It's a bit late and I've been drinking a bit, so I'm going to save further elaboration on my initial thoughts till tomorrow when I should have time to expound further.
But I do have the energy and wherewithall to say, "What the F, guys, get excited, this team is still playing meaningful games and has given fans plenty of reasons to be excited."
I said it in a comment on this site last week:To me, the season comes down to next week at Tampa Bay. Win that, even with a loss against the Boys, and you have back-to-back home games against BUF and CHI. Win those two and you're 8-5. Don't discount the fact either that you get the Cowboys in the last week, when they'll probably have home-field wrapped up. Things are still setting up nicely for you to make the playoffs. As I suspected, the Lions lost this past weekend, and probably will lose again on Turkey Day. That puts them at 6-5. A victory this weekend puts you in the drivers' seat and in control of your own destiny from her on out. And you know what? If you did make it, it'd be because you earned it. You'd have to beat TB on the road next week, and you'd have to take care of business the following two weeks against Buf and Chicago (not great teams, but certainly not bottom feeders).
What I saw last week from the 'Skins was a team that was capable of stopping the run and tackling well enough (for the most part, save the final T.O. touchdown) to win big games. You sputtered out on a couple of critical drives, but you've shown you can run the ball successfully, and you've shown you can pass protect, even with a make-shift line. All this experience Campbell is getting is going to pay dividends, perhaps sooner than you guys think.
I dunno. I'm just kind of disappointed by the pervasive apathy and malaise that surrounds this team. Your team really showed a lot of heart this past weekend. It's one thing to have just a mediocre team and squeak in, it's another to have a team that has shown it can play with the best (save the NE game) each week. The Skins certainly arent good enough to blow people out each week, but you're complete enough on each side of the ball to realistically feel you have a chance to make some noise this season. Will it take some luck? Yes, and you'll certainly have to make things happen on the road if and when you make theplayoffs. This test this past Sunday was a big measuring stick whether your team has the mental fortitude and the actual talent to get it done. My conclusion is you do (provided S. Moss is healthy, confident, and making plays).
Rally behind your team. This next three weeks is make or break time. Y'all seem to forget you were a f'n joke last year. What, 5 wins? Here you are with 6 weeks left and you've not once looked terrible (again, minus the NE game). With some better play calling you could easily be 6-4 or 7-3. That's disappointing you havent capitalized on some opportunities, but better to learn from your mistakes early and adjust then have them surface for the first time come playoff time.
I'll finish by saying that if you can continue to open up the passing game on the perimeter, your offense can be top-10. Cooley is proven; MOss is a top-10 to 15 WR when healthy; Portis and Betts are a legit combo; and Campbell is progressing very nicely. You should be very proud of the work done by the O-Line. If that line falls apart, your chances are done, but it's hung together nicely.
Get fucking psyched. This week against Tampa Bay on the road can catapult your team on the kind of streak that put you in the playoffs in 2005. This time however, you actually have the offensive weapons to pull off a miracle or two provided you get there.
Being rational and objective is admirable. I just don't see enough blind homerism and loyalty complimenting that objectivity from the bulk of the readers here.
My two cents.
Go 'Skins. I like your team and am willing to wager anyone here you eek out the #6 seed in the NFC. Any takers?