By Kevin Ross II
The National Football League has once again displayed its subtle ability to humble all those who approach supercilious behavior. Look no further than the Washington Redskins, who just a few days ago found themselves drunk with Super Bowl aspirations. The Skins are now strikingly sober, as they search for answers.
Monday night football began with Robert Griffin making a grandiose entrance fit for the King of Kings. But it ended with the burgundy and gold celebrating only a moral victory. Deep down inside, all members of the franchise understand that an 0-2 start could be a real possibility as they prepare to dance with the Green Bay Packers.
Since 1990, there have been 184 teams that have started the season at 0-2. Out of the 184 teams, only 22 have made the playoffs. That would put the odds at 12 percent to make the playoffs for the loser of Sunday’s competition between the Packers and Redskins. It’s safe to say that the stakes will be high at Lambeau field, as the statistics say that this is a must win game.
But as Bill Belichick once eloquently told us, “stats are for losers.” So for the Redskins they must learn to ignore the stats that say Washington hasn’t won in Green Bay since 1988, and get back to the basics.
Maybe coach Shanahan can bring in the Big Fundamental, Tim Duncan to help motivate the guys about the beauty of fundamentally sound football. At this point, there is no reason why anything should be left off the table, as the team struggled with basic tackling, basic pass protection, and ball safety against the Eagles.
The key to the 49ers win over the Packers last week was the fact that the 49ers forced Green Bay into committing two turnovers, while they didn’t have any.
The 49ers won the vaunted turnover battle, and had their quarterback Colin Kaepernick play a nearly flawless game. But the Packers still somehow managed to put up 28 points on the road and only lost by six points. Now that’s a moral victory.
The fact of the matter is, the Packers have the best quarterback in the league so all things are possible. And if the Redskins want to give him extra chances at scoring due to turnovers, they will lose big.
The keys to the game involve the three T’s that Washington must win: Turnover battle, Time of possession battle, and they must Tackle. It’s time to get back to the basics for the Redskins.
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Kevin Ross is a freelance writer covering all things Washington Redskins. His work can be found on Examiner.com.