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Redskins #7—A Cold, Hard Fact?

Redskins #7—A Cold, Hard Fact?

According to the guys at the blog ColdHardFootballFacts.com, the Washington Redskins are the NFL's #7 franchise.

Not this year. Not over the past few years.

Ever.

CHFF rated all 32 current NFL franchises from #32 to #1. The rankings were far from cold, hard facts, although in the introduction they tried to make it sound like they used objective criteria.

So here's what we did: we tackled the challenge of ranking the franchises from the point of view of the fans, using our Misery-to-Joy Theory of Fan Relativity. Essentially, we measured the amount of misery a franchise has forced upon its fans against the amount of celebratory games, moments and titles a franchise has gifted upon its fans.

The fans who have endured the most misery will find their teams at the bottom of the list. The fans who have enjoyed the most celebratory moments will find their teams at the top of the list.

They don't reveal any sort of formula, though, so it seems that a high degree of subjectivity was the order of the day.

Regardless of the method used, the CHFF guys put a lot of work into it and the list is fairly valid. You can't argue much, for example, that the Arizona/Phoenix/St. Louis/Chicago Cardinals are the worst franchise in NFL history. One title in the title game era and that came in 1947. If it's before I was born, and it is, it was a long time ago.

And it's also hard to dispute their ranking of the Green Bay Packers at the top of the heap. Twelve titles, more than anyone else, and they claimed three in a row twice. No other team has accomplished a threepeat even once.

The Redskins were ranked seventh on the strength of their five NFL titles and the fact that those championships came in distinctly different eras. They also have titles in four different decades.

Unlike many, including a lot of Redskins fans, the CHFF crew recalls an upset that was on par with the Giants' win over the Patriots earlier this year.

It never got any better for Redskins fans than it did on: Dec. 13, 1942

The Redskins, 14-point underdogs, pulled off one of the great shockers in pro football history as they bested the undefeated Bears, 14-6, in the 1942 NFL championship game.

The 11-0 Bears entered the game as the single most dominant team in the history of the NFL, outscoring opponents 376 to 84. They were unstoppable … or at least it seemed that way. The Redskins (who were 10-1) not only shut out the juggernaut Bears offense (the only Chicago points came off a fumble forced by the defense), they produced one of the great goal-line stands in history: the Redskins stuffed the Bears on four straight plays after Chicago had reached 1st-and-goal at the 2.

Of the six teams ranked ahead of the Redskins, I have an issue with one of them, the #5 San Francisco 49ers. The Niners have the same number of championships that the Redskins do, five, but all of those came in the 1980's. They entered the NFL in 1950, so they have zero titles—and zero appearances in the championship game—in five of the six decades they've been around. That seems to be a lot of "moments of misery" to me.

But, regardless, seventh still is a pretty good ranking for the Skins. That puts them in the top 25% and that seems to me to be about where they belong.

Hats off to the guys at Cold, Hard Football Facts for having a sense of history that starts before they were born and coming up with some excellent work.

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Scot McCloughan simply said what plenty of others think about Kirk Cousins

Scot McCloughan simply said what plenty of others think about Kirk Cousins

Redskins fans frenzied when Scot McCloughan said that Kirk Cousins is a good quarterback, but not a special one. The #KirkHive shuttered and the Kirk Haters celebrated.

McCloughan, the former Redskins GM who's wildly popular with fans, explained what few people will say publicly: Cousins is a skilled player but probably not deserving of the money he might make in free agency. 

Let's start with the obvious: Cousins is good.

He's a durable passer in a league that doesn't have enough of them. He's started the last 49 games for the Redskins and thrown for more than 4,000 yards each of the past three seasons. 

Now more obvious: He isn't great.

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Bleacher Report's Chris Simms, speaking on the #RedskinsTalk podcast, said Cousins ranks about 12th among NFL passers. It's top half of the league, but it's not Top 5 or even Top 10. 

Cousins has had tremendous games with the Redskins, like a near perfect performance against Oakland in 2017 or a dominant performance against Green Bay in 2016. 

Cousins has also been awful, as recently as Week 17 in New York a few weeks ago, or an equally stinky Week 17 game against the Giants two seasons ago. 

While some might view McCloughan's statement as controversial — "He’s a good player. Is he special? I don’t see special," he told Denver radio station 104.3 the Fan — it's not. 

Plenty of people agree with McCloughan, including some in Redskins Park. Last year, a source told NBC Sports Washington that the team believed they could get nearly as much production from Colt McCoy as Cousins provided. 

Even this year, Washington head coach Jay Gruden offered lukewarm praise of his quarterback.

When the season ended, asked to evaluate Cousins' play, the coach said, "When you’re 7-9, it’s hard to say, ‘Wow, this guy really was outstanding.’ There’s a few guys obviously that jump out, Pro Bowlers like Ryan Kerrigan had a solid year. Obviously Trent [Williams] when he played was a Pro Bowl-type and Brandon [Scherff] when he was healthy was a Pro Bowl-type guy. Kirk had his flashes where he was really good. From a consistent standpoint, over the course of 16 games, you know, we’re 7-9."

That quote made headlines when Gruden said it, much like McCloughan's comments now are circulating faster than Beltway traffic. 

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Truth is, it's not new. And it's not news.

There are coaches that think Cousins is only scratching the surface of his capabilities. Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay come to mind, but both of those coaches have other QBs likely for the long-term future. 

Cousins might end up being paid like a Top 3 quarterback in the NFL, and that might be the right move given the demand at the position. Will that make him a special passer?

Not if special is defined as Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees. Even Cousins wouldn't argue with that.

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

Every week during the 2017 Redskins season, NBC Sports Washington found two Redskins fans in the crowd and paired them in a head-to-head matchup on Twitter to determine the fan of the game.

And now that the season is over, it's time to take each of those winners, throw them into a NCAA Tournament-style bracket and let Twitter pick the Redskins Fan of the Year.

Starting on January 8 over on the @NBCSRedskins Twitter account, one matchup a day will be posted at 11 a.m., and fans will have 24 hours to vote for their favorite supporter by retweeting or liking depending on their preference. Week 1's winner will face off with Week 17's, Week 2's will play Week 16's, etc.

The winners will advance, and eventually, one member of the Burgundy and Gold faithful will stand above all the rest, earning the coveted title of Redskins Fan of the Year. 

Check out the results below, which'll be updated every day. To see the tweet that corresponded with each matchup, click the link after the date, but remember, retweets and likes submitted after the 24-hour period won't be counted.

ELITE 8 RESULTS

January 18: Round two, matchup one

The first Elite 8 matchup was... not close:

January 19: Round two, matchup two

The Elite 8's second tilt is underway. Vote now:


FIRST ROUND RESULTS

January 8: Round one, matchup one

This was a close one that came down to the last-minute, but at the 24-hour mark, Week 17's winner garnered justtttttttt enough retweets to move on.

January 9: Round one, matchup two

In this tournament, a giant Redskins chain is apparently worth more than a giant football hat.

January 10: Round one, matchup three

In the tournament's third showdown, we have our first winner from the Likes side:

January 11: Round one, matchup four

Was there anyway she wasn't gonna win, especially with the little Hogettes nose?

January 12: Round one, matchup five

Our fifth matchup's winner earned the most retweets of anyone up to this point:

January 15: Round one, matchup six

These three 'Skins fans had to witness Washington's Thursday night flop in Dallas, so it's only fair that they get to advance to the second round:

January 16: Round one, matchup seven

You'd think a turkey hat would be enough to capture a W, but not in this one:

January 17: Round one, matchup eight

The Elite 8 is now set with this showdown going to the retweets side: