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At Midway Point, Redskins In a Good Position


The Redskins are 6-2 at the midway point of the regular season for the first time since 2000.


Now the push begins, Jim Zorn said.

Typically, it is in November and December that champions are made, and Zorn wants his players to start to build momentum heading into the second half of the season.

"We were 3-1 in our first four games, and 3-1 in our second four," Zorn said. "So we're feeling really solid about our record.

"Now this is the push where the teams begin to define themselves. And so we're hoping that we can keep this thing going."

From a schedule standpoint, the Redskins appear to be in a favorable position.

The Redskins' toughest games in the second half of the season are at FedExField. Those opponents--Pittsburgh, Dallas, New York Giants and Philadelphia--have a combined record of 20-9.

Meantime, the Redskins four road opponents in the second half of the season--Seattle, Baltimore, Cincinnati and San Francisco--have a combined record of 8-22.

On Nov. 3, the Redskins return to FedExField to host the Steelers on Monday Night Football.

While the Redskins were defeating the winless Detroit Lions 25-17 at Ford Field, the Steelers lost a hard-hitting, physical game to the Giants 21-14.

A strong performance against the Steelers could put the Redskins on the national radar, so to speak. The last time the Redskins played in a nationally televised game was in Week 1, when they lost to the Giants 16-7.

Then, after five preseason games and nine regular season games, the Redskins have their bye week.

Finally, a break.

"We've been going through a long road," Jason Campbell admitted last week. "You are talking about a total of 14 games straight before we even get a break. It's definitely to the point where we have to stay strong before we get to the bye week.

"Guys are getting a lot of bumps and bruises, including myself. This team has to continue to push through before we even think about getting to our bye week."

After the bye, the Redskins host the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, another nationally televised affair. Dallas goes into that game coming off a bye as well.

Washington defeated the Cowboys 26-24 at Texas Stadium earlier this season.

The Redskins head back out on to the road in Week 12, traveling to Seattle to take on the struggling Seahawks.

That game is certain to have special meaning for head coach Jim Zorn, who starred at quarterback for the Seahawks from 1976-84 and served as an assistant coach there from 2001-07.

The Redskins have lost two playoff games in Seattle in the last three years, so players should be extra motivated to play well at noisy Qwest Field.

The following week, the Redskins return to FedExField to host the Giants in Week 13 in a game that should have significant meaning in terms of the NFC East race.

The Redskins begin their December stretch run with two road games against AFC North opponents.

First up are the surprising Baltimore Ravens and then the struggling Cincinnati Bengals.

Washington hosts the Philadelphia Eagles on Dec. 21 in what promises to be another pivotal NFC East matchup. The Redskins defeated the Eagles 23-17 at Lincoln Financial Field earlier this season.

The regular season finale is in San Francisco against the 49ers on Dec. 28.

Could this be a game with NFC East implications? The last time the Redskins clinched the NFC East crown was in San Francisco in 1999, when they defeated the 49ers 26-20 in overtime.

For now, the Redskins will look to get past the Steelers game and get healthy for the stretch run.

Cornelius Griffin, Shawn Springs, Chris Samuels and Chris Horton are among starters who have missed time in recent games.

Winning games has made it easier to battle through injuries the last few weeks, Campbel said.

"You're playing with a lot of momentum, you're playing with expectations, and everyone is pushing each other and holding each other accountable for everything we do," Campbell said.

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