So, back in the pre-season I predicted a 9-7 season for this team. After the loss to the Giants in week one, many felt that was way too optimistic for a first time head coach.
The Redskins went on to win their next four games including back-to-back road victories versus hated rivals Dallas and Philadelphia. Suddenly 9-7 was a bit too conservative as Jim Zorn was proving to be a master tactician.
Then the Redskins lost to the previously winless St. Louis Rams…
Suddenly, there was trouble brewing. At 4-2, the Redskins were looking like they might be in a bit of trouble. If they lost to St. Louis, then certainly they could lose to Cleveland and Detroit to say nothing of Pittsburgh and be 4-5 by the bye. Suddenly, 9-7 was starting to look a little on the optimistic side again, but then the Redskins went on to win (though barely) versus Cleveland and Detroit. At 6-2 the Redskins looked like they might just pull off a 12-4 season.
Then again, because of the lack-luster performance against some of the worst teams the league had to offer, then certainly they’d have no chance versus their tougher opponents down the stretch meaning they certainly could go 6-10.
Then again, again, the Redskins may have been “playin’ ‘possum” and just trying to make themselves look worse than they were so they could shock the better teams with some real razzle-dazzle. No sense giving those teams any film to study, right?
Then again, again, again, maybe the Redskins really were starting to fizzle instead of razzle-dazzle.
So, last night’s loss puts the Redskins at 6-3. The Redskins still have a tough schedule ahead of them, but seriously, 9-7 isn’t beyond their reach.
9-7 was considered “optimistic” not that long ago but if I’m honest with myself, I’m going to be disappointed if we don’t make the play-offs!
Consider that for a second. A first year head coach, with no previous coordinator experience and I’m disappointed about the thought of the Redskins missing the play-offs.
The season isn’t over, and the Redskins have already had an impressive ride. Even with this recent ugly loss to Pittsburgh there are only five other teams out there with records equal to, or better than the Redskins.
Sure, Pittsburgh was an ugly loss, but even some of the best in the league (The defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants for example) aren’t immune to an ugly loss (like 35-14 to the Browns for example) every now and then.
Two of the Redskins’ three losses came at the hands of championship teams with defenses ranked within the top 3.
Sure, there’s plenty of blame to go around from last night’s loss, and yes, the Redskins need to make some serious improvements during their bye-week, but I am not ready to hit the panic button just yet.
If 9-7 was optimistic, then what would expectations of a Super Bowl appearance be?
Seven more games and we’ll know.