Looks Like Someone Has a Sixpack of the Mondays

Tom Pennington

Despite the Giants thrashing Green Bay on Sunday Night Football, the Redskins still have a chance to shock the world.

1. Seriously, Green Bay? SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?!

2. The beat down we all witnessed last evening does come with some very good news to Redskins fans. The Monday Night Football game that we are all so looking forward to still carries a great deal of meaning. After all, toppling the team that just laid waste to the Green Bay Packers would be yet another signature moment of the 2012 season. The lead in the NFC East is unattainable in Week 13, but it doesn't matter who is in first place in Week 13...it only matters who is in first place after Week 17.

3. I hope everyone enjoyed watching the Thanksgiving victory over the Cowgirls. I could say I never had a doubt...but that would be big, fat lie. How many times have we sent out a kicker to get some insurance against a team with all the momentum late in the game? I mean, come on...that movie has been on repeat in Washington for quite some time. As Kai Forbath lined up to attempt that kick, all I could think about was how much closer this game was to OT than it was to being cemented in our favor. When the kick sailed through the uprights, I felt like I could eat another ten plates of turkey and stuffing. It was as if a burden the size of Albert Haynesworth had been lifted off of my soul, a burden that had just decided to lay there and hang out...making no attempt whatsoever to get up.

4. Kickers are a funny breed of animal, aren't they? I can't believe that they didn't dedicate an episode of Planet Earth to this quirky species. Their natural prey are head coaches. In Washington alone, kickers have killed multiple coaches over the last two decades. Kickers are like armadillos--no natural predators. Their worst enemies are inconsistency, pressure and, shockingly, oncoming traffic--just like armadillos. A kicker can be All-Pro for years and then suddenly and inexplicably he can strike a team dead with dreadful and unexplainable awfulness (see: Mason Crosby). You can find a kicker with no real experience at all and be treated to a delightful string of performances (see: Kai Forbath). I am only as confident as his last kick, so today, my confidence in Kai Forbath and our kicking game is riding high! Either way, his three points in the fourth frame on Thanksgiving were as big as they come.

5. I am not one to play the "If only we would have beaten the Rams..." game (substitute Bengals, Giants, Panthers and Falcons if you like) because you can gain more in life by banging your head against a brick wall. Instead, I would like to simply point out that there is a very important step left to be taken by the Washington Redskins organization that is impossible to take now until 2013. I am ecstatic about the way we are playing right now and I am enjoying the hell out of it. The team we are watching right now is one that is capable of securing wins in games that two months ago were tantalizingly just out of reach. It's the difference between putting together an admirable stretch of games inside of a season and putting together an entire season. We are close to being able to accomplish the latter. Even despite our sloppy start--which is nothing to cry in our beers about if you consider we trotted out a rookie quarterback on offense and had no safeties to start the season--there is a chance to put together a stretch run that erases the damage of winning only three of our first nine games. I understand that this argument is very semantic and can be viewed a variety of ways. (If we were to amazingly finish 10-6, would you say we put together a "great season" or would you say we "got hot at the end?" I think there is more than one right answer here.) My point is that I very much look forward to seeing a more even performance in 2013, where we become less reliant on "getting hot" and become more the beneficiaries of our own consistency. Just one or two more wins early in the season puts a team in a position to use a hot streak to cement playoff and championship contention, as opposed to needing a hot streak just to have a chance.

6. Of course it matters to get wins in the hopes of making the postseason. Of course we are always rooting for even the most marginal opportunity to sneak into the playoffs. BUT...and I use capital letters with bold-faced, italicized font here--I enjoy beating NFC East opponents just for the sake of beating NFC East opponents. Beating Dallas is its own reward. Beating New York and Philadelphia are each singularly awesome due to nothing more than sending New York and Philly fans home unhappy. Of course the wins matter for more than personal fulfillment. Of course the wins count in the standings the same as any other win. BUT...these NFC East wins are literally rebuilding my soul right now. Similar to Mumm-Ra in his emaciated, mummy form, my soul has relied on the energy from NFC East victories to fortify and transform it into a vibrant and invincible force. Come on...the Redskins deserve to win for the ThunderCats reference alone.

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