clear this reasonable bar.
We still can't count ourselves among the elite teams in this league, but the Washington Redskins could take a giant leap forward in 2011 by simply winning the games against those fellow mediocre teams we will face in the next two months.That is how you earn respectability. That is how you go from down and out to up and coming.
That is why this week is, in fact, a must-win game for this Washington team.