The Redskins entered the 2019 season hoping to prove the NFL wrong for doubting them and wanting to make the playoffs for the first time since 2015.
Halfway through that 2019 season, they have a different head coach and are one failed two-point conversion in Miami away from being 0-8.
Life comes at you fast, but for Washington, it came at them FAST.
So, how did they get here, to the point where they’re viewed as one of the worst teams in the sport? That’s a question that has a lot of answers. Here are the three biggest.
In eight games so far, the Redskins have gone from Case Keenum to Dwayne Haskins to Colt McCoy, then back to Keenum and finally, to Haskins again in Week 8 because of injury. That’s four QB switches already, and as of now, it’s not clear who their starter will be for their trip to Buffalo.
A fantasy football squad won’t win under those conditions. A real franchise will flounder bottom out.
The offense has suffered in large part thanks to that shuffling of signal callers. The group has currently gone nine straight quarters without finding the end zone and, if it weren’t for Terry McLaurin, the unit as a whole would have as many bright spots as a basement in a power outage.
Now, will Keenum be healthy enough to take back over and face the Bills? Or will Haskins, who’s looked overwhelmed in four quarters of action, get the nod? Or will McCoy be reintroduced? It’s anyone’s guess, as the Burgundy and Gold continue to look for stability post-Alex Smith.
Landon Collins and Montez Sweat were expected to combine with guys like Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Ryan Kerrigan and Josh Norman to make up a feared defense. That hasn’t happened. In fact, it hasn’t even come close to happening.
Their third-down defense has been more defective than effective. The D-line, a collection of young and revered names, has been fine on occasion yet overall it hasn’t delivered on the offseason hype it received. Josh Norman is a problem weekly. Greg Manusky is somehow still in charge.
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Collins isn’t a bust, but he hasn’t made a truly game-changing play yet. Sweat has just 1.5 sacks and has been invisible at times. Fabian Moreau just isn’t developing. There have still been communication issues throughout, and crossing routes still routinely confuse them.
The best teams help each other out on both sides of the ball, and the aforementioned offensive shortcomings certainly aren’t helping the defense. The defense, however, wasn’t supposed to need much help in the first place.
Second half failures
The opener against the Eagles featured a really strong first half for the Redskins and a really weak second half. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been an outlier. Instead, it has proven to be their template.
They also kept things quite or at least relatively close with the Cowboys, Patriots, Giants, 49ers and Vikings for 30 minutes before falling apart after halftime. Even in their lone victory over the Dolphins, they faded as the clock ticked on.
One of the main criticisms of Jay Gruden during his tenure was that he and his staff always seemed to make the wrong adjustments, or just no adjustments, at the break. That’s continued under Bill Callahan.
Add that up and, along with the QB rotation and defensive regression, you get a pathetic record and the need for a new permanent coach come January. It’s sad and maddening and normal for the Redskins all at the same time. Anyone know if the Nationals can keep playing for a few more months?
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