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Looks Like Someone Has a Sixpack of the Mondays

It’s a quick Sixpack before what promises to be a twelve-pack game is in order.

Green Bay Packers v Washington Redskins Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images
  1. Yesterday was one of the most amazing NFL Sundays I can remember. Not only did the Redskins escape the day without a loss, but every single team in the NFC East took a beating. It feels like every team in our division has played three or four times since the last time the Redskins took the field. The manner in which our divisional brethren took their losses was also inspiring. Whether it be a record-setting kick off the foot of...Graham freaking Gano...or a loss to Kirk Cousins or even, well, any Dallas loss is inspiring—it was a very happy day in the Meringolo household yesterday. Coming off the bye week and watching the Eagles, Giants and Cowboys all lose before we take the field again is something that should be bottled up and sold as a magic elixir.
  2. The Redskins, at 2-1, have a little juice going into tonight’s tilt in New Orleans. The story is still going to be all about Drew Brees, but I love that. Nobody thinks the Redskins are coming. At all. Hell, maybe they’re right, but not because they know something we don’t. If people are doubting on the Redskins today, it is because the Redskins have inspired doubt over the years among the national audience. The coronation of Drew Brees as the all-time passing leader is an easy thing for fans around the country to glom onto, and the glomming will be in full force on national television. I can’t be the only Redskins fan excited about this.
  3. The most common question I get is what makes the Redskins think they have a chance at all against the Saints offense. Easy, I say: our defense. If there is a face of this Redskins team after just three games, it has to be the defense. That’s not because Adrian Peterson hasn’t been a great story, or because Alex Smith has failed to capture our hearts and minds. It is because the extremely brief and early success this Washington team has achieved thus far is due to the men on the defensive side of the ball. It is also true because for this team to have any chance at all against Drew Brees, Micheal Thomas, Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram, it has to be the defense that makes it happen. A straight offensive battle is simply going to favor the league’s—say it with me—all-time passing leader.
  4. I was trying to think of a guy that we will need to play above his level for the Skins to emerge victorious, and I keep coming back to Quinton Dunbar. That seems pretty unfair, given he has been one the highest rated corners in the league so far. The mountains up front are going to have to do what they do, but Dunbar is going to be tested by Drew Brees and we are going to learn even more about the former wide receiver than we already knew. I think we need at least one turnover from #23 and if I’m being honest, we might need to see him take it to the house. Is it cool to make a defensive touchdown one of the keys to winning tonight? Because I think I just did...and I think it is true.
  5. Let’s do two more keys to victory and then we can see how we did on tomorrow night’s podcast. First up is the run game. It would be too easy to tie too much to Adrian Peterson. No...for the Redskins to be successful tonight, they will need two running backs perform at a high level—because the New Orleans Saints will. Chris Thompson has to have over 100 yards from scrimmage and at least one score. I don’t care how he gets it, but he needs to be productive. Let’s set the target level to 20—a total of 20 total touches for CT25 will give us at least a fighting chance.
  6. The last time we played the New Orleans Saints (you remember...our quarterback and dynamic running back got injured on the same play and we couldn’t get one yard in two chances) the Redskins had a chance to make a play to seal the win. They failed to do so and Drew Brees showed the world why he guessed it...the league’s all-time passing king. The last key is this: Redskins need to sneak under the pomp and pageantry of tonight’s party in the French Quarter and make a game-winning play in the fourth quarter. It can be as simple as the quarterback sneak we failed to call and execute last year, or it can be a play made on the defensive side of the ball that results in the announcer saying, “Wow...that should just about do it tonight to lock up a victory for the Washington Redskins.” Nobody sees Washington coming, but that means absolutely nothing for a group led by what is already proving to be one of the league’s meanest defenses. You can’t win without making that last play. We have seen this team make that play already this season, but tonight, the entire country is watching. In order for folks to wake up to what kind of team Washington can be in 2018, now is the time and tonight is the stage for that play.