It is funny how a regular bit starts out one way and then due to a mind-numbing stretch of football, turns into something else completely. At the outset of the season, the Friday Night "Mights" post was a place to boldly predict hefty stats and lofty outcomes for the impending game. Now it has been reduced to simply boldly hoping for a win.
The old adage "If you can't see the sucker at the table, it's probably you" comes to mind as I look at this game and try as hard as I can to convince myself that the Chiefs are the weaker team--that the Redskins aren't worse off than the Kansas City contingent. Let me tell you...it ain't that cut and dry. Yet the Redskins field a top 5 overall defense, the number 3 ranked pass defense, and a mediocre to slightly above average passing attack (stat-wise). Still, the Skins find themselves unable to post game results that indicate they are a team that is greater than the sum of their parts. Nowhere is that more apparent than on 3rd down.
On defense there are only 6 teams with a full 5 games under their belt that are giving up a higher percentage of 3rd down conversions. On offense, only 7 teams with 5 games played are converting fewer 3rd downs than the Redskins. This down is KILLING us. This is even a bigger deal than the red zone problem in my opinion. If we get off the field on defense one or two more times against the Lions and Panthers, we are staring at the possibility of 5-1. Yes, I do honestly believe that.
Interestingly enough, who is the WORST offense in the league on 3rd downs? You guessed it--the Kansas City Chiefs. On defense, the Chiefs are worse than the Redskins when it comes to 3rd down conversions allowed. This is my hope for this week's game:
Chiefs offense on 3rd down: 15% or less conversion percentage (They are 21% on the season.)
Redskins offense on 3rd down: 66% or more conversion percentage (The Chiefs are allowing 43% conversion rate on the season.)
This is where the game will be won and lost--I hope. If we keep Matt Cassel alive in the 4th quarter, we are in serious trouble, because he is poised enough to lead a game-winning drive in the closing moments of the game.
What else do I want to see?
*I want to see Devin Thomas returning kickoffs.
*I want to see Jeremy Jarmon and Brian Orakpo at the defensive end positions for the bulk of the game.
*I want to see receiver sets that are restricted to Moss, Thomas and Kelly. Sorry ARE. We have to make our youth movement now so we can see who is worth building around going forward.
Am I being too greedy?
Let's have all of your thoughts on this game. I am very cautiously optimistic that it will be a good game--certainly the best game of the week that nobody will watch but us. Hehe.
A win this week puts us at 3-3 going into a Monday Night game against the Iggles. It turns it into a meaningful game with the season back on the line. Let's hold off on that thought right now. I am not looking past the Chiefs. But part of wanting this win is rooting for the prospect of one more meaningful game this season.
I'll see you at Fedex. I found an old burgundy Redskins t-shirt and tore it up into armbands. We still have some fight left, so let's put it to use at the stadium this week and cheer loud.