I'm not sure that the Washington Redskins can win the three games in a row necessary to give them a shot at securing a spot in the NFC postseason party.
I am very confident that they can win on game in a row in Cincinnati this Sunday.
The Redskins have been very good at taking care of business against the dregs of the league. The lone banana peel they've hit was in October against the Rams. Other than that, they have thumped the NFL's Little Sisters of the Poor.
And, make no mistake, the Bengals are bottom feeders. They are last in total offense and 24th in total defense. The Bengals' 1-11-1 record isn't all aces.
Their best player, quarterback Carson Palmer, has an elbow injury and has been on the sideline most of the season. In a move that only the Bengals organization would make, they have not put Palmer on injured reserve. Sunday's game will be the ninth straight that Palmer has missed and team was eliminated from the playoff picture before Columbus Day. Rather than pull the plug and put a player on the team that could, you know, help them, the Bengals let him languish. I truly that the thought of paying a player the millions that Palmer makes and not have him available for so much as the coin toss is abhorrent to the Bengals' basic way of doing business.
The coach of any other team that has steadily descended from a playoff appearance in 2005 to the mess that they are today would be on a seat so hot it could bring a giant pot of Cincinnati chili to a boil in a hurry. But Marvin Lewis' job is secure only because Mike Brown and company are too cheap to pay the balance of Lewis' contract, which has two years left on it.
OK, enough of beating up on the Bengals. Their own fans do enough of that. And the Redskins have their own problems, to be sure.
On top of that, Cincinnati has played the NFC East tough this year. They took the Giants to overtime before losing in the Meadowlands, were competitive in Dallas all the way and, yes Donovan, they tied the Eagles.
That and the fact that the Redskins have managed to keep all of their wins competitive into the very late going leads to the conclusion that they will do just enough to post the "W". With 40% their offensive line consisting of players who have either been totally inactive (RT Jason Fabini) or mostly in a reserve role (LT Stephon Heyer) this year the Redskins will grind it out with Clinton Portis on offense. Look for the Mouth That Roared to rumble for a buck-forty.
The Skins' one chance to turn this into a rout is to pick off a few of Ryan Fitzpatrick's passes. In the shocking stat of the day department, the Redskins are tied for 12th in the NFL with 12 interceptions. If they can get a few of those deep in Cincy territory. . .
But that's unlikely. More than likely it will be a lot of three and outs for the Bengals, they'll punt and the Redskins will have to embark on long, sustained scoring drives to put points on the board. Some will make the end zone, most won't. At this point in the season, you are what you are.
Redskins 20, Bengals 10