Losing Doesn't Taste Good
Have you gotten over last Sunday's three-point loss to the Steelers?
Neither have I. Losing doesn't taste good, especially to THEM.
I'm not supposed to let it linger. I'm with the team. We have the 24-hour rule for winning and losing. It's OK to celebrate for one day, and you have to get over a loss in the same time.
Then we move on. It's the next game. All of our focus, all of our energy needs to be on beating the Redskins. I get that. It's hard to win in the NFL, and you need everything you can muster to win the next one.
But it's hard. Maybe it's because it was the Steelers. We love to beat them, and we especially like to sweep them. Maybe it's because it was the first loss at M&T Bank Stadium in two years. We had won 15 in a row at home.
Maybe it was losing an AFC North game. We had a 12-game winning streak in the division, tied with Peyton Manning's Colts for the longest divisional run since the 2002 realignment.
Maybe it was Charlie Batch. (Hey, I thought he played pretty well.)
Maybe it's because every place I went this week people reminded me about last Sunday and warned me about "that Redskins quarterback."
Maybe it was all of the above.
Now it's the Redskins at FedExField. It's RGIII – Robert Griffin III – the anti-Batch: young, mobile and playing at the highest level.
Did you watch the rookie quarterback Monday night against the defending Super Bowl champion Giants? Yikes! Fastest guy on the field, hiding the ball, hitting receivers down field and running away from New York defenders.
Washington has it going right now. They're hot. Along with Denver – our next opponent – the hottest in the NFL. The Redskins have won three in a row. They're in the playoff hunt.
Have Ravens Lost Confidence? No Way.
The Redskins are 6-6 and playing with confidence. We are 9-3, and – well, there are some who think we've lost our confidence.
That's what losing that game last Sunday did.
But, let me remind you what the great Bill Parcells said over and over again: YOU ARE WHAT YOUR RECORD SAYS YOU ARE. PERIOD.
If the Redskins win three more games in a row, they will have nine victories, and they will have earned each and every one of those triumphs. We have earned each of our nine wins already. We are in the thick of the playoff race – again. We are being chased. We have a two-game lead in our division with four games to play.
We aren't there by accident. We find ways to win. I might be licking wounds still – like a lot of our fans – but I don't feel that from our team. I sense confidence from our players and coaches.
This is what a Baltimore Sun reporter wrote on Wednesday: "The Ravens looked like a team very lucky to be 9-3."
Lucky is making a first down on fourth-and-29.
Unlucky is traveling across the country to play San Diego after playing a beat-each-other-up Sunday night game at Pittsburgh.
Lucky is playing the Steelers with Big Ben hurt.
Unlucky is playing the Steelers at home with the game on the line with these injured defenders watching from the sideline: Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis, Lardarius Webb, Jimmy Smith and Dannell Ellerbe.
Lucky is playing three of our first four games at home.
Unlucky is playing at the Eagles when Michael Vick is fresh and playing at the Redskins when their rookie QB quarterback has 12 games under his belt. (Would have been better to play the Redskins in Week 2 Two, and I'd be feeling better if we were playing the Eagles now.)
Lucky is playing the Redskins after they played on Monday night.
Unlucky is playing the Broncos when they have 10 days to rest and prepare after they won in Oakland last night.
Here's my point. I don't believe in luck. The Ravens don't either. Things work out. It is unusual when the best-coached, hardest-working, most physical team loses to one with similar talent.
I like our chances in Washington. Good teams find a way.
Leave It To "Q"
Anquan Boldin doesn't make many bold statements. He's smart and knows how to feed the media without creating a headline. Boldin is tough, practical, productive and a leader. I like what "Q" said this week: "We are alright. We're 9-3. We're still in the lead in our division. We're still going to win this division, so we're OK."
Joe Flacco added more: "Everybody wants to act like the world's coming down on us when we've lost one game. We're a 9-3 team. We're not 3-9. We have three losses, not nine. We didn't feel good losing at home to the Steelers. We can't go back. We can do something about it this week."
The Ravens' RGIII
One of the problems playing the Redskins is that Griffin allows them to run an offense not common in the NFL. Teams don't have quarterbacks who can simulate in practices what RGIII does. Well, most teams don't.
Dean Pees, our defensive coordinator, was offering tips to backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor on how to best give the Ravens defense a taste of Griffin in practices this week. "Tyrod is very good at running other team's offenses, but this one is different, and I wanted certain things from him," Pees explained. "Then it dawned on me that Dennis [Dixon] ran the thing at Oregon."
Dixon, who is a member of our practice squad, provided our defense excellent simulations of Griffin this week. "He gave us the looks we needed. The ball fakes, the movement, the quick throws, Dennis helped us a lot this week," Pees added.
Yes, the Redskins are hot. They've won three in a row. They're playing at home, they are in the playoff hunt for the first time since 2007, and their fans are going to be in a frenzy. We'll show up. We might be banged up some. We might be a little discouraged from losing to the Steelers, but the Redskins are going to get the best we have, and the best we have makes me feel pretty good. We find ways to win. Let's beat Washington.
Talk with you next week.