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It’s been a tough but mercifully short week for Redskins fans.

The only blessing in an agonizing MNF loss to a lesser team (and make no mistake, Dallas is the lesser team) is fewer days before the opportunity to cleanse our fan palates. Sunday, and the chance to rid our collective mouths of the bitter, acid after-taste of unjustifiable defeat, can’t get here soon enough.

It’s one thing to lose, another thing altogether to watch your beloved team literally give one away. Not just 'one’, but a potentially season-defining 'one’ against a hated rival in their own foul nest.

Watching Dallas steal a win = the price of your average local rodeo ticket.
Vanquishing evil in front of God, Jerry Jones, and the biggest collection of beef-heads in Texas?

Priceless. Or at least, it could have been.

There are really only two plausible explanations. Either Romo is Jesus returned, or good ol’ Jerry has a deal with Beelzebub. I think you know where I stand on those possibilities – can you say his name….?


But let’s let bygones be bygones. Let he among us who hasn’t let 5 fumbles dance before his eyes and grabbed nary a one cast the first stone. I’m over it. Kinda. Sorta. Not really. I’m gonna need more rocks.

There’s no time to tarry though. The NFL is a cruel General. There’s no time to mourn or bury our dead. Sentiment and sorrow will have to wait. The next battle is upon us. The smoke from the first artillery strikes is acrid in the air. The ground rumbles as bombardiers soften the enemy’s defenses. In the trenches, our men whisper brave words of reassurance, and mutter sweet prayers for salvation and strength to the Football Gods.

The Redskins are, as you read, loaded for bear and winging towards St. Louis to enter the fray against the fearsome Rams.

Retreat? Hell – we just got here!

Besides – who are these Rams? Certainly not a team these newly-born Redskins should fear. Of course we know the defeatist refrain. We know it by heart. The Redskins always lose games they should win, particularly on the road against lesser, winless opponents. And who fits the bill better than the 0-3 Rams, whose opponents in just 3 weeks have outscored them by 60 points. Bringing up the NFC West rear, the winless Rams have averaged just 12 points a game despite a respectable running game (11th ranked in the league) and an up and coming youngster in QB Sam Bradford. They’ve scored only 3 touchdowns all year, giving up 12 of them in 3 short games, and are averaging two giveaways a game so far in 2011. Easy pickins’ – right?

Maybe. Except that in the NFL, there’s no such thing as an easy game. Sam Bradford’s having an awful 2011 campaign so far, completing barely 50% of his passes. Rams RB stalwart Steven Jackson has been dinged up for most of the season – but is reportedly practicing hard again this week.

In other words, the Rams are likely desperate for a win, and due for a breakout game.

It doesn’t matter.

The Redskins have to win this game. Losing for the second week in a row to an inferior team could put this youthful Redskins team into a sustained spiral. Confidence matters, and it can be a fragile thing for a young team. These new-look Redskins built up some substantial belief in themselves throughout a successful pre-season and two season-opening wins. They can ill afford to suffer a crisis in faith by succumbing to the Rams this Sunday. The Eagles and Giants have already vanquished these Rams in 2011.

Sunday – it’s the Redskins turn.

We’ll find out just how emotionally and spiritually tough this team is in just a few short hours. Will they fold under the pressure of a short week and the aftermath of a demoralizing loss? Or will they take out their disappointment and anger on the guys across the line from them on the turf at the Edward Jones Dome.

If you ask me, this Redskins team isn’t your usual predictable squad.

That means a convincingly dominant performance by the Burgundy and Gold on Sunday. You heard it here first.
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