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2016 Week 1 - Steelers @ Redskins

Blognosticatior - Neophyte

So here we are…on the eve of the kickoff to the 2016 season and there is an air of excitement about all things Burgundy and Gold. I see a wide ranging list of predictions for this team in year 2 of McLovin and year 3 of Gruden, everything from the bottom of the division to a Super Bowl appearance and it all starts Monday Night, in primetime, against the Steelers.

Before I go any further I have an admission. I have not seen a single down of preseason football. Not just from the Skins either. I haven't see so much as a highlight of any of the 32 teams in the league. That is a first for me in over 40 years of Redskins fandom. I realize it seems odd at the moment, following the success of last season, but I’ve been here before with this team.


I was here once with Norv when we made the playoffs only to fall apart the next year. Then again with Marty when we finished strong and the team looked good for the next year only to have things explode between coach and owner in the offseason. Gibbs II got my hopes up twice only to dash them the next season. Then the magical season with RGIII as a rookie (ran across my “Third is the Word” t-shirt the other day…its buried at the bottom of a drawer for a reason).

Most of you reading this know where I’m coming from. You have made the same journey.

So you are reading this and thinking to yourself, “So Neo, you didn’t watch the preseason because you don’t believe?” Not exactly although I have issues with my faith at the moment. I didn’t watch the preseason because it doesn’t matter and honestly doesn’t tell any of us laymen a damn thing. It is a waste of everyone’s time and profitable only to the medical industry that get to patch up all the guys hurt playing in games that don’t count.

Frankly, I have better things to do with my time.

So now the games start for good. As of tomorrow night the march to Super Bowl LI is on.

From my seat in the cheap seats, without reading or seeing much of this team in 2016, I see an enigma. Lots of questions with almost no answers until live fire starts. So in no particular order, I present the questions I want answers to:

Can this team beat a team with a winning record?

Which Cousins is the real Cousins, the one from the first 8 games of 2015 or the one from the last 8 games?

Can Matt Jones be the man the way The Butler was? (My friends who are Dallas fans love him, btw, and have all thanked me for what appears to be a stupid move on our part)

Where is the pass rush coming from?

Is Josh Norman the real deal and worth the money?

Can Cousins play well without Jackson? (Cause you know he will miss games, right?)

Can Jay figure out how to fix the running game?

Can our DL stop the run?

I'm sure there are more but frankly I'm depressing myself with the laundry list so will stop. For now.

However, these are the things that will determine where the Skins land on the scale between division bottom dweller and Super Bowl Champ. I don’t have those answers yet. My greater concern is that I’m not sure the club has those answers either.

Which means we all start finding out together Monday Night don’t we?

Monday is a game between two teams with more offense than defense so I see a big score and an exciting game from the big play standpoint. Let’s face it, are there two more exciting receivers in the league than Brown and Jackson? Norman is good but I don't think he can contain Brown, at least not all night, and I don't see anyone in the Steeler backfield who can cover Jackson.

Call the final score 31-28 and I say Pittsburgh takes it. Until the Skins show me they can beat a team with a winning record, they can’t, and frankly, I trust Mike Tomlin more than I trust Jay Gruden at this point.

I hope I’m back on this site Tuesday eating crow. I’ll even grin while I do it.

Show me something Sons of Washington. Show me and make me believe again.

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As we enjoy today's conversations, let's remember our dear friends 'Docsandy', Sandy Zier-Teitler, and 'Posse Lover', Michael Huffman, who would dearly love to be here with us today! We love and miss you guys ❤

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