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The 5 O’Clock Club—Trap Game Edition

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It’s 5 o’clock somewhere...

Tampa Bay Rays v Washington Nationals Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Happy Friday!

I was asked this week by a Detroit radio personality if I thought this week’s game against the Lions was a trap game for the Redskins. I have always liked using the term trap game, but I have noticed that it is used in many different ways and to apply to a variety of different situations.

Generally speaking, a trap game is one played against an opponent deemed to be extremely beatable. It tends to come with a huge serving of overconfidence and arrogance, which ripens the favorite to be potentially picked on by the underdog. Finally, a trap game is generally played directly before a tilt against a much better team, likely with bigger stakes on a grander stage.

First, the Detroit Lions don’t suck. Matthew Stafford is a very good quarterback, and he will find ways to beat you. Second, by all accounts (like in Vegas for example), this game is expected to be a pretty close contest. Both teams need the win, and both teams are capable of winning.

I don’t see a Redskins team in “overconfidence” mode. Even after winning four in a row, this team is acutely aware of its weaknesses. Though I don’t sit in the film study room with players and coaches, it is a pretty reasonable assumption that there is a mountain of tape to watch that indicates a significant amount of cleanup is needed. In our case, overconfidence would be equivalent to stupidity—something we have been guilty of in the past to be certain. Right now, I think the Redskins are locked in on the areas that need improvement, and I think that is keeping their feet firmly on the ground.

As for the game against Cincinnati in London...I’ll grant you it is a different stage, but I wouldn’t call it grand. The Bengals are a well-coached, talented group of players, but let’s not confuse them with a divisional or even conference rival. As much as I am looking forward to the novelty of watching the Redskins at an ungodly hour (after an all-night Halloween party), I continue to have my sights set on a higher calling:

#MakeThanksgivingMatter

In summary, no, this game is not a trap game for the Redskins.