By Samuel O. Doku, Ph.D.
This past Sunday, Redskins’ quarterback Kirk Cousins, for the first time in his career, threw more than one touchdown in a game to lead the Washington Redskins to an improbable 31-30 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The win has put the Redskins in second place behind the New York Giants in an underperforming NFC East Conference that has only the Giants with a winning record, 4-3.
The Redskins, 3-4, recovered from the largest deficit in franchise history when they came back from 24 points to sneak past the Buccaneers. After the fine win against the Buccaneers, the Redskins will rest this weekend and return on November 8 to battle against undefeated New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
Sadly for the Redskins, Bill Belichick, Rob Gronkowski, Brady, and the Patriots have been infuriated this season, so they are on the warpath. So far, they have brushed aside all their opponents and will be looking forward in a couple of Sundays to add the Redskins to their unfortunate victims.
For me, I am scared for the Redskins anytime they have to play the Patriots. The Patriots always have a way of making life uncomfortable for coaches of the Redskins. Probably Bellichick and Brady resent the name Redskins, so anytime the two teams clash, the Patriots play as if they are in a survival mode and beating the Redskins soundly is their only saving grace.
Such is the fiery resentment the Patriots have for the Redskins that during the reign of Steve Spurrier and Patrick Ramsey, the Patriots walloped the ‘Skins 56-0, compelling Spurrier to lose interest in coaching at the NFL level. And, Ramsey never recovered from that massacre forcing him to retire from the game.
November 8, consequently, will possibly be Cousins’s most important game yet because that is the game that will either define him as a legitimate starter in the NFL or undo him and perpetually relegate him to the role of a back-up.
The good news for Cousins is that he has excellent receivers in Pierre Garcon and Jordan Reed while the bulky frame of Alfred Morris will ensure some leverage in the running game. However, for Cousins to find Garcon and Reed, he needs protection from his offensive linemen.
Hopefully, the linemen will eat well enough so that by the time it gets to the second half, they will not play as if they are starving and have no energy left in them to do their job.