Here is how the Redskins stand after nine games:
vs. NFC East: 0-1
vs. NFC: 3-4
Opposition cumulative record: 44-38-1
Cumulative of teams beaten: 15-13
Cumulative of teams lost to: 29-25-1
Record of teams remaining on schedule: 29-35
Offensive MVP (season to date) We will see if the Panthers and Steelers have found the key to stopping Robert Griffin III or whether a combination of a lot of dropped passes (vs. Pittsburgh) and being a little bit off in his accuracy (vs. Carolina) have contributed more to him coming back to earth. Still, he has been the man on offense all year and the main reason that they have a chance to win week after week.
Defensive MVP: I am going to have to leave this one vacant this week. Even though the defense was better against the Panthers—if you allow only 21 points your team should at least be competitive in the game—the unit’s record speaks for itself. While there have been some good individual performances in individual games, nobody has distinguished himself week in and week out.
Top three storylines:
Playoffs start now: If the Redskins want to make the postseason and avoid going into true “evaluation” mode, they can’t afford to lose another game. Running the table would be a very tall task when you consider the fact that they haven’t won more than two games in a row since 2008. But they are taking it one game at a time and they will see what they can do starting Sunday.
Kicking them while they’re down: The Eagles were in turmoil going into both of the games against Washington last year and both times the Redskins let them off the hook. But maybe those Eagles teams weren’t as bad as their record indicated. This time they aren’t facing Michael Vick and the Eagles have been outscored by 65 points this year, the worst scoring margin in the league. If the Redskins don’t win this one you have to wonder if they can ever be competitive in the division.
Rookie QB blues: The Redskins have lost their last eight games against rookie quarterbacks, a skid that goes back to 2006. They need to stop that streak this Sunday.
Next three games
Sunday vs. Eagles (3-6, tied for 3rd in NFC East)—The loser of this game has the NFC East basement all to itself.
Nov. 22 (Thanksgiving) @ Cowboys (4-5, second in NFC East)—The Redskins face a quick turnaround to face a team that may be putting it together at just the right time. Or, maybe the Cowboys are just setting up their fans for the crash and disappointment that seems to come every year.
Dec. 3 (Monday night) vs. Giants (6-4, first in NFC East)—The defending champs have been very beatable lately and they face a tough schedule down the stretch.