WASHINGTON — It may have been College Gameday, but ESPN couldn’t help but ask NASCAR driver and special guest commentator Dale Earnhardt Jr. what he thought of the Monday Night Football matchup between the Washington Redskins and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Earnhardt, an unabashed Redskins fan, took the bait and picked his favorite team
“It’s a tough matchup,” Earnhardt said before pivoting, “but if the Redskins want to improve on what they did last year, these are the games they’ve got to win. These are the kinds of teams they’ll see in the playoffs. I’m going to take the Redskins.”
“These are the kinds of teams they’ll see in the playoffs. I’m going to take the Redskins.”
The discussion about the Redskins begins at the 8:00 mark:
His sound, if aspirational, logic was not echoed by any of the other panelists, as Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, and even former Washington Redskins draft pick Desmond Howard, all picked against the Redskins at home to open the season.
One of the knocks against the 2015 NFC Championship champions is that Kirk Cousins and Co. failed to beat a winning team last season.
While both teams enter this matchup recordless, the Steelers are perennial contenders in the AFC and have not had a losing season since 2003.
This is a statement game for the Redskins, who catch the Steelers at a time when Le’Veon Bell, Ladarius Green and Martavis Bryant are all unavailable. They will need a full team effort to land perhaps the biggest win of Kirk Cousins’ starting career and prove Junior right.