1. I am the first one to suggest there is no such thing as a "good loss" and therefore I feel somewhat compelled to ensure nobody out there thinks I have a special place for "bad losses" in my heart. When the Redskins win--AT HOME--we are happy. We are treated to a week of water cooler discussions that center around a win, as opposed to those depressing break room encounters where Redskins fans are forced to talk about what went wrong...again. Winning is good. I celebrate them all.
2. There is a difference between celebrating a win and failing to recognize an ugly game when you see it. From my seat in the stands yesterday, I got a very good whiff of the craptacular exhibition on the field. You know when your team is bad, but then they all of a sudden dominate an opponent and you think, "This could be one of those situations where my team has figured something out that we can take with us in the coming weeks?" This is not one of those times. I am going to savor the win, and I am going to cherish getting a week off from having to deal with yet another loss. HTTR!!!!!
3. Early last week, it was clear to me (and everyone) that we were matched up evenly with the Titans. They were struggling with injury issues at the quarterback spot. They were struggling to find ways to win. They were struggling to find ways to stop opponents from walking all over them. It was like playing ourselves in that regard. Sure enough, they did those things against us that we would do against other people. Now, we still did those same things against them, leading to the barnburner we all saw at halftime and the breathless manner in which Kai Forbath put the finishing touches on the contest with no time left on the clock.
4. I needed some cushion before I addressed the billion-pound gorilla sitting on all of our faces. Part of what is keeping me from doing cartwheels about this win is this feeling I have about our eternal issues at the quarterback position. Let me tackle this in two parts, and let's start on the positive side. Kudos to Jay Gruden for making what I thought was a pretty gutsy call and going with the #16 car. Yes, I do think it was gutsy to pull Kirk Cousins out of that game. I don't think everything to that point was his fault, but things were starting to play out the way that we had seen them play out in recent weeks. Colt McCoy came into the game and was involved in a big play immediately. He played "within himself" and short of calling him the "reason" that we won the game, I will say that he calmed things down and brought the signal-calling job into a space where the offense seemingly had more teeth as a result of less costly mistakes being made there. I have no explanation for how a third-stringer can come in and outshine a guy that the entire city felt confident in just a month ago, but McCoy sure did it. It was a great job of preparation by McCoy for being ready to enter a game and perform the way he did and it was a great call by Gruden for yanking Tyler Polumbus as well.
5. Unfortunately for both Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy, their shining moments have come against teams that...how to say this nicely...people have very little respect for these days. To be fair, our team falls into that category too, as long as we are talking about clubs that don't put fear into anyone's hearts. Don't get me wrong--I am excited that we have distanced ourselves from the Titans and Jaguars by virtue of beating them both. Still, I am left to wonder how good either of our backup quarterbacks really are. The good news is that both of these guys are rock stars off of the bench. The bad news is that Kirk Cousins' last win as a starter came in 2012...against the Brandon Weeden-led Cleveland Browns. Colt McCoy has bounced around the league mostly as a result of him not being able to stay in a long-term relationship with a team and its offense. As it stands, our best and brightest chance at quarterback is back to being a player that we paid so dearly for prior to the 2012 season. Robert Griffin III is once again the resting place for our hopes and dreams. This is great for us at the moment, as we desperately look for something to cling to, but it is a little bit scary when the best chance we have to be relevant in the next few seasons rests on a knee that has been reconstructed--twice. Maybe we should be lucky to have someone like Cousins in the bullpen ready to come into a game and finish it off? Maybe that is the best thing you can hope for these days? Either way, it feels like we put Dwight Schrute in charge of the whole business based on his sales prowess, and things went terribly wrong.
6. Oh yeah...It's DALLAS WEEK!!! I love coming off of a home win before hitting the road for Dallas. It just makes for more of an upbeat buildup to a game that matters to us regardless of what record we have at the time. Beating Dallas is its own reward. Doing it on national television when the Cowboys are sporting a 6-1 record and looking playoff-bound (finally) makes it that much more tasty. These franchises have a rich history of playing games that defy the standings. I look forward to getting the most out of this team next Monday night. Despite not having much logic to base this on, I feel good about this game. All the pressure is on Dallas. Nobody expects ANYTHING out of the Redskins. If we tie our shoelaces correctly, we will have exceeded some people's expectations. It is possible that Dallas keeps playing well, but it is also possible that we could do just enough to force them into making careless mistakes that jeopardize their winning streak.