Here is what you need to know on Tuesday, October 2, six days before the Washington Redskins visit the New Orleans Saints.
Usually, an opportunity for a statement game is something that comes up for a team once or twice a year. This month, the Redskins have a chance to make three statements in three weeks. It’s not an exaggeration to say that their coming three games could determine the shape of the 2018 season.
Monday @ Saints
In case you have blocked the Redskins’ last visit to New Orleans out of your memory, here is a quick recap. The visitors grabbed a seven-point lead early in the second quarter and built it up to 15 with just under six minutes to play. And then, well, I’m not going to recap the rest because you either remember it or, if you don’t, you want it to remain forgotten.
This Monday is not really about “revenge”. The Saints didn’t do anything dirty and the Redskins have no reason to think that they were cheated (even though that intentional grounding flag in the last minute was very shaky). The game will be about showing that the Redskins can win this type of game and, after having beaten the Packers last week, show that they can put together two quality wins in a row.
October 14 vs. Panthers
Carolina is 2-1 and they also had their bye this past weekend. They are coming off of an 11-win playoff season. It’s a home game and a conference game for Washington and the Redskins need to gather as many wins as they can in those kinds of games.
But the importance is not what makes this a potential statement game for the Redskins. It’s the fact that they have not beaten Carolina in over 10 years. It hasn’t happened since 2006, a losing streak of five straight games. The common denominator in the last four losses has been quarterback Cam Newton. The Redskins have yet to beat him. If they are going to make headway in the NFC, they are going to have to get past Newton and the Panthers.
October 21 vs. Cowboys
The Redskins’ losing streak against the Cowboys is not as long as the one against the Panthers — it stands at four straight losses — but it has been more painful for the fans and for the organization. Winning the home game against the Cowboys would make a statement that the Redskins can take care of business in the division at home.
It’s probably asking too much for the Redskins to sweep all three of these statement games. But two out of three would put them at 4-2 and as long as one of the wins of over Dallas that would be a good performance for the team at that point in the season.
Today: Off day
Upcoming: Redskins @ Saints (October 8) 6 days; Panthers @ Redskins 12; Cowboys @ Redskins 19
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