By DERON SNYDER
No, Washington doesn’t scare any of its remaining opponents.
But the feeling is mutual when looking at the schedule. The Skins have every reason to believe a 10-6 record is possible, which would keep their faint playoff hopes alive.
Six-game winning streaks don’t come easy. The difference between victory and defeat can be razor-thin in the NFL.
Hanging on for touchdown catches in the end zone. Intercepting a pass on last-gasp drives. Gaining half-a-yard on third-and-1 situations.
Odds are that Washington will lose a game down the stretch. But we can’t always trust the odds, as evidenced by the Skins’ 99.6 chance of winning in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game before New Orleans rallied.
They weren’t supposed beat Oakland (when we thought Oakland was a Super Bowl-contenders), but they did. They weren’t supposed to beat Seattle on the road (before Seattle slipped a couple of notches), but they did. They weren’t supposed to be in the game against New Orleans, but they were.
Prognostication is a risky business, advisedly done without financial consequences. The art of predicting has been especially complicated this season, with 13 teams at .500 or within two games of the mark.
Washington is part of that logjam. So are upcoming opponents Dallas, Arizona and the Los Angeles Chargers. The remaining foes – New York Giants (twice) and Denver – have won just two and three games, respectively.
If healthy, the Skins could proclaim themselves as the league’s best 4-6 team. But even with the slew of injuries, Washington has demonstrated enough grit, moxie and resilience to make a late-season run plausible.
Besides, it doesn’t have to look long to find a recent example.
At 3-6 in 2012, the Skins were given up for dead. But they reeled off seven consecutive wins. The streak included a 4-0 mark against Dallas and Philadelphia, and an overtime victory against a Baltimore team that won the Super Bowl that season.
The remainder of the schedule appears to lack a championship-caliber opponent.
That’s fantastic, because Washington doesn’t qualify, either.
We’ve seen enough from the Skins to know they could finish 3-3. But they’ve also shown us enough to know a 6-0 stretch-run isn’t beyond the realm of possibility.
They did it before; they can do it again.
Whether or not they will is a different story.