Golston: We need to win, but the leash is short
The three-day, mini-bye week the Redskins received after Thursday night’s collapse in Minneapolis came at precisely the right time for a team in desperate need of hitting the reset button, according to Reed Doughty.
“It’s always helpful,” the veteran safety said of the time off. “We just kinda set our goals for the rest of the season. …It takes a lot. People don’t understand how hard it is to play with the same energy when things aren’t going well. Guys are going to have to look within themselves and come out here and play with some fire.”
The Redskins return to action this weekend in Philadelphia, where they’ll face red-hot Nick Foles and the surging Eagles. Philly has won two games in a row behind Foles, who tossed a combined 10 touchdowns and no interceptions in wins over the Raiders and Packers.
With the day off Sunday, Doughty was afforded a rare in-season opportunity to watch some games. So, naturally, he tuned in to watch Foles beat the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers, 27-13, in Green Bay.
“I watching the game; why not?” Doughty said. “We have time, see what they are about. And obviously I saw them make some big plays. And obviously they can run the football with LeSean McCoy, who is very, very dynamic. So we’ll see what the game plan is.”
Doughty also took note of how the Eagles’ offense has adapted under Foles. When the Redskins lost to Philly in Week 1, Michael Vick was the Eagles’ signal caller. Vick, however, is sidelined with a hamstring injury.
“He’s very patient,” Doughty said of Foles, who has amassed 16 touchdowns and no interceptions this season. “You saw him have some very good success with the seven touchdowns [against the Raiders]. He looked poised [against the Packers]. Looked like his receivers made some plays, as well. So, I think we’ll have our hands full.”
Asked what he remembered about Washington's 33-27 loss to the Eagles in September, Doughty said it wasn’t a lack of familiarity with Chip Kelly’s offense but rather a slow start that doomed the Redskins.
“They got us on our heels early and once you’re down a few scores, it’s hard to come back against an offense like that because it opens up everything,” Doughty said. “It [also] takes away our ability to run the ball. So we’re definitely going to have to start on a better foot this time.”
At 3-6, the Redskins are in a familiar spot. A year ago, they had the same record when they faced the Eagles following some time off. In that game, Washington prevailed 31-6 to jumpstart a seven-game charge to the playoffs. This year, the Redskins will likely have to win 6 of their final seven games to have a puncher's chance of repeating as division champs.
Asked if the Redskins are confident they can duplicate last year’s defeat, Doughty said: “I’m not sure we had the confidence [in 2012]. The only confidence you can get is from winning games. So people want to talk about getting on a streak …but you’ve got to play better and you’ve got play consistently. And you have to start by winning one game.”
Doughty also said the Redskins must guard against taking a step back and looking at schedule after Sunday’s game. (We did anyway, and we covered it in this story about the remaining schedules for the NFC East teams.)
“At the end of the day, we’ve known for a while that we control our destiny,” Doughty added. “We’ve been saying, ‘We have a shot, we have a shot, we have shot.’ Well, you have to win games that you’re supposed to win and you’re going to have to win some games you’re not supposed to win at this point.”