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This Redskins versus Eagles Game Means Everything

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Coaches from both teams pumped up high expectations to fans this summer, which brings all the more pressure not to be the worst team.

Jim McIsaac

At a high level, when we see two teams sitting at 3-6 and pretty much eliminated from playoff contention, it's easy to say that the game doesn't matter much. That couldn't be further from the truth. Or further from John Beck starting another NFL game. Or further from Albert Haynesworth paying his bonus money back to the Redskins.

Both the Eagles and Redskins fan base are insanely passionate and verbal. Redskins fans still remember their 3-Super Bowl win era and Eagles fans have watched their team compete in the playoffs practically every year the last decade. Times have obviously changed. Once that opening kickoff is airborne, all that "no playoff chances" logic goes out the window for three hours while, we, as fans, are 110% immersed into each play. When all is said and done...just think about the outcry from the defeated city?

"{insert your head coach} NEEDS TO BE FIRED IMMEDIATELY!!! 3-7!!!! WHAT A DISGRACE!!! WE LOST TO THE F*CKING {other team} WHO HASN'T WON A GAME ALL {your favorite expletive} MONTH!!! "

The Eagles and Redskins are both in disarray, and there's nothing any coach or player can say post-game to validate the loss moving forward. How can Shanahan possibly say this team is going in the right direction if they lose with the Eagles' entire roster and coaching staff currently sitting as lame ducks? Imagine Eagles' fans responses listening to Andy Reid talking post-game on how they lost to the Redskins...who haven't won more than 6 games since forever?

The problem is that each week both fan bases are given hope that this week will be different. Hell, both teams are even talking about playoffs. Whichever team wins the game at Fedex this Sunday, their fans' moans will dull until the next week while the other has team blogs and radio on fire.

Certainly, this feeling of hope for the 2012 season was pumped up by players and coaches during training camp. Let's start with Philly and Michael Vick:

On stopping the Eagles offense if he was a scout...

I don't know how you could stop us. Sometimes we stop ourselves. I can't tell you how our defense plays us. That was the reason I made the comment about "the dynasty" because I see how many great players that we have what we can build and I see that as motivation. We can create some that can be special.... It's easier said than done but I think you have to have some sort of optimism.

The Birds have the 2nd worst turnover ratio at -11. Jim Washburn spoke about the improvements he expects to see, and Andy Reid spoke as training camp ended...

"There were a lot of moving parts [last year]," Reid said. "That isn't an excuse, so I don't want it to be taken that way because everybody had to deal with it . . . I thought it was important that we came together as a team. I thought we had good players, but . . . you've got to come together as a team and that takes a little time. When I reflected at the end of the season, it was too late, but I felt we had joined hands . . . which you wanted to do sooner than what we did."

"The thing I was looking for was, were they going to carry over [from] last season?" Reid said of this year's Lehigh camp. "Were they going to carry over that energy they had at the end of last season that they brought into the OTA's? Could they bring it into this camp here? They seemed to do that."

"They seemed to do that" is an interesting quote in hindsight. As for the Redskins, there's really no need to rehash quotes. Grossman made national news saying the Redskins would win the NFC East last year, and RGIII brought the hype of a chance to sniff wild card this year. No one likes to be made a sucker, but that's exactly what one fan base will be on Sunday evening.

Whatever happens, losing to a woeful, NFC East opponent to lock up sole possession of last place is going to make for ONE rough week for that head coach. Whoever says this game means nothing, it means quite the opposite: everything.