After the Redskins lost their fourth straight game to open 2019 and fell for the 10th time in their last 11 tries, Jay Gruden told reporters at MetLife Stadium that "reality has set in."
He's right, and that reality is an ugly one for Washington.
So, what is their reality right now?
It's that, unless a truly epic turnaround happens — a turnaround that no one who's watched this team play in September would even think about predicting — the Burgundy and Gold will miss the playoffs. The season is just a month old and yet the postseason already feels like an impossibility. That's reality.
It's that this franchise has a head coach whose future seems as bright as a basement. Gruden being fired is a near lock; it's just a matter of when the front office decides to do so. That's reality.
It's that the club's two expected strengths heading into Week 1 — the defense and the running game — are actually laughably bad so far. One can't get off the field and the other can't get past the line of scrimmage. That's reality.
It's that there are plenty of quarterback questions and drama ahead. Dwayne Haskins debuted against the Giants on Sunday, but who knows who'll start in Week 5 between him, Case Keenum and Colt McCoy? That's reality.
Plenty more could be said, but anyone who's reading this story is likely a Redskins fan, and they've already been through enough having to watch this collection of players and coaches flail their way to an 0-4 record.
Now, the organization's first two losses could be explained away somewhat because they came against the Eagles and the Cowboys, two very formidable opponents. The third, meanwhile, could be blamed on Keenum's five turnovers.
There's really no dressing up the effort(?) in New York, however.
The Redskins offense tallied a single field goal against one of the NFL's most pathetic units, and their defense continued their dreadful display of allowing constant conversions on third down while also mixing in a head-spinning amount of holding penalties.
Hey, at least Gruden's squad is finally balanced in one aspect.
Next up is a contest with the Patriots, which kicks off at 1 p.m. and could be over by 1:30, and then a date with the hapless Dolphins, one that very well could decide which organization has the No. 1 overall pick in 2020.
That last part is yet another chunk of the Redskins' reality — their humbling, depressing reality. The sample size is big enough, and the results are pathetic enough, to conclude that a team that was supposedly "close" to competing is now competing for the top selection in next April's draft.
Unfortunately, somehow, there are still 12 games left on the schedule. And if reality looks like this now, what will it look like in December?
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