There is always a different level of excitement for Monday Night games. I'm not sure if its the big lights or sitting through work all day thinking about the game. It seems like ESPN whiffs on Monday night pretty often like the Eagles vs Panthers match up last week. Last night was a great game if you're a Skins fan, but I'm not sure how good it was for those not invested in the game. But really, who cares?
The bad thing about Monday Night Football is the short week you have to prepare for your next game. Thankfully, the Redskins have been through this before in an even more expedited process when they took on the Cowboys four days after playing the Eagles. Another positive is that the game is at home this week.
Lets get one thing straight... the "Battle of the Beltway" is not a rivalry on the football field. Every four years these teams clash, but usually its the Redskins running into a buzz saw. Baltimore is 3-1 all-time versus the Redskins and have thrown some salt in the wound over the years. The low point had to be in 2004 when Deion Sanders picked off Mark Brunell. I mean how many people even remember Deion wearing purple? That game would've been like Michael Jordan playing for the Bobcats and hitting a game winner against the Wizards.
The last time these teams clashed it was under very similar circumstances. The Redskins were 7-5 coming into the game with four games remaining on the year. The game was on Sunday night and I believe Ken Meringolo lost a couple of toes due to frostbite. As hyped up as the "Battle of the Beltway" was that week, it was never really a game as the Ravens roared to a 14 point lead and ended up winning the game by that same margin.
The biggest thing that has changed in the last four years is that the Redskins will be ready for the Ravens this time. This is not a team that is going to be over-hyped and with the possible exception of Josh Wilson, this may be a very business-like approach for yet another week. The Ravens are still a good team despite father time, a slew of injuries, and a reeling loss to the Steelers and their third string quarterback this past weekend.
Lets just leave the "rivalry" hyperbole at the door this week. It's great for the fans. We can make fun of the general smell of Baltimore or how their team is named after a manic-depressive, opium addicted poet. We can even use all the possible Wire references you have in your arsenal. But its a good feeling to know that the locker room and Robert Griffin III are not looking at this game as a "rivalry", rather Week 4 of the Redskins internal playoffs.