This is a couple of days old, but we have to voice our appreciation to WP columnist Leonard Shapiro for his implication that the Redskins have a chance at New England in a couple of weeks. In his piece from October 16, he proclaims the Patriots will not go undefeated this season, leaving the curmudgeonly ’72 Dolphins to celebrate their continued place in history as the only perfect team (we obviously prefer to remember the ‘82/’83 Dolphins). However, in looking at potential roadblocks to the Pats’ run at 19-0, he seems to kind of, sort of, pretty much suggest that the Redskins have a little bit of almost a chance of beating New England later this month. He writes: “The Patriots will be vulnerable in at least five more games -- Oct. 28 in Foxboro against a vastly improved Washington defense…” While not quite Optimist of the Week material, this sort of sentiment is welcome, and may be the most positive thing written about this upcoming game – outside this blog.
With the Redskins making a weekly habit of shutting down #1 rated passing offenses, the Patriots’ relatively benign #3-ranked passing O should be manageable. We only mourn that the passing attack Arizona brings to town this weekend is ranked #14, threatening to blunt the skills of Area 51, et al., before they get back to the business of shutting down to-notch attacks. Still, with hopes that Kurt Warner and Anquan Boldin will play rising, perhaps the competition will be raised a notch (no offense to Tim Rattay), providing a worthy warm-up for Brady, etc.
So there’s a nice bit of mid-to-late week optimism as we continue to recover from that what-the-hell-just-happened incident in Green Bay. If nothing else, the Skins are apparently a weekly solid pick for gambling purposes, as Steinz points out. Is he perhaps grasping for positives in order to land another MAO of the Week? Like the NFC, the race is wide open.
Speaking of the NFC and a wide open race, we are heartened that it only took one Cowboys’ loss to see the words “T.O.” and “frustration” together again. Downplay it all you wish, but like the inherent game-breaking ability of Santana Moss, the dissent in Dallas is just under the surface, waiting to explode. The Vikings could do us all a favor this weekend by truly exposing it. The Cardinals could further do us a favor by just being the Cardinals, and getting the Skins back into the thick of things.