I don’t know if they’re good guys or bad guys, because they won’t take off their masks. It’s almost half way through the season, and there are no distinguishable characteristics about this team. There are some individuals distinguishing themselves, but collectively they are somewhat featureless.
I hear everybody talk about how much better the team is this year than last, and I’m not denying that’s so; however, if you want to do a true litmus test, forget last year and take a look at 2008. Last year was an abomination, precipitated by maniacal forces, but ’08 is a truer test, because it was Zorn’s first year and the withering influence of his boss had not been applied.
If I recall, Clinton Portis was an MVP candidate midway through the season, and the defense was crushing everybody they faced up until the half way point. And, in fact, most people thought Jim Zorn was going to be the next Joe Gibbs, based on who and how they played.
It started with a humiliating loss in NY, then came the unlikely victory over the Saints, and everybody thought the bomb to Moss had finally ignited the dormant Jason Campbell. A squeaky win over Arizona set the stage for what everyone thought would be a tough loss in Dallas. But, instead Washington dominated, as Portis ran for 121 yards. Philly was next, and after they jumped to an early lead it was all Washington as they won 23 to 17, and again it was Portis for 145 yards. They had dominated the Eagles, too. St. Louis came to town and walked away with a victory that went down to the wire. They beat Cleveland in a game they could have lost and the same was true for Detroit.
Detroit is next week, game number eight same as two years ago, and when I think about the 2008 season, it seems it was eerily similar to what we’ve witnessed so far this season. This season has the same feel with the close calls and down to the gun endings. And, there’s the inconsistent quarterback play, and an offense that can’t score. Actually, in the early part of the ’08 season, unlike now, the team seemed to have an identity; it was Portis and a hard nosed defense. And until they got to the back half of the schedule, it was “Zippity do dah, Zippity aye, My oh my what a wonderful day.”
The main difference between these two teams is the coaching. In ’08 it was a promising rookie that was upbeat and talkative, but not a recognizable brand. Now you have a taciturn big brand coach who for whatever reason had gone stale in Denver and was terminated.
Are we dealing with iron pyrite or fool’s gold, or are we looking at a Sutter’s Creek in 1849. It would probably be a good idea to let this team be assayed before anyone goes yelling that the Burgundy and Gold have hit a rich vein of ore. It could be the Mother Lode, of course, it could be Another Load.