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Still pinching myself. Did we REALLY lose?

Lanky Livingston

I know we should be moving on, and focusing on the upcoming showdown in Philly, but I just can't get over this loss to the Rams. If we still had Campbell and Zorn leading the charge into battle, I probably wouldn't be upset, and I may have even taken the Rams in my pick 'em leagues. Okay, I definitely would have taken the Rams. Last year's Redskins were the type of team that lost games like that one - they played down to inferior opponents and lost, and played up to better opponents (and still lost). They had little leadership, little respect for their head coach, and not very much talent.

But no; this year was different. This year we have a real quarterback coming off a 426-yard throwing performance. This year we have a superbowl winning head coach, itching to prove his detractors wrong and take another team to the big dance. And let's face it - the Rams are an awful team. Yes, they have the 'once in a decade' QB in Sam Bradford, but newly minted DC Jim Haslett had to have been drooling over the different schemes and blitzes he could use to confuse the rookie, and force turnovers. Carter and Orakpo had to be licking their chops to go up against an OL that gave up 44 sacks last season, and on pace to give up 40 again this season. The Rams featured a pass D that gave up almost 240 yards a game through the air last year, and almost 140 on the ground.

I don't know if I've ever been more confident about the Redskins winning a game in the past 10 years, than I was about this game. No WAY Shanahan doesn't have this team ready to play. No WAY Haslett lets a rookie QB dictate the game. No WAY McNabb doesn't pick apart this team for 3+ TD passes. No WAY Orakpo doesn't get less than 3 sacks. No WAY the defense doesn't force less than 3 turnovers.

Well, we all know what actually happened. The Rams took advantage of two early mistakes to jump on top 14-0, then whipped the Redskins' asses up and down the field for the rest of the game. The defense looked lost at times, and the offense abandoned the run game too early yet again (despite early success this week).

Where does this team go from here? I don't want to be one of those extremely dire folks, who say the next few games will define the rest of the Shanahan administration...but I do think bouncing back huge against the extremely tough portion of their schedule will go a LONG way for future teams. Sadly, I've given up hope of the playoffs this season. My reasons are twofold: 1) Simply put, the team that played the Rams is not a playoff team. Will the real Redskins step up? I don't know...I sure hope so. 2) Better to be surprised than disappointed I suppose.

But if the team comes out and plays hard the rest of the way, it will pave the road to success for the following Shantastic seasons. I see the season playing out in two different scenarios:

The Redskins continue their poor play, and continue to show the age of their roster by slowing down in the 4th quarter. They lose to the teams their supposed to lose to by a LOT, and lose to some more teams they aren't supposed to, and finish well-below .500 yet again. McNabb decides he'd rather compete for a superbowl in Minnesota than play for a half-hearted team of geezers, and leaves for the Vikings.


The Redskins truly take this loss to heart. The leaders in the locker room call a team meeting (or whatever it is they do), and tell the team this kind of thing is unacceptable. The team comes out fired up every week for the rest of the season. They stay close in the games they're supposed to lose, and even steal a couple, and demolish the teams they are supposed to demolish, and finish a respectable 9-7. McNabb signs an extension with a team obviously committed to winning, and plays for another 3-4 years in DC.

Bottom line: as a fan of this team, I'm sick of efforts like this. At least make football enjoyable to watch on Sundays...let's hope scenario 2 plays out, and we can at least hold our heads high as Redskins fans.
Well said. And believe me, we ALL feel your pain.

I just don't think the solution is as simple as a players-only meeting, or deciding to play harder. I've begun to think the problem is less about the Redskins' effort, and more about the Redskins' talent. It has improved, but I don't think it's improved nearly enough.

You are correct in that we've played pretty well against the two good teams we've faced this year. (Sorry Rams, no sour grapes here, you just have to prove it against a "good" team yourselves before I buy in.) And frankly, I will be surprised if we don't come out and play out collective butt off this week. But I also expect to come up just short, in the most painful way possible. Which, given the teams, probably means DMac leading us inside the 10 on the potential game-winning drive, and throwing a pick in the end zone. Life as a Skins fan; man it's been tough the last couple of decades.

All I want is to rightfully expect to win most of our games. Maybe that'll happen at some point in the Shanahan regime, but I'm pretty sure it's not going to be this year.
And frankly, I will be surprised if we don't come out and play out collective butt off this week. But I also expect to come up just short, in the most painful way possible. Which, given the teams, probably means DMac leading us inside the 10 on the potential game-winning drive, and throwing a pick in the end zone.

I have been envisioning this exact scenario in my brain. GET OUT OF MY HEAD! ;)
Missed his thread earlier, been a busy week.

Hog, i think you nailed it. Our talent level isn't there. How we competed with the talent level of the Texans is amazing, especially when you consider their skill positions. Our loin is competent, but if we lose either tackle for any time at all, it is downgraded to poor, at best. The center of our line is incredibly limiting for what Shanny wants to do, i would imagine. Portis looks past his prime, though it wouldn't surprise me if that was more the line problems than anything else. Either way though, he's not getting any younger.

Long list of things to fix in the offseason, and not a lot of draft picks to do it. If we make it to 8-8, I consider that to be a hell of an accomplishment by Shanahan.
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I think for some strange reason many of us as Redskins fans (myself included) still have a perception of there being teams around the league that are inferior to Washington. St. Louis being one of them. Maybe it's the history and nostalgia factor - who knows? Thus, we go into weeks like last week with the belief that we are going to easily win, only to disappoint ourselves and experience another frustrating Sunday in the end.

When you talk about the worst of the worst in the NFL, I'd put the Redskins right down there with the likes of the Browns, Lions, and Raiders. I know - it's a tough pill to swallow these days.

Unfortunately, the rest of the league circles the Washington game when the schedule comes out as being a game they can realistically and easily win.

Personally, I think it's not a coincidence that we have managed to lose to some of the worst teams in the game at the time over the last few years (e.g. Lions, Chiefs, Rams, etc). It's because we too are one of the "dogs" of the NFL currently.

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