SNIDER: Is Texans-Redskins really a showdown?

Rick Snider
November 15, 2018 - 11:17 am

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


When is a big game not really a big game? When it’s the Washington Redskins facing the Houston Texans on Sunday.

Oh, the Redskins (6-3) would certainly like knocking off Houston (6-3), which has won six straight games. It would provide another notch of legitimacy and make it that much harder for defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia (4-5) to catch Washington in the NFC East.

It would also show the Redskins are more real than just a one-and-done playoff possibility. Houston has a great defensive line powered by J.J. Watt and if Washington’s makeshift offensive line can keep quarterback Alex Smith upright, well then maybe the Redskins will be OK down the stretch.

It would take some pressure off facing Dallas just four days later on Thanksgiving, too. Two potential losses in four days followed by 11 days off before facing Philadelphia would bring a full-blown crisis to town.

Losing to an AFC team like Houston also doesn't impact potential NFC tie-breakers. If Washington is going to lose, falling to an AFC team is like a half loss.

And it’s not like anybody is going to see it. The civil war of FedEx Field has fans hating the home team already. Players are upset fans don’t give a full effort and fill the house. Fans are upset players too often give a half effort like the last home game when blasted 38-14 by Atlanta. What, Redskins fans are supposed to blindly support their team getting run off the field?

It’s the beginning of a holiday week in town when an estimated one million Washington-area residents head back home. Coupled with few Texans fans expected, FedEx is going to look even emptier than ever this season, which means maybe a half stadium of fans.

But it’s time for Washington to show how good it can be against another contender. Maybe it’s not a big game in many senses, but a victory over the Texans and another quickly against the Cowboys means Washington has a postseason future.

And that’s why it is a big game after all.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter @Snide_Remarks.