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For Redskins, No Time to Dwell On Defeat


Believe it or not, there's something worse than having Terrell Owens decimate your defense with four touchdowns.

It's dwelling on the fact that Terrell Owens has just decimated your defense with four touchdowns.

In other words, the absolute worst thing the Redskins can do at this point is to have that crushing 28-23 setback at Dallas linger in their collective memories.

That's because, at 5-5, the Redskins are still very much in the hunt for one of the NFC's playoff spots.

In fact, if the ball bounces the Redskins' way in the next few days, they can get an inside track as far as a postseason spot is concerned.

Through Week 11, the NFC has six teams at .500 or better. In the NFC East, that's Dallas at 9-1 and the Giants at 7-3.

Then, in the NFC South and West, you have Tampa Bay and Seattle, both at 6-4.

The Packers, meanwhile, are just about a lock in the NFC North at 9-1. They're three games ahead of the 6-4 Lions.

Next in line at 5-5 are the Redskins, Eagles and Cardinals.

Consider this: Next week, the Eagles are at New England and Donovan McNabb injured his ankle in his team's 17-7 win over 0-10 Miami. Philly is likely to stumble to 5-6 in its matchup against one of the top teams in NFL history.

On the basis of their 21-19 win over Arizona on Week 7 at FedExField, the Redskins would have the edge over the Cardinals if both finished with the same records.

On Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, Detroit hosts Brett Favre and Green Bay. If the Lions slip to 6-5 and the Redskins three days later are able to get past Tampa Bay in South Florida, the Redskins would then have the edge on Detroit.

As you'll recall, Washington buried the Lions 34-3 back in early October.

So here's what you need in the next few days:

A Redskin win at Tampa Bay

A Detroit loss to the Packers

A Philly loss at New England

That shouldn't sound like dreaming the impossible dream.

Speaking of the Bucs, yesterday they took control of the NFC South by trouncing Atlanta 31-7.

Jeff Garcia threw for two touchdowns and running back Earnest Graham had his second straight 100-yard rushing day. Tampa Bay's Greg White had two sacks and forced two fumbles, one resulting in a TD return from Ronde Barber.

A final question: How many times in the past decade or so have the Redskins found themselves needing a big win over the Bucs?

The Redskins' chances of recording a Week 12 win will be greatly enhanced if they are able to develop a case of collective amnesia regarding T.O., Tony Romo and Texas Stadium.

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