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When Redskins owned Charlotte

Let's take a moment for a brief history lesson.

Don't worry, there will be no questions about Mesopotamia, the Magna Carta or who shot J.R. This is for the benefit of all the relative newcomers to Charlotte (which is almost everyone) and it's a chance for natives to wistfully remember days gone by when the Barclay Cafeteria, Jim Thacker and Three Dog Night concerts were big deals here.

Back in the day when remote control was something only the Jetsons had and UHF stations were the outer limits of television, NFL football here meant the Washington Redskins on what we called Channel 3.

Every Sunday.

In Charlotte, the NFL was a two-team league - the Redskins and whomever they were playing that week.

That was great if you liked Sonny Jurgensen and Sam Huff and you then graduated to Joe Theismann and John Riggins. The Redskins were Charlotte's team and, like kids staring at a plate of asparagus, you consumed them whether you liked it or not.

Now, multiple Charlotte arenas later, we have our own NFL team, but there's still a loyalty to the Skins among citizens old enough to remember when Stan Brookshire was the mayor, not a freeway. That will partially explain the large number of Redskins fans Sunday at Bank of America Stadium, some of whom are no doubt still ticked they get force-fed the Panthers on TV here now.

We're bigger now, but if you've been here long enough to remember NCNB, you understand the Redskins. And you probably miss Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling.

Washington at Carolina: Winning streaks start with one in a row. Panthers 32, Redskins 20.

Seattle at Cleveland: The who cares game of the week. Browns 16, Seahawks 14.

Atlanta at Detroit: Note to Lions coach Jim Schwartz: Unlike excitable 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh who goes in for hyped-up handshakes, Falcons coach Mike Smith is more of a hugger. Just hoping to avoid an awkward moment. Lions 27, Falcons 20.

San Diego at New York Jets: Chargers fans were probably thrilled to learn that coach Norv Turner was watching tape of the Panthers last week when his team had its bye. It's never too early to get a jump start on next year when the Chargers visit. Jets 21, Chargers 20.

Chicago vs. Tampa Bay: Also known as Lovie Smith Goes To London. The league has sent these two teams to Wembley Stadium to gauge the interest in NFL football in the shadow of Buckingham Palace. Commish Roger Goodell keeps mentioning the possibility of putting a team in London, where they like American football just fine so long as it doesn't interfere with their obsession with the royal family. Bears 21, Bucs 17.

Houston at Tennessee: Cricket, cricket...Texans 28, Titans 14.

Pittsburgh at Arizona: Upset special. Cardinals 26, Steelers 17.

Denver at Miami: The Dolphins plan to go through with a previously scheduled tribute to Tim Tebow and Florida's 2008 national championship team. Timmy Hero's team 26, Dolphins 10.

Kansas City at Oakland: Carson Palmer, Part II: Return From Purgatory. Raiders 35, Chiefs 24.

St. Louis at Dallas: Pardon me while I channel the late Jim Croce:

You don't tug on Superman's cape.

You don't spit into the wind.

And you don't give Tom Brady time to drive downfield for the winning touchdown and bet on your defense to stop him the way Cowboys coach Jason Garrett did last week. Big mistake. Cowboys 33, Rams 10.

Green Bay at Minnesota: Vikings fans are privately yearning for the Brett Favre days. Packers 41, Vikings 20.

Indianapolis at New Orleans: The Colts get one step closer to Andrew Luck. Saints 37, Colts 13.

Baltimore at Jacksonville: If I'm Jon Gruden, I'm making sure there's a clause in my new five-year contract extension that guarantees there aren't any more of these games on "Monday Night Football." Ravens 26, Jaguars 3.

Last week: 10-3

Season: 58-30

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