Larry French - Getty Images
The Washington Redskins have work to do before they play five of their last seven games against NFC East opponents. When they do, they might--MIGHT--have a chance to shock the world.
1. Before you allow the reality of our defense to make this headline seem even more ridiculous than...aw hell, please suspend reality for a mere nine points, please? I have compiled a short list of reasons why--with a win against Tampa Bay on Sunday--the Redskins have a chance to reach the final stretch of their season with a chance to control their own destiny in the division. I'll have to cross-code this with the Boldly Hoping series.
2. The Philadelphia Eagles play their next five games against teams that were in the playoffs last season. Their two wins are both by one point, and they got at least partially exposed last weekend by the Cardinals in a very bard loss ahead of this upcoming schedule. We saw the Eagles struggle in the first half of the season last year and they haven't even lost Michael Vick yet to an extended injury situation.
3. Staying with Philadelphia, Vick is at the top of the heap in the league in terms of giving up the rock. His three interceptions aren't turrrrrrrrrrrrible, but his six fumbles are (five lost). He is piloting a potent passing offense, but he is running for his life just a little bit back there and has been hit pretty good by opposing defenses. As good as the New York Giants always seem to be, I was most afraid of Philly. They are still good enough to win this thing, but they are starting to take on water.
4. Before we get our NFC East gauntlet at the end of the season, we get to test ourselves this week against a team that the Cowboys squeaked by this past Sunday in Tampa Bay. I am not getting into predictions just quite yet, but in back-to-back weeks, you can draw at least some kind of conclusion by playing the same team as one of your in-division rivals.
5. I wish I had better news for you all with regard to the Dallas Cowgirls. DeMarco Murray looks like a beast, and their offensive line--while not the class of the NFC--is somehow getting a few things done. BUT...
6. The Cowgirls are still just 20th overall in team total offense. (It would be irresponsible to not mention their #1 total team defense ranking....damnit.) The way the league has gone so far, you have to be able to score points to win. Through three weeks, the Cowgirls are second to last, at 15.7 points per game. That includes a game against the team with the 26th ranked team defense (Tampa Bay).
7. Ohhhhhhhh Tom Coughlin, you diabolical genius. I do a regular spot on a Fox Sports show in Florida and I found myself going on and on about this guy and how good of a coach he is. Is it possible he is the most underrated coach of the last 20 years? Sorry, this is supposed to be a post about our chances of overcoming teams in our division, SOOOOOOOOO...
8. The one thing about Tom Coughlin that could benefit the Washington Redskins is his fierce and unmerciful intensity. That act can grow tired in certain locker rooms. You might say that this Giants team has already proven that they can withstand the relentless nature of Coughlin's demeanor. I would argue that every year is different and it seems that by the middle of the season, countless locker rooms are perched perilously on the precipice of implosion. I give Coughlin the benefit of the doubt because he has earned it, but the fact is he has been on the hot seat in the past for this reason.
9. Before we crown the Giants kings of the division, let's not forget that these guys have to play San Francisco and Green Bay before December and their secondary has at least a little uncertainty (I know, I know, we have the market cornered on secondary uncertainty).
10. I am on the road this week and have had a chance to interact with fans in Denver, Phoenix and New England. The perception of the Washington team does seem to be changing...slowly. It is very much because of RG3, but I have had to correct more than a few people when they suggested we were 2-1. It seems word of our struggles to stop anyone from passing for 337.3 yards per game have yet to trickle all the way out west.