Aug 14, 2009, 7:45 AM EDT
In yesterday’s Washington Examiner, Rick Snider made the argument that the NFL needs to go from four preseason games to two and to increase the regular season from 16 to 18 games. I wholeheartedly agree with my friend and I will add one more reason to his list. Two fewer preseason games will give Redskins fans two fewer occasions for irrational fretting.
It’s not that there aren’t reasons for some concern. Getting shut out is not good. The Ravens’ first-team offense moved the ball with ease against the front-line Washington D (minus Albert Haynesworth and Carlos Rogers). Justin Tryon, who was much hyped here and in other places, was burned a few times.
And the two teams played at different levels. The Redskins showed effort; the Ravens displayed intensity.
But some perspective is necessary. It was the first of four preseason games, glorified practices with lights, a clock, and referees. The starting offense, such as it was minus its Pro Bowl running back and top wide receiver, played two series. Jason Campbell was three for six for 38 yards. If in, say, Week 6 the Redskins go out and their starting offense gains 40 yards and three first downs we would say that they’re off to a bit of a sluggish start but it wouldn’t be any cause for major concern, especially against a top-flight defense such as the Ravens’.
But because the starters hit the bench after that, it’s all we have to go on and so numerous participants in my live blog last night already have abandoned hope for the 2009 season and are ready to draft an offensive tackle with the 2010 top-five pick the Redskins surely are going to have.
Just do yourself a favor and take a deep breath and put down the sharp objects. The 2009 Redskins won’t make anyone forget about the ’08 Patriots or anything but they aren’t going to get shut out for the season, either. The defense will give up fewer yards when Albert Haynesworth is in the lineup.
If you want a good recap of what really matters in these “games”—the individual performances and matchups—go check out John Keim’s blog in the Examiner. Outstanding analysis by the writer who is, by far, the best one covering the Redskins when it comes to breaking down techniques, X’s and O’s, and the like. (Hint: click on the “continue reading” link first, it’s much easier to read.)
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