By: Sean Mathews
Coming out of a much needed bye week the Redskins face uncertainty in the second half of the season. The Redskins face off against the Eagles for the second time under an intense Monday night spotlight in a game that will set the tone for the rest of the season. They can not afford to lose. However, the challenge that the Redskins face in week ten is daunting and I fear the outcome might be less than sensational. Two factors are going to hamper the Redskins efforts significantly. Be ready for disappointment.
The first factor affecting the Redskins is injuries. The loss of Chris Horton fortunately won’t affect a defense which gives up nearly 400 yards a game. To say that the defense is suspect is an understatement; it’s downright criminal. Horton for the most part has been a non-factor with only two tackles on the year. Donovan McNabb is ailing right now, but what’s new? His hamstrings hurt, but I don’t find that surprising. Coach Mike Shanahan has said that he’s not anywhere close to 100 percent? Well, he hasn’t played anywhere close to 100 percent in any game besides Houston. The injury that is really going to kill the Redskins is Brandon Banks. Though Shanahan says Banks could play in week ten, I highly doubt it. Banks has accumulated almost 700 yards in combined kick off and punt returns, averaging 27 and 14 yards a carry respectively. He has more yards than Clinton Portis and Ryan Torain combined. Without Banks, the Skins give up field position. On top of that, Banks is a game-changer with ability to transform the momentum of a game whenever he touches the ball.
The other factor is -you guessed it- Michael Vick. Every one has been ranting and raving about Vick, and to give credit where it is due, he deserves it. I am certain that if Vick had not been injured in the previous matchup, the Eagles would have won. Add a healthy LeSean McCoy to the mix and the Eagles backfield is downright scary. The Redskins will have their hands full containing Vick alone. I don’t think the defense is good enough to stop a quarterback that can rush like a dedicated running back and throw like John Elway. Yes, I just made that analogy. Michael Vick’s arm is on fire.
So where does this leave the Redskins? Not in a very good position. The Titans lead the AFC South, so week 11 looks to be a bruiser. The Redskins might have some luck against the Vikings in week 12 though. That game will come down to which Brett Favre decides to show up. Against the Eagles though, the Skins will just have to hope that McNabb plays like he did as an Eagle and Vick has an off day. I’m not holding on to hope that either happens. The Skins lose 17-31.
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