Week 10: Washington at Minnesota
Score: Vikings 24, ‘Skins 20
Here’s the deal: The ‘Skins go on the road for a Thursday night showdown with the purple Norsemen. The short week and some dude named Adrian Peterson will prove too much to overcome. It’s that simple.
Week 11: Washington at Philadelphia
Score: ‘Skins 35, Eagles 31
Here’s the deal: Unlike the first meeting between these division rivals, there’s plenty of tape on Chip Kelly’s offense.
Nevertheless, I foresee a shootout and big games from both LeSean McCoy and Alfred Morris. It’s a slow day for the punters but a bonanza for fantasy owners. Who doesn’t love that scenario? Well, besides defensive coordinators and, in this case, Eagles fans…
Week 12: San Francisco at Washington
Score: 49ers 38, ‘Skins 24
Here’s the deal: RGIII versus Colin Kaepernick on Monday Night Football. You gotta love the NFL’s schedulers — totally underrated and likely underpaid. They are to the NFL what teachers are to general society.
Assuming RGIII is still healthy, this is a game that could put him in peril. The 49ers are good enough on defense to get consistent pressure on RGIII and to take away what the ‘Skins like to do on offense. This scenario will compel RGIII to improvise, and when he’s outside of the context of the offense and in daredevil mode, bad things occasionally happen. As Evel Knievel might say, sometimes you clear the cars or fountains, sometimes you don’t.
Maybe my crystal ball is being too pessimistic. Maybe a different RGIII shows up this year, one that strikes a better balance between being a hero on one play and surviving to participate in the next one. What are the odds of that? Well, considering RGIII’s provided no evidence of being a changed player and this game is a primetime affair (something RGIII craves), probably as good as the ‘Skins winning the ball game — in other words, not very good. Niners roll.
Week 13: New York Giants at Washington
Score: ‘Skins 31, Giants 30
Here’s the deal: The ‘Skins’ read-option really gave the Giants fits last season, and their vaunted defensive front was completely neutralized. It will be interesting to see the adjustments the G-Men make this year. The ‘Skins will be on a short week, but remain at home and will have no problem getting juiced for this big division game on Sunday Night Football.
This has all the makings of an epic showdown. After consulting telepathically with Sonny Jurgensen and Y.A. Tittle, I’m forecasting a shootout that picks up speed and intensity as the game progresses. The ending will be a frantic aerial showdown between RGIII and Eli Manning with the former doing just enough to survive a final attempt by the latter to get into field goal range.