1. I am doing everything in my power to ignore the catastrophic possibilities for this day in D.C. sports. There is so much on the line today that I simply am going a tiny bit out of my mind. The Washington Nationals are coming off of an epic 18-inning loss on Saturday night that will stick with this city for decades or longer if we can't figure out an answer tonight in San Francisco. You would have thought the New York Giants needed 18 innings to beat us the way they did last Thursday night, but they managed it in regulation. Needless to say, I am a little on edge this morning. At the moment, it feels like I have a triple colonoscopy scheduled for later today.
2. I know many of you do not live in the D.C. metro area, so me talking about the Nats does nothing for you. Still, I am at ground zero here. Imagine thousands of tiny fists working the twins like a Heavy Bag, and you are about a quarter of the way there to what Nats fans went through on Saturday night. All the while, this Monday Night Football showdown with the Seattle Seahawks was looming, acting like a vice that was slowly tightening its grip on that which I would never put in a vice. From the perspective of a D.C. sports fan, I have to tell you, I am looking for WAY too much out of this Redskins game tonight. So much so, that I may run out of metaphors for getting punched in the groin. Yeah...that much.
3. You want glass is half full? Here goes...there are no undefeated teams in the NFL today. It has been a while since that was the case so early in an NFL season. Look at the standings and you can see rather clearly that this season has all the makings for one where a 1-3 team is by no means out of contention. The Buffalo Bills are tied for the lead in the AFC East for God's sake. Nobody is running away with anything at this point. Perhaps Jacksonville and Oakland are making strong bids already for the top overall pick, but pretty much everyone else is alive. Hey, we're part of "everyone else!"
4. I believe it was Chris Rock who famously suggested that just because you got a GED, that doesn't necessarily make you "college material." His exact words were, "Not so fast." Similarly, being 1-3 doesn't just give us license to believe we can be the team that shocks the world by turning everything around after the first quarter of the season is in the books. Just because we know we are better than our record indicates doesn't mean our record will start to improve. We need to take baby steps. Even before we become focused on just winning this one game, we have to be focused on winning individual plays. We have to be focused on winning one-on-one battles on each and every play. We have to pile up all those little wins to just have a chance to be in position for the big win. More on this below.
5. You might argue that the NFC East is the strongest division at least in the NFC at this point. If you did, someone might argue that two of the wins in the division came against the Redskins. I hate when people do that. My answer to that is that there have only been two games so far in the NFC East, both involving the Redskins (wait...I'm about to make a point). Our divisional foes have lots of opportunities to beat each other up from here on out, and that is exactly what they will do.
6. If you are looking for a way to launch a brand new assault on the league in a statement-making fashion, you don't get better opportunities than on national television against the defending Super Bowl champs. There isn't a SINGLE PERSON who makes a living gambling that would place a penny on the Redskins tonight. People who bought up the Seahawks early in the week when the line was still relatively low are basically holding shares of Apple stock. Since then, the market has tilted. To me, this is the kind of perfect storm a team needs to be able to realistically adopt that "it's us against the world" mentality. Their backs are firmly against the wall. Hell, their fronts are pressed right up against the opposite wall. This team is running out of space to operate. They have no choice but to come out fighting tonight, and that is the only way you can even have a shot at competing against the Seahawks. We need to be hitting on all cylinders, and we need to make plays on defense, offense and special teams. Special teams is going to be a story tonight, and we need to hope it's not a horror story. The Seahawks deploy starting members of their Legion of Boom on special teams, which could create issues for a Redskins squad that has...struggled...in that department. To suggest that Andre Roberts is going to have to gut out a long punt return tonight is an understatement, but we will need to force them to punt first. Alfred Morris, who has proven time and time again that he can get past the first tackler, is going to have to do it against defenders that don't seem to ever miss tackles. Kirk Cousins has to challenge their secondary without turning into Christmas for their secondary. DeSean Jackson needs to make a BIG play. Keenan Robinson needs to make multiple big plays. In short, our margin for error in a game like this is about as wide as the margin of error we have left this season. From the college football scores to the Royals taking out the Angels to yesterday's slate of NFL games, we learned this weekend that there are very few--if any--foregone conclusions on the sports calendar. Everyone seems to think they know exactly what will happen at FedEx Field tonight. The only way to argue against that is to go out tonight and win.
Pardon me while I channel my inner D.C. sports fan and try and get some Wizards love involved here...#DCRising!!!!!