Tuesday, September 19, 2006

An Open Letter To Redskins Fans

Dear Redskins Fan,

Come away from the ledge. Put away your noose. Take the gun barrel out of your mouth. This is not the end of the world.

Yes, John Hall missed the game-tying field goal against Minnesota on a night where the offense had problems moving the ball inside the opposition's 20. Yes, Rock Cartwright's kickoff return was the majority of the offense on Monday night. Yes, the team is 0-2. But in case you haven't noticed, all of the other teams in our division are 1-1. We are only a game behind.

You have to realize that the Al Saunders offense is not easily learned. When Saunders was calling the plays for one of the league's best offenses (the Chiefs from 2001-2005), he had Trent Green at the helm. In his first year in the system, Green threw for over 3700 yards, but also 17 touchdowns to 24 interceptions. The next season, he threw for 26 TDs and 13 INTs. You don't just drop into this new offense and immediately start to perform. Also realize that to this point the Redskins have been playing without a healthy Clinton Portis and defenses don't have a reason to respect the run. We would all like Mark Brunell to be relied upon more to manage games than to win them, and until the running game is full strength (Portis says he'll be back this Sunday), we won't have that.

Speaking of this Sunday, we're playing winless Houston. They looked good in their first drive against Philadelphia but looked pretty bad after that, and most of their offensive success against Indianapolis came with the game well out of hand. This is a road game which we all know is no easy thing in the NFL, but it is still winnable nonetheless. With Dallas on a bye week (someone please explain why not just send each individual division on a bye for each bye week so as to avoid situations where Dallas, an NFC East team, is on a bye week with Kansas City, Oakland, and San Diego, all from the AFC West), New York travelling to unimpressive Seattle, and Philadelphia at San Francisco, it is important that the Redskins get a win at Houston to keep pace with a division that could have two 2-1 teams in it on Monday.

Look at the teams who are supposed to be playoff teams who are 0-2: Miami, Carolina, and Tampa Bay - and Carolina was picked by many to get to the Super Bowl. If we can pick up a win on Sunday we're still in the thick of it despite potentially being 1-2. We may be 0-2, but there's no reason to panic yet.

Yours in Burgundy and Gold,