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Was the Season a Success?

Was the Season a Success?

Every season, there are 31 NFL teams—all but the one that hoists the Lombardi Trophy—that have to look back and try to figure out if their seasons were a success.

For some, such as the Saints and Bears, the answer is obviously no. Those two teams were in the NFC Championship Game last year and at a minimum expected to get close to playing in that game again. The Browns, on the other hand, won 10 games and although they missed out on a playoff spot on the basis of tiebreakers they clearly exceeded expectations.

How about the Redskins? How successful was their 2007 nine-win, one and done playoff season? It depends on which view you want to take:

From the start of the season—Yes, a playoff appearance would have been considered a major step forward. The team was coming off of a 5-11 season and they weren't competitive in many of their losses. The various "experts" in the media didn't think that they would do much better. I'd estimate that the average projection was five or six wins. The local media, who know the team better, had them pegged slightly higher, at seven or eight wins. The Redskins were starting the season with a defense that one of the worst in the league in 2006 and a quarterback in his first full year as a starter.

From after the 5-3 start—At that point, even though the Cowboys were rolling along so it appeared that a division title was a long shot, it appeared that the Skins were in the process of putting together a good season. Two of their three losses had come to top teams in Green Bay and New England and even the loss to the Giants didn't look to bad as they had gotten on a roll. The defense had turned things around and Sean Taylor was leading the NFL in interceptions. It appeared that a playoff run was distinct possibility for this team.

At 4:30 PM on December 2—At about this moment Joe Gibbs was taking responsibility for his team's loss to Buffalo. Whether or not the back to back timeouts cost the Redskins the game seemed to be irrelevant. The team's best player had just been murdered. In the next four days the Redskins faced going to his funeral and then another game in four days. Certainly the slim playoff hopes would be gone in five days. Everyone in the organization would have taken a one and done at that point.

After beating Minnesota to take control of their playoff destiny—At that point, the Cowboys looked vulnerable, the Redskins had overcome the odds, and a trip to Arizona, while still a longshot, certainly was a tantalizing possibility. Certainly, the Redskins would be playing past the first week of January.

You can go further back. A sixth seed and first-round loss in year four of Gibbs II isn't what we expected after Gibbs was hired or after the 2005 season unless it had something to do with a Super Bowl hangover.

I think that the best spot to judge it on is from the perspective of the start of the season. If you'd have said that the right side of the O-line would be gone by halftime of the second game, that two defensive starters would be gone for the season with injuries and that a third, the team's best player, would be shot dead, that the team would blow a number of second-half leads and that the Redskins would be counting on Todd Collins in a string of can't-lose situations, most would have said that a winning record and a playoff spot would be the best that they could hope for.

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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.

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

There's still time to vote on this one:

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Who will be the Redskins' core offensive players three years from now?

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Who will be the Redskins' core offensive players three years from now?

Just before training camp, I took a stab at figuring out who on the Redskins roster would still be with the team and contributing in the year 2020. Now that the season is over, let’s revisit that look, move it up to 2021, and see how much the picture has changed. The offense is up today, the defense later this week.

The terms used here are mostly self-explanatory. If you want details you can look at this post from a couple of years ago.   

Offense (age as of Week 1 2021)

Potential blue-chip players: Brandon Scherff (29), Morgan Moses (30)
Changes from last prediction: Moses added, removed Trent Williams (33), Jordan Reed (31)

Scherff and Moses both are two young players who should get better with more experience. The right side of the line will be in good hands assuming the Redskins will be able to re-sign Scherff, who will be a free agent following the 2019 season.

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Williams will be 33 in 2021. He can play at a very high level at that age but I think he will be just below the perennial Pro Bowl status he enjoys now. Although I think that the Redskins can still get some good play out of Reed in the next couple of years, it’s hard to imagine him staying productive into his 30’s. He is under contract through 2021 but it’s hard to see him playing in Washington past 2020.

Solid starters: Jamison Crowder (28), Josh Doctson (27), Chris Thompson (30), Williams
Changes: Doctson, Thompson, Williams added, Kirk Cousins (33), Terrelle Pryor (32), Moses removed.

I’m probably higher on Doctson than most. I don’t see him attaining All-Pro status or catching 100 passes in a season but his physical talent is so good that he will be a solid, productive receiver for the next several years. The Redskins will need to find a third receiver but they will have two good ones in Crowder and Doctson.

Third-down back isn’t technically a starting position but Thompson should still be contributing as much to the offense as many starters.

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I think that Cousins will be a solid starter somewhere in 2021 but it is not looking like it will be in Washington. Pryor obviously did not work out and he is very likely to be playing elsewhere next year.

Potential starters: Spencer Long (30), Rob Kelley (28), Samaje Perine (25), Chase Roullier (28)
Changes: Added Roullier, moved Doctson up

Long could be a fixture on the O-line in 2021 or he could be signed by a different team in March. I don’t think that Kelley or Perine will be workhorse backs but either or both could be a part of a tandem. Roullier could move up to the “solid starters” category if he can repeat what he did in a small sample size (7 starts) in 2017.

There are other players who could end up on these lists a year from now. But we haven’t seen enough of 2017 draft picks TE Jeremy Sprinkle or WR Robert Davis to offer an intelligent assessment of where their careers are headed. It’s the same with undrafted linemen Tyler Catalina and Kyle Kalis. They might not make the team in 2018 or they could be competing for starting jobs in 2019.

There also are reserves like Ryan Grant (30) and Ty Nsekhe (35) who still could be on the roster but who would only be spot starters.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.