Did everyone see Rogue One yet? If not, what are you waiting for? Seriously, go see it right now, you won’t be disappointed. I saw it twice in the first two days it came out and will probably give it another viewing while it’s still in theaters. I think one of the things that is most compelling about Star Wars films is the idea that an out-numbered ragtag group of plucky underdogs can rise up and overcome great odds through the sheer force of teamwork and will to topple a monolithic superpower. With very few exceptions, most fanbases identify with a similar “dark horse” mentality that game in and game out it’s us against the world, or the galaxy as the case may be.
This week, the Redskins take on the defending NFC Champion Carolina Panthers, a team that looks markedly less intimidating than it did at this point a year ago. At just 5-8, and with no road remaining back to the playoffs this year, this game remains an eminently winnable must-win contest on Monday Night Football. Just don’t sleep on the Panthers, even if kickoff is past your bedtime, as there’s still some bite left from Cam Newton and company.
Last week, our staff all correctly picked the Redskins to defeat the Eagles (good job everyone!) so let’s take a look at the predictions as the Panthers approach:
Bryan H. Stabbe (2-1): 26-24, Panthers
The whole thing about being a cautious optimist, is knowing when to express that caution. Washington has not won at home on Monday Night Football since their 17-16 victory over the Giants in December of 2012. On top of that, this game to me feels like a trap in much the same way the week 7 matchup against the Lions did at the time. Other than that, on paper, the Redskins are the hotter team with more to play for, but years of D.C. sports fandom has me echoing an all too similar refrain.
Gabe (Cadillactica) (1-1): 17-14, Redskins
This will be way to close for comfort. Dustin Hopkins wins it.
Alex Rowsey (0-2): 29-22, Redskins
HogHunter (1-2): 28-24, Panthers
On paper the Redskins should win this game, and they are over 6 points favorites at home. You have Cam Newton who has been limited all week with a shoulder injury, Luke Kuechly who could be a healthy scratch, and a Panthers team that has struggled all year. The Redskins get two starters back on the OL, and Jordan Reed should be more involved another week removed from his injury. I still see a last minute TD drive by the Panthers to almost kill the Redskins playoff hopes this year. Here's to being wrong again this season.
Tom Garrett (1-2): 30-21, Redskins
Cam Newton terrifies me. He's a bad matchup for the Redskins in any case, but that's especially true if Su'a Cravens can't go. Still, Washington has a lot more to play for than Carolina does, and the Skins are at home. Slight edge to Washington.
Now it’s your turn to give us your predictions. Submit your prediction in the comment section below, and share who you think will win and why.