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John Madden hurt my feelings

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I didn't even know he was still writing anything, but John Madden previewed this weekend's games. Although all the other matchups were bolded in larger font, Redskins @ Stadium I'm attending this weekend wasn't important enough and had to settle for regular print. I don't know what kind of message Madden is trying to send but are you messing with me??? I still love you. His analysis:

Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys have all the ingredients now. Their defense is getting better and on offense they have all the parts. To me one of the underrated areas is their offensive line. They picked up Leonard Davis, the big guard, in the offseason and that kind of solidified that group. They are playing very well, they are excellent run blockers and they're above average pass protectors and then that plays into everything. Tony Romo moves so well in the pocket he doesn't need great pass protection and then you have Terrell Owens and Jason Witten. So the parts are there with the duel running backs, quarterback, strong offensive line, good tight end, good outside receiver that they can move around. To me there are no weaknesses offensively and as I said defensively they are getting better.

For the Washington Redskins offense it's kind of like I said earlier about going against the Patriots, you know you are going to have to score some points because you know the Cowboys are going to score points. It can't be one of those cautious games where they run Clinton Portis and throw a couple of play action passes. They are going to have to open it up a little, start thinking of scoring early, take every opportunity because Dallas is going to hang some points on you.

If you ask what is wrong with the Redskins I would say this is probably who they are. They aren't as good as Dallas and they are probably better than the Eagles, maybe not as good as the Giants and they are probably third in their division, above the middle in the NFC and those kind of teams are just average teams. They are not bad teams but you don't say it's a good team either. Those types of teams have records like 5-4, 4-5, 5-5 and they are just middle of the pack and that's who and what I think the Redskins are.

One of the things that makes Madden so great is the superflous ranting that somehow survives in print form ("To me..." Reader is past that, John. If you're writing the article, I assume you are not writing it on someone else's behalf. Oh who am I kidding). Beyond that he is absolutely correct; the problem with the Washington Redskins is that they are the Washington Redskins. Tautologies are a) substantively useless and b) always correct, so kudos to John for being right. Then again, I can't necessarily put my finger just on why the Redskins aren't as good as 5-4, the dreadful feeling that perhaps we're merely treading water while awaiting the tsunami (perhaps Dallas?) that will make the whole endeavor futile anyways.

Or maybe Madden's vapid tautology is actually quite suggestive, because it is enough to say that Washington is who they is, which is a team that characteristically folds after limited success. Some evidence suggests so:

After losing for the third time this season -- and 13th time since 2004 -- in a game in which they had led at halftime...
We've lost 31 games since 2004 meaning 42% of our losses were blown leads. Assuming, incorrectly, that every single one of our 26 wins since 2004 was earned with the benefit of a first half lead, that would still mean us winning just 66% of the time we opened the 2nd half with more points. That seems low given the questionable assumption.

We have typically done better in the 2nd half of the season than the first under Gibbs, if not in the games. So maybe there is hope yet for the Redskins to remain contenders. Can't say I'm that confident about either prospect: our game against Dallas or the 2nd half of the season. Prove me wrong, guys. Reader(s) get on record: Will/can we win this weekend?