I felt strange on Sunday as we were spanking the hell out of the Atlanta Falcons. I was not overly excited, I was more in a state of tranquility as we came out and waxed a team that in all honesty, we should have waxed, home or road. It was a pivotal game in the fact that it put us in the drivers seat of the NFC South. With 3 divisional games remaining, two at home (Carolina and Atlanta) and one on the road (New Orleans) we are pretty much in control of our own fate. Worst case scenario is losing all 3 games, and even still, Carolina is 2-2, New Orleans 1-2 and Atlanta 1-3 in the division. I think our schedule is setting up favorably down the stretch for us to make a real run at the playoffs. We are a turnover and a dropped pass away from being 8-2 (Jax and Detroit) during two games which we lost by a combined 3 points. I know many teams can claim the same thing, and the only thing that matters is the W or the L, but this is a solid, physical inspired football team on the field, and Sunday was the culmination of that brand of football.
We got 3 players back on Sunday that are key contributors to our team as Alex Smith (3 catches, 51 yards and a touch) and Michael Pittman (10 rushes, 44 yards, 2 receptions, 17 yards) made there presence felt Sunday at the Georgia Dome. It was Jeff Garcia’s worst day completion % wise, but he still finished with no turnovers and two touches. We showed a true commitment to the running game, as Ernest Graham and Pittman combined for 146 yards rushing. The defense made Byron Leftwich and Joey Harrington pay all day long as we combined for 4 sacks, two interceptions and 3 forced fumbles.
Our next few weeks shape up as follows:
- Washington 11/25 @ Ray Jay
- New Orleans 12/2 @ The Superdome
- Houston 12/9 @ Reliant Stadium
- Atlanta 12/16 @ Ray Jay
- San Francisco 12/23 @ Whatever the hell they call that place this year
- Carolina 12/30 @ Ray Jay
Now even winning the 3 home games, and the game @ San Fran, we would finish 10-6. I do not see any way that we finish worse than 9-7 barring an injury to Jeff Garcia which we just can not afford at this point in the season. Let’s hope we bring that same fervor and passion post Thanksgiving against the ‘Skins. I’m sure last years loss to the ‘Skins @ Ray Jay in Jason Campbell’s first start is still on a lot of players minds’.