1. First of Two, Tune Up Games for the Playoffs
In the words of them immortal, Jim Mora "Playoffs!?, Playoffs!?" Yes, PLAYOFFS. The Redskins have on meaningful game remaining on the schedule this season - December 29th, at home, versus the Dallas Cowboys. In Darrell Green's final game as a Washington Redskin, the streak must come to an end. Do't get me wrong, I'm going to cheer like a madman against the Eagles. I'm currently in the market for five pair of ear muffs - preferrably with Redskin Logos - for my five dogs (all Redskin fans). But the game is merely a tune up game for "our" playoff game - "our" Super Bowl. There are not enough words in any combination to give Darrell Green a proper send off. However, a win against the Cowboys would be the most meaningful tribute of the day for the man.
2. Marvin Lewis Stays Put... for now
In spite of this year's rollercoaster performance by the defensive unit - Marvin Lewis is a brilliant head coach. The only problem is - he's not a head coach. I had to laugh when I read about some of the Michigan State boosters not being "sold" on Marvin Lewis as their new head football coach. We are very fortunate to have a man the caliber of Marvin Lewis. Lewis is the Greatest Assistant Coach of All-Time in my book... and that's saying a lot. Better than Bugel? Yes. Better than Pettibone? Yes. Better than Turner? Oh yeah, he was a head coach. There is no man in the NFL more deserving of a head coaching spot than Lewis. Let's just be happy we have him for as long as we have him. When he gets the call, I hope we meet him in the "real" Super Bowl some day.
3. Flashback to Andy Reid's first NFL draft
As the Eagles new head coach, Reid knew all along who he would choose to be the Eagles first round pick and he waited patiently. When it was his turn, Reid chose Donovan McNabb to a chorus of boos and hostilities from all of the Eagles fans present. I use the word "fans" because it's too hard to say - jackass, battery throwing, hoodlum wanabee, ignorant, neandertals - each time. Since then, Reid has made good choices in the subsequent drafts, acquired good players in free agency and kept his team within the salary cap. The Eagles are a better than their "fans" deserve. The Eagles are the class of the NFC East - it would be great to give them a taste of their own medicine in Philly.
4. Balancing Act?
The Redskins have shown less balance than a four-year-old spinning himself in circles around the living room. Luckily, we haven't fallen on any sharp corners!
The Skins will likely be forced into a pass-heavy attack in Philadelphia. Patrick Ramsey's arm may be enough to put points on the board. This game will be an excellent test for the rookie, against the best defense the Skins will face all season. With Stephen Davis' career as a Redskin likely over, the Skins don't have a running back to break tackles at the line of scrimmage. Ramsey will have to carry the load. The best he can hope for is decent field position and adequate protection.
5. Young Guns
The Redskins have so many young players, some of them haven't even been in the line up. They'll get their shot over the next three weeks. TE Leonard Stephens, RB Ladell Betts and DE Ladarius Jackson are the main players to watch as they attempt to gain some valuable experience heading into the offseason. Each player has shown flashes of ability, but inconsistency has nagged them throughout the season. If one of these three steps up and shows improvement, the others may follow. In fact, the entire team may follow. Patrick Ramsey will be the focus of most of the attention, but these three guys have a huge opportunity in the remaining three weeks of the season. Will they take advantage?
6. Silver Lining
One thing we've been forced to do as Redskin Fans over the years is, keeping the faith throughout the season, as we keep hope alive in the offseason. We study the draft, scout for players and keep an eye on the Free Agent market. We probably know more players on more teams than a lot of their fans know. The importance of building a team through the draft, managing the salary cap and evaluating talent have become nearly second nature to us. I don't believe that losing is ever good. However, it does force us to find ways around our frustration. Frustration is good, it forces us to find ways to get past it.