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The Tuesday Take—Just One Game

Sep 16, 2008, 10:56 AM EDT

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Crow is a popular dish around town today.

Everyone from the elite media to the sports yappers at the bars and on the radio and those who pound away on the message boards is now reconsidering their harsh criticism they heaped on all things burgundy and gold after the Washington Redskins’ loss to the Giants in the season opener.

Last week there was no way that Jason Campbell could succeed in a West Coast offense or any offense for that matter. Today he’s a rising star. Jim Zorn was unprepared to be a head coach last week, now he is a bright, gutty play caller and leader. Jason Taylor was a liability against the run and had lost his pass rushing punch, now he’s a lively, cagey veteran. A week ago the Redskins had no depth, today after the performances of H. B. Blades and defensive player of the week candidate Chris Horton they have considerable talent waiting in the wings.

As Mike Wise said in his column on Monday, “Being a fan, media member or both in this weekly referendum town, after all, is nothing if not being fickle.”

That’s all well and good, but it all makes no sense. You can’t tell a whole lot more about how the Redskins will fare in 2008 and beyond after the Saints game than you could after the New York game. Certainly, one-eighth of the season is a better gauge than one-sixteenth of the season.

But it’s just as foolish to say that the Redskins are out of the woods today as it was to say that they were in deep doo-doo a week ago.

This game could prove to be the Jacksonville game of 2006, a gusher of offense in the midst of a year nearly devoid of consistent offensive production.

Some of the naysayers are taking only a nibble or two of crow and some are not eating any of it at all. This group is saying that Campbell and the Redskins faced a mediocre defense that was missing multiple starters.

That’s fair enough. But the Redskins will face more middle-of-the-road defensive teams the rest of the way than they will Giants-caliber units. In fact, they have one such defense coming up this Sunday in the Arizona Cardinals. The Redskins could have another big day offensively coming up.

Or they could struggle like they did when they hosted the Cardinals last year. You can’t microwave a conclusion about the 2008 Redskins or about Jim Zorn or Jason Campbell or Chris Horton or Jason Taylor or any other individual or group. It’s going to take longer, at least another month, until the Redskins have played a representative sample of opponents. It will be at least that long until other teams have had a chance to learn what a Jim Zorn offense is and how best to attack it. The Redskins then will need to counter-adjust and we then will know what we have.

Until then, other will continue to continue to attempt to apply deep meaning to short-term events. The policy here will continue to be to wait and see.

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