Last year, week three was an omen of doom for the Washington Redskins. They faced a bad (but getting better) Detroit Lions team and fell 19-14. It was a sign of the end of the Jim Zorn era, because if you couldn't beat Detroit (who was on a long losing streak going back to 2008) then you couldn't beat anybody. Today the Mike Shanahan 2010 Redskins face a similar challenge in the 0-2 Rams. A team that may have their QB of the future and RB of the now but very little of anything else. This ladies and gentlemen is what some would call a trap game, but I don't. This is a challenge to the Redskins. A challenge to test what this team is made of and what they will do as the team goes forward. Can the Redskins beat a beatable team? Can they send a message to the NFL that they are for real by beating a team that isn't there yet?
It's a good question. Both Jim Zorn and Joe Gibbs teams struggled against the easy teams. Will Mike Shanahan and the players stay up for a game that they should win or will they play down to the Rams level? If the Skins can figure it out and beat the Rams, it can mean that the Skins are still in contention to make a run for the NFCE title. Lose and forget about it.
At least the Skins have a win under their belt. There are a good amount of teams that have yet to win a single game this year. Three teams in particular are teams that many considered to be serious playoff contenders if not possible Super Bowl contenders: Minnesota, Dallas and San Francisco. None of them have looked particularly good and all are desperate to win. Teams that start out 0-3 have about a 4% chance of making the playoffs. It's still not impossible for Dallas or San Francisco since it appears that both teams are playing in weaker divisions (yes, the NFCE looks weak this year) but the odds still aren't good.
Hard to believe that some teams' futures may be determined this early in the season. Name another major team sport where the season can be determined before a quarter of the season is over?