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The Remaining Division Games


Canadian Hog

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While I'll still be cheering with all my heart over the next 6 weeks, I just don't see us finding a way into the playoffs. That's besides the point though. What I'm most hoping for though over these next 6 weeks is that our team treats the Dallas, Giants, and Eagles games as do or die games. Frankly, our division play has been horrendous, and it seems as though every year we can go look back to division games and say, "Gee, had we had a better division record, we might have gotten into the playoffs." Case in point, in 1999 when we won the NFC East we had a 5-3 division record. It seems as though we play other NFC teams pretty well, we just fall flat on our faces when the division games come around. Look at this season's record, 4-6 overall, 0-3 in the division, yet we are 2-2 vs. the rest of the NFC. Keep in mind that teams we played included Tampa, Seattle, Carolina.....pretty decent competition if you ask me. A season ago, 3-3 vs. NFC teams out of the division, but 1-5 in the division.

What am I trying to say you ask? Its as follows. Before the rest of the league can start taking the Skins seriously, we have to first work on our division foes. I truly believe that we haven't established an identity in our division for the longest time, and that our division rivals just don't respect us. In order to establish any momentum for next season, we have to make a statement to our division rivals, and put together some wins against them. Alot of us talk about how the team has to finish strong and carry it over into next year. In my mind, finishing strong means winning our remaining division games, plain and simple. If we win other remaining games in the process, that's an added bonus. I think back to the 1999 season, where Jon Gruden and the Raiders went into KC for the final regular season game of the year. At the time, Oakland was 7-8, and had lost as far as I know since 1993 in KC (could have even been longer). They pulled out an OT win 41-38, and it seemed as though that huge win propelled them to their AFC West crown and AFC Championship appearance the following year. For us its pretty much the same, the Skins gotta prove to themselves that they can get the job done in the division over these next 6 weeks. The job of learning how to win in the division starts now for us, not during the course of the season next year. This is what I see as being a major key to moving forward next year.

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