Thursday, November 13, 2003

WEEK 10: On the verge of…well…I dunno.

The Redskins squeaked out a win over the Seahawks on Sunday, 27-20. As the old 80s commercial used to say: “Thanks…I needed that.” After the Redskins’ four-game slide, I’m not as enthused as some other folks over this win. Yeah, Washington stayed true to Upset Sunday’s form, knocking off a division-leading squad using some very gutsy play-calling. But I am reasonably sure that if Seahawks receiver Darrell “Teflon” Jackson doesn’t let that easily catchable ball slip through his hands into Fred Smoooooot’s hands, the ‘Hawks continue their unimpeded march toward tying the game.

But Jackson let it through, and we won. It is quite refreshing to be on the winning end of a game. Takes me back to…September when the Redskins had one of the top offenses and defenses (obviously this was real early in September!) and every opponent game-planned to stop Pharaoh Ramsey and Laveranues “Sultan Rock Darnerian” Coles. (What is up with our players’ names? Have you ever seen such a bizarre demonstration of parental neglect?)

I really believe this team has failed to live up to its potential. Sunday reminded me that, in the end, we have a competitive team that could make some noise this season. We’re on the verge of being a force, a NFC powerhouse. (OK, we’re on the verge of winning the NFC East.) But key injuries and poor game-planning have led this team to lose the important division games and severely compromise the future of our star quarterback. I dunno what’s to come for the Skins, with Stephen “I Must Break You” Davis this Sunday, Miami the next week, N’awlins after that, then a string of division games.

I therefore will grab my Howard Cossell toupee, light a big cigar, channel Jimmy the Greek (What is he doing these days? Is he still alive?) and offer these four predictions for the remaining NFL season…

The Ravens are done. Sorry, Baltimore. I was no fan of Kyle “Hail Mary” Boller, but without him at the helm, you’re left with a subpar Redman and Anthony “Who?” Wright tossing the ball. If you thought defenses stacked up against the run before, just imagine what they’ll do now. I’d give them the division, but Cincinnati—can you believe it?—is growing stronger by the week and will win it. This Sunday’s game against the undefeated Chiefs could be the biggest upset of the year. Which leads me to announce that…

The Chiefs will end the regular season 15-1. The one loss? It won’t be to the Bengals. Oh no. It’ll be the clash of the titan game December 20 against the then 11-4 Minnesota Vikings. Trent “Money” Green will have a poor passing game, getting picked off by the stingy Vikings secondary. They’ll take one back for a touchdown. Yep. That’s what’s gonna happen. The Chiefs will be so angry that they let a perfect season slip away that they embark on a tear through the playoffs and win the whole shebang February 1.

The Panthers send Daniel Snyder a postcard from Texas. Yep, Carolina will represent the NFC at Super Bowl XXXVIII, happily riding the back of former Redskin castoff Stephen Davis as he pounds through the weak NFC defenses. Davis’ dismissal still makes me ill. Snyder’s worst mistake (and he’s made a lot to rank) was hiring Spurrier instead of Marvin Lewis while Lewis was with the team. Davis would’ve stayed and we’d have a better D. Think we’d be 4-5 with those changes? Speaking of change…

Redskins coach Spurrier pulls team to 8-8; saves job by demoting himself. If this past Sunday showed Washington fans anything, it’s that the Redskins can compete when Coach Superior gets out of the way of playcalling until critical moments. The light bulb is already brightening over his visor, even now. A shocking win over Carolina will convince the Ol’ Ball Coach to limit himself to, well, coaching.

OFFENSE: B (What was Ray Rhodes thinking when he didn’t blitz?!?)
DEFENSE: C (Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.)
COACHES: A (Huge calls in the fourth quarter and great playcalling to get us out of a 14-3 hole.)

Next Up: The Panthers face us in Carolina with a pipin’ hot offense and smothering defense. I suspect they won’t play zone like Seattle and Ramsey will need extra padding. Our D better step up or this could be ugly. Skins pull of the 2nd biggest upset of the year, 14-10.

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