There are many Redskins fans who have an uneasy feeling about the game against the Cowboys coming up on Monday night. It’s not so much that they are playing Tony Romo-less Dallas, although they can be a dangerous team. It’s the fact that the game is being played in prime time.
The Redskins have not done well under the lights in recent times. Since the start of the 2013 season they are 1-7 playing on Monday, Thursday, or Sunday night. That certainly does not make the investment fans make of staying up late and showing up bleary-eyed to work the next morning worthwhile.
Kirk Cousins was asked if the Redskins have had any discussions about the problems under the lights. He made an excellent point.
“Well, we haven’t been great under the big spotlight the last couple years, but we haven’t been great in a lot of situations the last couple years, you know?” he said.
That’s true. In the last two-plus seasons their winning percentage in night games has been .125. In all games it has been .302. Sure their record in all games is better but if it was on a report card you would be reluctant to bring it home. They would have had problems winning games on Tuesday afternoons or Friday at midnight.
When they have been playing well in all games, they have been playing well under the lights.
“[In] 2012, we were really good under the spotlight,” said Cousins. “I remember the division came down to the last game on Sunday Night Football, we won that game. I remember playing on Monday night against the Giants, we won that game. Played on Thanksgiving Day, we won that game. There have been games where I’ve been here where the spotlight was on us and we did consistently win.”
Cousins, of course, is right. In 2012 they went into their bye week at 3-6. They came back and beat the Eagles at FedEx Field on a Sunday afternoon. Four days later they beat the Cowboys 38-31 on Thanksgiving Day. They extended their winning streak to three and evened their record at 6-6 on Monday night against the Giants with a 17-16 win. Three wins later they found themselves playing the Cowboys on Sunday night with the winner taking the NFC East and the loser going home. The Redskins won 28-18.
“I don’t see it so much as, 'Oh, it’s unique to feeling like there’s a lot of eyes on us.’ I think it’s more that we just haven’t been that good, period,” said Cousins. “And we need to be better. Whether it’s Monday night or Sunday afternoon, we need to be better. That’s the focus every week.”
It makes sense that the prime time record will get better if the overall record gets better. The Cowboys are a team the Redskins should beat at FedEx Field no matter when the game is played. We will see if they are a better team.
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