Today’s forecast is mostly somber with chance of afternoon angst.
I would also like to debunk reports that the sky is falling in Redskins Nation. That’s just a little rain.
As a side note, huge props to the people that were here to greet the team at Redskins Park at 5:30 a.m. I’m not sure who you are, but I can tell you that, seeing you here at a totally unreasonable hour, in the rain, after a loss, made an impression on members of the organization. Nice work.
Last night was an emotional loss, and it isn’t any less emotional on two hours of sleep. But there is a greater degree of clarity, looking at it in the rear-view mirror.
By the numbers, there is no must-win in Week 3. The season is younger than this football, and the Redskins are still own a share of first place in the NFC East, with the tie-breaker over the Giants.
Additionally, there are no guarantees on the road. In an even match, home teams are generally granted a three-point spread, a number that the Cowboys didn’t cover last night. Since 2003, the Redskins have only won 38 percent of road games, next to the league average of 43 percent. Remove the Colts and Patriots from that equation, and the league average sinks to 41 percent. Road teams simply do not win all that often.
More importantly, when it comes to measuring the character of a man, it’s looking at how he acts when he thinks that no one is watching. When it comes to measuring the character of a team, it’s looking at how they respond to a loss when everyone is watching.
There’s nothing easy or comforting about the way that the Redskins lost last night, and salvaging any individuals from the wreckage is irresponsible. This team won its first two games as a team, and they lost last night as a team.
Good teams don’t make excuses, and great teams don’t need to. Based on the overall product that they have exhibited in the first three week, this is a good team. More importantly, this group has the leadership to tighten the ranks and get back to work to prepare for the Rams.
As we learned this week: actions speak louder than proclamations and bravado.
The team has off today, due to NFL regulations. This coaching staff had an expectation of winning last night’s game, and a loss did not sit well in the locker room or team plane. Head coach Mike Shanahan let his players know last night that they would be grinding harder than ever, starting Wednesday morning.
How this young team responds to their first setback will define the character and set the tone for the rest of the season.