Are the Redskins and Bucs for real?

Green Bay Packers defensive end Mike Neal (L), without his helmet, watches as teammates pursue Washington Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb in the first half of their NFL football game in Landover, Maryland, October 10, 2010.   REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Despite their wins on Sunday and their overall records, I’m struggling with the notion that the Redskins and Bucs are “for real” (whatever that means). Personally, I think they’re both a product of their circumstances.

Let me explain before Washington and Tampa Bay Fan rip my nuggets off.

The Bucs have beaten three teams with weak passing games (Cleveland, Carolina and Cincinnati). Their only loss was at the hands of the Steelers, who absolutely destroyed them on their home field in Week 3.

Wins are tied to yards per pass and turnovers. Teams that can throw for more yards per pass and turn the ball over less usually win. (Look at the box scores from this week in the NFL if you think I’m making this up.) With that in mind, is it that big of a shock that the Bucs are 3-1 after facing teams that can’t throw the ball? Some would say yes just based on how bad Tampa was last year, but you have to consider how brutal the Browns, Panthers and Bengals’ passing games are when it comes to Tampa’s surprising start.

Now, the Redskins are kind of a different story. They’ve beaten the Cowboys, Eagles and Packers – three teams that have better passing games than the teams Tampa has faced. However, Dallas’ offense carried its funk from preseason into the regular season, Philadelphia lost Michael Vick in the first quarter last week and Green Bay has racked up more injuries than the front lines of the Revolutionary War.

Again I ask, are these two teams for real or have they cashed in on some nice opportunities early in the year?

That said, regardless of what I or anyone else thinks, the Skins (3-2) and Bucs (3-1) are what their records say they are. You can’t take that away from them and after both of them produced some big-time wins today, so I hate to damper the mood.

But we’ll see.

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