The Washington Times - September 22, 2008, 01:58PM

If you looked at the Redskins schedule before the season started with a reasonable eye, you had to realize that these two recent home games — against the Saints and the Cardinals — were must wins if they were going to realistically complete for a postseason berth. The new Jim Zorn team has accomplished that with the 24-17 win Sunday over Arizona. The opener against the Giants on a Thursday night at the Meadowland with the post Super Bowl championship celebration had to be considered a loss going in.

And while the next two games, both on the road, against Dallas and Philadelphia might fall in that same category, at least fans can feel fired up going into the Dallas game that their team is competitive — though the thought is scary of trying to protect Jason Campbell from that aggressive Cowboy pressure. Still, if the Redskins come out of these first five games with a 2-3 record, they are in good shape. They should be able to win the following two at home against weak opponents, the Rams and the Browns, and then go on the road to beat the Lions in Detroit. That’s 5-3 after eight weeks, and you have to figure that this offense will be better in the second half, after more time under the West Coast system, then in the first half, and better equipped to face the Giants, Cowboys and Eagles the second time around at home.

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One other NFL note — it was great to see the Dolphins destroy the Patriots on Sunday in Foxboro. I like the Patriots. I think they are the best organization in football and Bill Belichek, with or without a camera, is the best coach in the league. But their fans were so smug about going on without Tom Brady, not missing a beat, and believing that backup quarterback Matt Cassel could carry them along. That was an insult to Brady.

One musical note — there are a few things I have seen in my life that I feel fortunate to have witnessed: A baseball game at Ebbets Field , The Three Stooges live in a stage show James Brown when he was still the hardest working man in show business. And, Sunday night at the 9:30 Club, Booker T and the MGs playing Green Onions live. To see Steve Cropper, one of the greatest songwriters and guitar players of our time, and one of the founders of the Memphis sound, was a privilege. They were fabulous, along with Eddie Floyd, who sang “Knock on Wood.”

- Thom Loverro