The only solace for Redskin fans following Sunday’s 17-16 loss to the Rams is the news that came out Monday about the rival Cowboys — Tony Romo’s broken finger putting him out of action, and the likelihood that Adam “Pacman” Jones will be suspended for his fight last week with his bodyguard. The Redskins fell. The Cowboys are imploding.
That said, the loss to the Rams is very damaging. You have to beat teams like that when you play them at home. You can excuse a loss like that on the road to an inspired team with a new coach.
But at home, what you just did is lose any leeway in the three games you have to play at home against the Cowboys, Eagles and Giants later in the season at home. Of this three-game creampuff stretch in the schedule — the Rams, the Brown and the Lions — the one that had an asterisk for the potential of losing is the Lions, because it is in Detroit. You can take some comfort in rationalizing that the Redskins still nearly beat the Rams despite giving the game away with three turnovers. And they probably will go on to beat Cleveland and Detroit and have a 6-2 record at the halfway mark. But when you look back on this season when it is coming to a close, and the stakes are higher for a place in the playoffs, the Rams loss will hurt even more now than it did on Sunday.
I asked Jim Zorn after the game if there was a point where he thought the momentum turned. He said he wasn’t sure until he had a chance to review the film. For me, it happened in the first quarter. The Redskins had just recovered the Rams fumble and went in for the touchdown to go up 7-0. Then, when St. Louis got the ball back, quarterback Marc Bulger threw the ball right into LaRon Landry’s hands for an interception, but Landry dropped it. It would have put Washington right in field goal territory, and at the very least, they could have taken a 10-0 lead early the game, and took the fight right out of the Rams. They could have even survived Pete Kendall’s fumble if Landry holds onto that ball.
In case you didn’t know, there was a heavyweight title fight over the weekend. Vitali Klitschko, after retiring three years ago when his Soviet bloc-built body broke down and an aborted run for mayor of Kiev, came out of retirement and fought Samuel Peters (yes, I know, who?) for the World Boxing Council heavyweight title in Berlin. Vitali stopped Peters after eight rounds, and now he and his brother Wladimir hold the WBC, International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Organization and International Boxing Organization heavyweight crowns. They might as well be the heavyweight champions of Laurel for all these titles are worth.
Radio note: I will be on The Sports Reporters on ESPN 980 AM from 5 to 7 p.m. today (Monday).
To learn more about Thom Loverro, go to www.thomloverro.com