1. Last week, all I asked was that this team continue to build competency up and down the roster. After watching yesterday's defeat to the Buffalo Bills, it would not seem that we did much...building. Let's just say we still have time...this season is not even halfway over. Oh God...really? With almost half of our opening day offensive starters on the sideline, we still have to endure NINE more games? That just doesn't seem fair. That's right fellow Skins fans. That point in the season where we just know--even if it makes us sick to talk about it--that we are not a good team has hit. If you had Week 8 in your pool, you might be a winner, if it weren't for that group of people in the room claiming it was actually Week 7 against Carolina. Maybe we just weren't sure. Maybe we just were in denial.
2. This is where people like me try and convince you that a lot can happen in nine games. This is where you hear people like me suggest that we just have to tough it out until we get some players healthy. I have to ask myself though..."Based on WHAT exactly?" We just got shut out by the worst defense in the NFL. Our defense, the strength of our season thus far, looked outmatched all day. We've now had what...three field goals blocked? We are on our second quarterback and the only spark it has created seems to have caused a fire in the offensive backfield. We are missing important starters and there haven't seemed to be any adjustments made to fully overcome that. In basically every facet of the game, this team looks like it is smack dab in the middle of a classic, garden variety rebuild. We knew this in August, but the reality of the situation has kind of come home to roost. Let's act like we have been here before...because we have...plenty.
3. Fred Davis continues to be a bright spot for this team. I thoroughly enjoy watching him attack the secondary. I have no idea why defenses aren't shutting him down, given we have little else going on in our receiving corps. Maybe he is as unstoppable as we would all love to believe?
4. It kills me to see that our current situation is once again being primarily driven by a horrid offensive line. This is beyond Groundhog Day around here in that regard. Injuries have taken their toll on that unit, which is not the fault of Bruce Allen. I still believe that we need to sink SIGNIFICANT resources this upcoming offseason on the upgrade of this line. We need a stud center. We need a young, blue-chip tackle opposite Trent Williams. We need to retain the services of the guys they replace in the starting lineup so our depth will be better than signing guys off the street/practice squad to play.
5. I have been screaming from the mountaintops that Shanahan's job is not on the line this season. I believe that still, but I am beginning to think through some potential scenarios that are rather troubling. The longer this season becomes, the bigger the chance it will be that Mike Shanahan's job will rely on who we bring in at quarterback in 2012. This creates some interesting questions. For starters, how long does Shanahan have to develop a draft choice? Will it be John Beck holding the fort down for the initial part of 2012 while we bring the new player into the fold or will the Shanahans turn to a veteran to try and bolster the position? Or...if we use our top pick on a quarterback, do we put him on the field right away? The answers to those questions directly impact the probability for success for our offense and therefore directly impact the outlook for Mike Shanahan as our coach. I am hard-pressed to think that if we draft a quarterback in 2012, Mike Shanahan will be given only one year to make it work. That said, the real negative questions that could materialize could involve Kyle Shanahan's growth as an offensive cooordinator and what kind of shape this offense could be in if a coaching change is made in 2014 or beyond. I generally prefer to not contemplate such things because speculation from this far out gets dirty fast. It involves wondering if a new coach would be stuck with players he doesn't like. It involves wondering if the new coaching staff has a different philosophy that doesn't mesh with the roster. It involves...well, it involves ending up EXACTLY WHERE WE END UP EVERY TIME WE MAKE A COACHING CHANGE--namely "a few years away from contending."
6. Such is the life and times--and thoughts--of Redskins fans after a shutout loss in Week 8. We will build some optimism for the 49ers game before Friday. Somehow. Some way.