In a season full of important games, the Washington Redskins most pressure-packed battle will be against the Philadelphia Eagles on November 18th. This will be the first division home game for the Redskins which is why it is so crucial.
If the Skins can manage to win half of their games up to this contest, they have a real shot at being in the hunt at the end of the season.
A truly intriguing matchup in this game will be Robert Griffin III versus Michael Vick.
Vick is the cagey veteran while Griffin III is the future hope of Redskins fans everywhere. Griffin III has shown some poise in camp and early preseason action, but Vick is a proven superstar when healthy.
The Redskins must improve on offense after finishing a miserable 26th in scoring offense in 2011. That performance was the worst in the NFC East, and third worst in the NFC.
Not only must Washington score, they have to hold the No. 8 offense in football in check. This is where the defense must prove itself.
Improvement must be made on the defensive side of the ball immediately. The men from D.C. finished No. 21 in the league in points allowed. One positive, however, was their No. 12 finish against the pass, giving up just 221.2 yards-per game through the air.
The Redskins hopes will be hanging on the very Griffin's shoulders. The No. 2 overall draft pick will lead a cast of unheralded veterans and rookies.
The one mainstay in Washington is Santana Moss at wideout paired with newcomer Pierre Garcon. Second year back Roy Helu out of Nebraska will lead up the rushing attack with veteran Tim Hightower backing him up. Mike Shanahan is known for making successful running backs, so expect no different this year.
The true test will be stopping Vick and the potent Eagles offense. If the Redskins can keep the score low, this could be a very surprising game.