Are the Washington Redskins one of those 2006 teams that is on pace to take a step back from where they were a year ago? They could be. The Redskins last season played with guts and heart down the stretch, and found themselves backing into the playoffs, and even into the second round after a win in Tampa Bay. Things didn’t go their way in Seattle on that rainy Saturday afternoon, but it looked heading into the offseason that the future was bright in DC. Now, things don’t look so clear. After a 41-0 preseason drubbing on Saturday in New England, the Skins are 0-3 in the preseason, and have been outscored 87-17.
While the preseason is what it is, the Skins have not even looked close to ready to play a regular season game, and both the offense and defense look totally out of sync. What is also concerning is the injury to team MVP Clinton Portis, and what lingering effect it will have on the offense heading into the regular season. As for the confidence of the team heading into the last preseason game, that also has to be questioned. “It stinks. We are in bad moods. It is not OK.” new WR Brandon Lloyd said. “We will go through the film in detail. We will get screamed at, and we will probably be in full pads next week. It is serious. Losing is a big deal.”
Losing is really a big deal if the Skins cannot get out of this fog and into regular season playing mode come September 11th in the first Monday Night game of the year against the Vikings. Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs will not tolerate a lackluster effort, like the kind he has been getting in the preseason, and a couple of early losses could send this team into a tailspin. Mark Brunell will be 36 on September 17th, and his best days are behind him. Even with that, he is being counted on to lead this offense, and will have to even improve upon his 3050 yards a year ago and 23 TD’s. So far in 11 possessions this preseason, he has yet to lead a scoring drive.
The team brought in Lloyd, along with Steelers WR/PR Antwaan Randle El to add a new dimension to the offense. So far, it has not clicked. Saturday in New England the team gained just 154 yards, and gave up 464. Ouch. With the MNF opener vs Minnesota looming, along with a road game on Sunday night in week two in Dallas, the Skins are a team that cannot afford to get off to a slow start.
“If we don’t take care of the little things, this thing is going to snowball,” Redskins defensive tackle Joe Salave’a said after the loss Saturday. You can bet the snowball will gain plenty of steam if the Skins don’t right the wrongs – in a hurry.