Watching the Redskins in person is a unique experience. Hearing the chants of “WE WANT DALLAS!” reverberate through the stadium can give any Skins fan goose bumps. While belting out the Dallas chant, a sense of pride that has been missing for far to long swept over FedEx. Heading into the Monday clash in Texas, the Redskins sit alone atop the NFC East at 2-0. The Redskins found a way to put the Giants away and held on against Arizona. Those games have slipped through their fingers far to many times in the past. Dallas week is officially here and I have a few observations from the game this past weekend.
Grossman deserves credit for what he has done thus far. I am excited at how well he moves the team up and down the field, but he must avoid the turnovers. They have plagued him throughout his career and seem to have followed him to DC. In five starts as Washington’s quarterback, Grossman has turned the ball over 11 times (6 ints and 5 lost fumbles) in those starts. Hopefully he can put those behind him and continue to impress week in and week out. In the mean time, it is something every ‘Skins fan should pay attention too.
2. Defense– How nice is it to see the defense flying around and winning games? For a long time the defense was highly ranked and seemingly successful in the 4-3, but those teams had a tendency to lose games by giving up touchdowns or field goals in the final moments. Not this defense. Built around a core of fierce linebackers, the Redskins seem to have found their defensive mojo. That’s two straight weeks they have forced crucial turnovers and put a lot of pressure on the quarterback. Fletcher is always outstanding and the combo of Orakpo/Kerrigan will have the NFC East fearful for years to come.
Keep an eye on the health of the secondary as the season goes on. LaRon Landry has yet to play this season and Josh Wilson & Kevin Barnes are banged up as well. All in all though, this defense is fierce and will hit opposing teams square in the mouth. Look for them to walk into Cowboys stadium and continue to impress.
3. Skill Positions– Tim Hightower impressed me with his hard nose running and seeing the speed of Helu first hand was just as impressive. Hightower will continue to get the bulk of the carries, but Roy Helu offers a great backup and will get a good amount of carries and screen passes because of his big play potential. Defenses will have to key on them. With teams keying on the run, it should free up the receivers.
Santana Moss produces every year, and the addition of Jabar Gaffney mixed with Armstrong’s speed gives the Redskins a good core of receivers. Fred Davis is not a tight end. He is just a freak and should only get better with the improving health of Chris Cooley. Washington has two Pro Bowl caliber tight ends on the roster and will continue to exploit defenses with them. This offense has plenty of weapons and could become scary for opposing teams defensive coordinators. The Shanahan’s know what they are doing and hopefully the offense will continue to get better.
Overall, being at FedEx Field and watching the Redskins win is always special. Being there with the optimism the way it is now and chanting “WE WANT DALLAS!” brings back memories of the Gibbs I and George Allen eras. Grossman needs to hold onto the football in order for the offense to get the ball into its playmakers hands. There might not be any big names on offense, but they are certainly producing. With London Fletcher inspiring Washington’s defense and the linebackers really flying around, the Skins have huge potential for the remainder of the year.
The road only gets tougher from here, but the Burgundy and Gold took care of business on their home turf. Next, they travel from the District to Texas. Nothing makes a Skins fan happier than whipping the Cowboys in their own stadium. Time to take care of business in BIG D.