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Looks Like Someone Has a Sixpack of the Mondays

The Redskins are 3-5, meaning the loss to New England only counts as one loss...thank God.

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

1.       Even for a game that the whole world expected us to lose, I was disappointed in the manner in which the Redskins came out of the gate against the Patriots. Once again, penalties and mental errors doomed the Redskins, preventing the burgundy and gold from really even having a chance in this game. It's one thing to go down 24-0 to the Tampa Buccaneers, but it is a totally different animal when you go down 17-0 to the New England Patriots. It's why the word "insurmountable" was invented. Ryan Grant's failure to secure the onside kick after the first New England score might have been the earliest nail in any coffin we have seen, though I suppose games are never really over that soon. It sure felt that way when our receivers could not catch a ball to save their lives.

2.       I think what made me most upset about the way the game unfolded early was that breaks did go our way. When you play a team as good as the Patriots, you have to play pretty close to perfect and hope you get a few bounces that go your way. After a successful onside kick, the Patriots fumbled it to the Redskins. One play later, the Patriots had the ball back thanks to a Pierre Garcon tip drill. Down two touchdowns, the Redskins were forced to punt, but got the ball back via the rare Tom Brady interception. At least we didn't punt or cough up the ball, but we did turn it over on downs. You can argue that many teams in the same situation would have left Massachusetts with the same story to tell, but that is no consolation to Redskins fans today. In addition to the unforced errors out of pretty much all of our skill players on offense, we also looked lost on defense. Out-of-position linebackers (taking terrible angles) opened up huge lanes for the Patriots, which was made even more infuriating by the act that their offensive line was put together with string and scotch tape. The scoreboard said 17-3 at halftime, but it felt MUCH worse.

3.       One more comment about yesterday's game: I thought Kirk Cousins came ready to play. He looked sharp out of the gates and was the victim of butterfingers all over the field. It would have been nice to see him be rewarded for what seemed to be good preparation, but SEVEN early drops kept him from building momentum. The best part about Kirk's performance to me is that we aren't (or shouldn't be) spending a lot of energy this week calling for him to be benched. Baby steps...

4.       So we're 3-5...feels worse than that, doesn't it? But it isn't! The Giants escaped the Buccaneers with a win, moving them farther out in front of us, but their next opponent is New England! The Eagles evened their record to 4-4 by scraping past Dallas in overtime, and sit a game ahead of us, but they have been extremely uneven this season. In short, this campaign is far from over. I think we can all look back and recall when 3-5 likely meant that the playoffs were out of reach. That is not the case this season. Now, if the Giants pull out a win against the Patriots, we might be having a different conversation next week, but if they are 5-5 going into their bye week, all bets are off.

5.       This Sunday, the Redskins will get a chance to take on what is statistically the second-worst defense in the league. The New Orleans Saints are giving up about 415 yards per game, 123 of which are given up on the ground. At home, where we have performed admirably this year, we will have a golden opportunity to go nose-to-nose with Drew Brees. We know he is going to get his, but there is little standing in the way of our offense getting back on track. The season will most definitely be hanging in the balance. I don't see another 7-game winning streak on this schedule, but I do see wins out there for us to go and get. We still have four NFC East games left to play. It all has to start with a win against the Saints.

6.       When you get your schedule and it has New England on it, you know what you are getting yourself into. I am disappointed we lost, because I am still of the mind we have a team that can win these games. Maybe that's delusion. Maybe that's the whiskey talking. I still prefer it to the feeling that my team has no chance no matter who we play. This Redskins team is capable of surprising someone. The fact of the matter is that in order for us to take the next step, we are going to have to beat someone we are not supposed to beat. That qualified the Patriots as a contender, but that simply...uhhhh...didn't happen. The Saints are next up, and the Panthers after that. I get the feeling that this big win is coming, but I just hope it happens when the season still has a heartbeat.