The Redskins are dinged up. Make no bones about it, things have been tough thus far for Washington, but with injuries mounting on both sides of the ball and the bye week in their rearview mirror, things stand to only get more and more difficult as the midpoint of the season approaches. This week against the division rival Dallas Cowboys, Washington is going to have to dig down deep as the number of “next men up” is at critical capacity.
After losing in frustrating fashion to the Eagles last week, the Redskins hope to maintain their second-place spot in the NFC East, a position for which they are currently tied with the Cowboys. Washington looks to bounce back from their disappointing defeat on Monday Night as one of the NFL’s greatest rivalries is renewed in Landover this afternoon.
And now our staff predictions for the week:
Bryan H. Stabbe (5-1): 27-20, Cowboys
I’ve been pretty down on the Redskins offense, and I take no pleasure in it. Washington has struggled so mightily in key situations, and I’m not sure exactly where to lay the blame. Is it the front office for not assembling the right set of personnel to execute? Is it the coaching staff for calling the wrong plays? Or is it the players who have underperformed. Going into the season, I predicted that the Redskins would end up with a better record than they would last year, and while I’m not ready to recant, I think this afternoon’s matchup could be season-defining.
Washington is going to need a big day out of their stand-ins on both the offensive and defensive lines. Of course these players are professionals, but with some crummy weather in store, both teams are going to look to establish the run, an area on offense the Redskins have struggled, and on defense they now must rebound with significant injuries in the front seven. This game will be won in the trenches, and whichever team can put up a hundred-yard rusher will be able to take it in a close one.
Bill-in-Bangkok (5-1): 29-27, Redskins
Gruden's teams often fall flat in the big games, then come out firing a week later.
The Cowboys defense may be the cure to what ails the 'Skins offense. I think Josh Doctson is ready to break out; Jordan Reed looks like he's feeling better; nobody is really stopping Chris Thompson; Kirk is money when he isn't under heavy pressure.
Meanwhile, the Redskins D can slow down running backs this season, but get gashed by TEs (Witten) and mobile QBs (Prescott).
The Redskins seem to always come back with a win following a big loss. Josh Norman will be back, which will help the defense. The other Josh -- Doctson -- will step up in a big way this week and have his first 100-yard game as a Redskin. But most importantly, the Skins are in their throwback jerseys this week; those unis are money. 'Skins finish Monday alone in 2nd place in the division, and well positioned in the NFC wildcard race, while the Cowboys take one more step towards irrelevance.
This game will be won on a last second field goal by Nick Rose from 43 yards out. Redskins fans will be euphoric and talking about playoffs for 48 hours, until they remember that they have to travel across country to take on the Seahawks in Week 9, then the jitters will set in.
Tom Garrett (3-3):
31-28, Cowboys... 33-31, Redskins!
The Redskins are so banged-up right now, it's tough to see them winning. Will Josh Norman play? If so, and he's close to 100%, the Redskins have a shot. How much of a factor will the rain be? If it pours, and it turns into a battle of running attacks, that seems to give the Cowboys another edge, with the not-suspended-just-yet Ezekiel Elliot coming off a game in which he gained 219 combined yards and scored three touchdowns.
Some big "ifs," but "iffy" is probably a good word to describe the Redskins right now.
They're not a bad team by any means, and, when reasonably healthy, I think they're one of the best in the NFC. They've also played very tough competition up to this point in the season.
At some point, though, they have to make a move. Hurt or not. I'd like to think it would be this week against those dirty dogs from Dallas, but the injury report and the Cowboys' recent success seems to cut against that possibility.
You know what? The hell with it. I'm not a professional prognosticator, and I'll be doggone if I'm going to pick the Cowboys. I just won't do it. Redskins find a way.
HTTR4LIFE (1-3): 34-28, Redskins
Anthony R.C. Brown II (0-0): 24-21, Redskins
Now it’s your turn, how do you feel about the Redskins’ chances against the Cowboys? Vote in our poll and share your predictions in the comments below.
HogHunter (1-5): 27-20 Cowboys
Who will win in the Redskins’ matchup against the Cowboys?
This poll is closed
Washington in a bounce-back blowout
‘Skins by the skin of their teeth
Cowboys in a laugher
Cowboys in a nail-biter