The Washington Times - September 16, 2009, 08:04AM

Chins up, Redskins fans. Your heroes might have lost to the Giants in Week 1, but did you really expect to win in New York? C’mon now.

What’s more, Washington’s next five foes — St. Louis, Detroit, Tampa Bay, Carolina and Kansas City — all lost their openers and by an average of 20 points. So the Redskins are in good shape for a winless team.


That’s not the case for five other teams with playoff hopes.

Carolina, after pounded by Philadelphia 38-10 at home, visits defending NFC South champion Atlanta, which beat Miami 19-7 last week. The Panthers and Falcons split their division series the past three seasons, but at least Carolina has emerged victorious from three of its last four trips to the Georgia Dome.

Tennessee led Pittsburgh late last Thursday before losing in overtime at the Super Bowl champions. The Titans had three extra days of rest/preparation for AFC South rival Houston, which won their last meeting 13-12 but is 1-6 alltime in Nashville.

The Texans, .500 last year, were thrashed 24-7 at home last week by the New York Jets and are staring at an 0-2 start as they try to qualify for postseason for the first time in their 8-year history.

Chicago couldn’t have had a worse debut with new quarterback Jay Cutler throwing four interceptions and team leader Brian Urlacher suffering a season-ending dislocated wrist in the 21-15 loss to NFC South archrival Green Bay. And now the Bears get the Steelers, who have those extra days of rest and preparation.

Arizona, which led Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLIII with less than a minute to go, opened with a stinker, a 20-16 home loss to NFC West foe San Francisco. The Jaguars battled Indianapolis to the wire on the road before losing 14-12. The Cardinals, who rarely play well on the East Coast, need to hope that their divisional round upset at Carolina is a reflection of what’s to come Sunday rather than their 0-5 regular season record back East in 2008.

— David Elfin