Its definitely too early to really make play-off predictions, but Steve Wyche did so any way. There’s no real surprise information here. Obviously, he has the Giants, Panthers and Cardinals as locks, since all three of these teams are the class of their division, at least as it presently looks in the standings. He also lists Tampa Bay as being “In good standing.” Again, no surprise. They are 7-3 and playing pretty good football.
Next comes the section called “on a fine line.” In this section he lists the Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers. Washington, Dallas and Atlanta are all 6-4, and while Green Bay is 5-5 and in a three way tie for the North division lead, he believes they are the favorite based on the fact that he likes Aaron Rodgers.
Since this is a Redskins blog, here’s is what Steve had to say about our beloved Skins:
Washington (6-4, tied for second NFC East): Two straight losses have the once-promising Redskins reeling. Their inability to score points has finally caught up to them. Coach Jim Zorn has to regain confidence in quarterback Jason Campbell and Campbell has to do something to earn it. The offensive line has to regain its swagger in protection as well. The proof if Washington can improve on both counts comes in two of the next three weeks against the NFC East-leading Giants and Baltimore. If the Redskins can’t snap out of their funk, Dallas could replace them as a wild-card favorite.
Its hard to really argue with any of this. The Redskins have had trouble converting for touchdowns, especially the last two games against 3-4 defenses. They confidence they played with en-route to their 6-2 record was noteably lacking in the last two games, and Jason Campbell has thrown three interceptions in the last two games (although I only remember thinking one of them was his fault). These are all things that can be corrected.
As for the Redskins remaining schedule, here’s how it breaks down:
N.Y. Giants 9-1
@San Francisco 3-7
This is no easy test, as their remaining opponents combined record of 26-32-2 might indicate. Of the remaining games, only two are at FedEx Field (of course, this might be a good thing). In fact, Decemeber — which has been a golden month for Redskins fans in the two previous play-off runs — the Redskins only have one home game, and its against a division rival in Philadelphia that the Redskins beat at the Linc in week 5.
The Seahawks give the Redskins fits at Qwest, and let’s not forget how the Redskins offense looked against the Giants in week one. I thought the offense had progressed greatly since then, but they had the same look the last two weeks.the Ravens are built much like the Steelers, whom the Redskins would like to forget about playing. The Bengals just held the Eagles to 14 points and should have won in overtime, the Eagles are out for revenge and the 49ers are an improved team under Mike Singletary and his bare bottom.
The Redskins can and probably should win three of these games (Bengals, Seahawks and 49ers), putting them at 9 wins. They Ravens game will be tough unless the offensive line figures out a way to stop blitzing outside linebackers in a 3-4 system. The Giants and Eagles are both divisional games, and so neither is a gimme. The Skins need to win at least one of these three, and probably at least two, in order to work their way into January.
Come on Skins! Six in a row, or we don’t go!
Tags: 2009 playoffs, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, philadelphia eagles, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins