The Redskins have not won on the road this season, going 0-4 away from FedEx Field. They face a very tough task in trying to break that skid this Sunday in Charlotte against the 9-0 Panthers. Jay Gruden hasn’t been able to identify a magic wand that will turn things around on the road for his team.
“I don’t know what. We have to travel at the same time. We stay at a hotel,” said Gruden. “We have meetings at night. We get up and play in the morning — at 1:00. Just a matter of coming out and playing our game and trying to execute better, really. I don’t know any magical pep talks that will help us in that regard. We’re practicing hard. We’re preparing the right way. Now, it’s just a matter of we’ve got to go out and perform on the road, but I don’t know what words will help that. I think it’s just actions have to take place and we’ll have to play better.”
One thing they could do better on the road is hold on to the football. In five home games they have turned the ball over five times. In four games on the road they have given the ball away nine times. That is not a formula for success.
Trent Williams pointed out that the Redskins have not exactly had an easy slate of road games this year.
“It has been a struggle but, I mean, if you look at our opponents, those guys aren’t losing a lot of games at home,” said Williams. “You look at the Patriots, Atlanta, you look at New York [Giants], the play well. You look at the Jets . . . We’ve had some tough teams on the road.”
In fact, you can say that including this Sunday’s game the Redskins are in the midst of one of the toughest stretches of road games ever.
In Week 5, they played on the road in Atlanta against the Falcons, who were 4-0 at the time. Then in Week 9 it was the 7-0 Patriots in Foxborough and now, in Week 11, the Redskins visit the 9-0 Panthers.
If that seems like a historically tough schedule, it is. Only one other NFL team, the 2009 Patriots, have ever faced three road games against undefeated teams from Week 5 on. That Patriots team lost in Week 5 at the 4-0 Broncos, dropped a game to the 8-0 Colts in Indianapolis in Week 10 and then were beaten by the10-0 Saints in the Superdome in Week 12.
Williams wanted to make it clear that he wasn’t making excuses for the team’s problems on the road.
“We haven’t performed up to our standards on the road,” he said. “That’s what this game’s for, that’s the beauty of this game. We have another week where we can fix our wrongs.”
Can the Redskins do what the 2009 Patriots couldn’t and get a road win against an unbeaten team? We will find out tomorrow afternoon.