You know the only thing that's been more difficult for Washington the past handful of years than winning an NFL game?
Winning consecutive NFL games.
This Sunday, the Burgundy and Gold will have a chance to start up a streak in their matchup with the Cardinals. Fortunately, they have a coach who's much more accustomed to doing so than the organization has been.
The following is a comparison of the winning streaks that Washington built from 2011 to 2019 and Carolina built from 2011 to 2019 (which were the years that Rivera was in charge of the Panthers):
2011 - One 2-gamer
2012 - One 7-gamer
2013 - No streaks
2014 - One 2-gamer
2015 - One 4-gamer
2016 - One 4-gamer, one 2-gamer
2017 - Two 2-gamers
2018 - One 3-gamer
2019 - One 2-gamer
2011 - Two 2-gamers
2012 - One 4-gamer
2013 - One 8-gamer, one 3-gamer
2014 - One 4-gamer, one 2-gamer
2015 - One 15-gamer (blogger's note: Holy expletive)
2016 - Two 2-gamers
2017 - One 4-gamer, one 3-gamer, two 2-gamers
2018 - One 3-gamer, one 2-gamer
2019 - One 4-gamer
So, to wrap those numbers up more succinctly:
- Washington only had three runs of more than three victories in a row and only two seasons containing multiple winning streaks since 2011.
- Carolina, on the other hand, had six runs of more than three victories in a row and six seasons containing multiple winning streaks since 2011 (and that doesn't even include the year when they ripped off 15 straight!).
To repeatedly come out on top on a string of weekends in pro football, a team has to play consistently, play with discipline and compartmentalize their success. Those first two items are things Rivera has been emphasizing early in his tenure, and the third will be vital as he tries to not only create a culture, but create a culture that's "sustainable," as he so often likes to say.
What Washington did against the Eagles in the opener was extremely encouraging and acted as a sign of Rivera's impact. If they can replicate that kind of effort in Week 2, however — instead of taking a step forward and then immediately regressing like they so often have in recent history — that'll be a major sign that what he's attempting to establish is really working.