The days following a win just go more smoothly, don’t they? No frantic rush to forget about Sunday and turn the page to next week. You can let the thrill of victory linger into Tuesday. Players have to get focused on the opponent ahead, but we don’t.
Mike Wise wrote it on Sunday night for Monday’s paper, but it bears reiterating, given that the Redskins are in good shape in the division after the Giants lost on Sunday night and the Cowboys lost on Monday night as well (The Eagles couldn’t lose too, because they played the Giants). Being 2-2 instead of 1-3 is a major morale boost. You can continue to buy into the dream, or the five-year plan or the idea that this year is about progress not the playoffs. Whatever your measure, wins make everything go down a little easier.
It doesn’t change the fact that the Redskins came very close to losing a game that they could have won going away, but it allows us to gloss over the mistakes. When your team wins, you can enjoy the week a little bit more. Go ahead, be all cool and grown up and say football is just a game, and the losses don’t bother you that badly … but for many, losses are like a funk that hangs overhead for a few days.
When you loop in the fact that the Nationals clinched the NL East on Monday night, and the Orioles are headed to the playoffs, the Ravens are 3-1 and there’s reason to be optimistic about the Wizards … as long as you pretend major college football doesn’t exist, these are good times to be a sports fan of the teams in our area. Might even be safe to say they’re more appreciated after all the down years.
Anyway, here are a few discussion-starters for this morning:
1) Aside from the final, RGIII-led drive, what was the most impressive part of Sunday’s win? For me it’s tough to say because I was working while it was on and I haven’t re-watched the DVR yet, but I liked that the Redskins fed Alfred Morris. Twenty-one carries, and the idea that the offense can function when it’s fancy, but also when it’s straight-ahead and just more physical than the defense. Tampa Bay had been the NFL’s top rushing defense; they are now fourth. Washington is the NFL’s No. 1 rushing offense.
I also liked that Griffin did not throw an interception for the third time in four games; he’s got a grand total of one so far.
2) Does Atlanta scare you? They’re 4-0, but 15th in the league on total offense and defense; right on the line of mediocre. I watched a lot of the Carolina game, and the Falcons definitely look beatable. Matt Ryan was sacked seven times. Carolina rushed for 199 yards. Redskins fans should probably be concerned about trying to cover Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez, but defensively the Falcons don’t seem to be anything special. The Redskins should be able to score on them, which means this could resemble the Saints or Bengals games. But the key to Atlanta’s undefeated start is being plus-10 in turnover margin. The Redskins are plus-7 themselves, for whatever it’s worth.
Floor’s yours to tackle those items and anything of interest. Also, if you want to pepper me with some questions that I can take a stab at answering in Wednesday’s Opening Kick, I’m game.