While much will be made how the loss to the Giants Sunday night ended the Redskins playoff hopes, that loss has plenty of additional meanings for both this season and the future of the Redskins.
-Last year’s playoff run looks like a distant memory as the Redskins are assured a losing season, the third of which we’ve seen under Mike Shanahan. Too often by the time December has rolled around the Redskins are out of the playoffs, and that is just bad for the team overall. It means more opposing fans in the stadium and a fan base that loses interest. The Redskins changed the story last year with their impressive run, but they had to show it wasn’t a fluke. They didn’t do that and look to be one of the worst teams in the NFL.
-The Redskins were 9-9 against the division after the first three years of the Mike Shanahan Era, but with four straight losses against the division this year their winning percentage against the division sits at .409. While the Redskins did go 5-1 last year, their fourth loss Sunday night means, it’s the 3rd time in 4 years that the Redskins have been below .500 against the division. That is just an embarrassment particularly given just how poor the level of play has been in the division these last four years.
-Now in some of these games the team scored more than 20 points, but that was due to defensive TD’s. This is the offense that we are talking about that has failed to break 20 points 9 times. That is crazy to think about. The offense is supposed to be the strength of this team and they can’t crack 20 points? The Redskins have invested the vast majority of their resources into the offense and obviously have an offensive minded coach, yet they still continuously fail to put points on the board. Sacrificing the Redskins Defense was a mistake regardless, but to do so and not get offensive production in return just shows a major organizational failure.
-Through 60 games Mike Shanahan has only managed to win 24 of them, and his winning percentage is at .400 which is downright awful. Jason Garrett who took over for the Cowboys mid-way through the 2010 season and has 8 fewer games than Mike Shanahan already has 28 wins, and he’s not exactly considered the most successful of head coaches. Ron Rivera who is only in his 3rd year and has a full 16 games fewer than Mike Shanahan has 22 wins and currently sits at 22-22, a .500 record. That is just embarrassing that Mike Shanahan doesn’t have more wins in his Redskins tenure, and completely unacceptable for the 2nd or 3rd highest paid coach in the league. If Mike Shanahan doesn’t win another game this season his winning percentage with the Redskins will sit at .375 which is where Steve Spurrier and Jim Zorn stood after two years. Maybe the Redskins get another win or two, but even that is unacceptable.
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-Currently the Redskins and Jaguars would need a coin flip to determine the 2nd overall pick, but with the way things are going for the Redskins it’s likely they would be shipping the 2nd overall pick to the Rams. While it it tough to predict strength of schedule throughout the rest of the year, the Redskins have a pretty weak schedule so if they end up with the same record as a team for the top overall pick they will likely “win” the tie breaker, and could be sending the first overall pick to the Rams if Washington doesn’t win another game. The Texans play the Jaguars this Thursday and if Houston wins and Washington loses they could take over that top spot. Obviously if Washington wins a game or two down the stretch it will take them out of the running for a top 3 pick, but unless they get to 6 wins (and even then that might not be enough), they are all but guaranteed to be shipping a top 10 pick to St. Louis.
-The only game the Redskins have held their opponent to under 24 points is their week 4 win out in Oakland. The Raiders were without their top QB and running back that game, which partially explains why the Redskins Defense was able to come to play. Now it should be noted this isn’t all on the defense. Special teams and offensive miscues have led to plenty of points and short fields, but the defense clearly is outmatched this year. The Redskins have an offense that can’t score more than 20 points and a defense that can’t give up fewer than 24 points, which pretty much answers why this team is struggling so bad this season. The Defense needs a major overhaul this offseason from the coaches to the players and possibly the scheme.