I’ve been waitin’ all day for Monday Night! I know that’s not their slogan, but in this case it seems appropriate.
This evening, The Washington Redskins will be in Philadelphia to clash with The NFC East leading Eagles in a much anticipated Divisional clash.
And it’s arguably the Game of the Week.
Philly’s been playing some lights out ball this year. In fact, they’re the team with the best record in The NFC to date. They’ve beaten Carolina, Arizona, New York (Giants), Los Angeles (Chargers), and The Redskins.
In Week 1.
And while The Skins didn’t play their best ball that day, my unbiased eye saw that the Eagles were the better team in that meeting. They were more intense, made more Big Plays, and took care of The Ball better (in the Turnover department).
Plus, it was clear that they wanted it more. That’s the part that bothers me.
Yeah, they wanted some payback offa The Team, because Washington (at the time) was sporting a six game Win streak against Philly. And of course they let the Eagles break the damn streak. The Skins don’t open well under Gruden.
Believe me, that one stung. And I didn’t even bring up the non-fumble controversy.
But it-is-what-it-is. I’m not harboring any sour grapes.
Obviously, you never want to see your squad lose. Although I can admit that Washington was not the better team on that day.
That’s life in The NFL.
I can accept that. It rankles me, sure. But I feel like The Team learned from that fiasco.
And tonight represents a prime opportunity for some good ole fashioned get back!
Thing is, the Eagles are flying high – not only are they on a 4 game Winning streak, but they’re currently the 1st Place Team in The Division.
They’ve got the 5th best Offense & the 4th best Rushing Attack in The League. It looks like they’re having their breakout year from what they have shown thus far. And the Eagles host tonight’s ballgame to boot.
That’s a tough assignment for The Skins.
But I know I’m not trippin’. And I believe The Team isn’t either.
One thing we do know is The NFC East is always tough. This ain’t The NFL’s Greatest Division for nothing! So a tough-as-shit Road Game is par for the course around these parts. It sure ain’t nothing new.
And speaking of Road trips, thus far Washington has shown some mighty tough chops in Away Games this year. After going all the way out West and Beating the Division leading Rams, they went back on The Road two weeks later and fell late in a street fight of a game to the Chiefs. Damn you Doctson!
So playing a Quality Opponent in their building isn’t gonna scare these guys.
It’ll be tough, but I believe in these Redskins. And I believe that they’re up for the challenge for two primary reasons.
Yes. Good old fashioned revenge.
No one likes getting beat in their building Especially by a Division foe. And it’s a poorly kept secret that these two teams don’t exactly like one another (but that’s normal Divison Rivals stuff).
But more than plain dislike, The Redskins owe them one!
That matters, because with all things being equal, the team with the strongest motivation Wins more than its fair share of contests. And that feeling of payback is the sort of thing that can’t be artificially injected into a team.
Philly had it when they came down here, and it showed on The Field. And I know The Skins ain’t forgot about it.
Not to mention, what would be sweeter than to knock that ass off IN THEIR BUILDING on national tv?
I sure hope the home boys can taste it.
Staying in The NFC East Race
Besides the payback angle, Washington has another strong motivator tonight working in their favor: that is, if the fellas have designs on Winning The NFC East this year, this is a ballgame they simply have to have!
Once again, we’re talking about a motivation advantage that cannot be faked. Most prognosticators, talking heads, handicappers, odds makers, and football fans are already handing The Division to the green guys.
I know the Eagles are damn good, but there are no Division Trophies handed out in October. That’s for certain.
And for DC, it’s pretty cut & dry – Win tonight to stake a viable claim on The East, or it may be time to start thinking about a Wildcard.
My instinct tells me that the Skins want this Division bad enough to split the Season Series.
That’s what tonight means to The Burgundy and Gold.
But it won’t be easy. Besides all of the above, The Redskins are extremely banged up. Yeah, injuries are a natural part of the game. But damn Washington’s beat up! That’s a mighty long list heading into such a pivotal matchup.
In the end, I believe a Winning effort boils down to two position groups above all others: The Wide Receivers and The Defensive Line.
The Pass Catchers have to take advantage of a leaky Eagles Secondary. And The Defensive Line has to rush and hurry Carson Wentz. I figure those two groups are the biggest keys (in terms of Personnel) to tonight’s game.
However, if The Washington Redskins go into Lincoln Financial Field and deliver their best shot to Philadelphia, they’ll Win this ballgame.
And I believe that they will.
By night’s end, Washington serves notice that The NFC East is a two team race this year.
Washington 34 ✓
How will the Football Press explain this one away?