Redskins

Quick Links

How the Redskins Will Make the Playoffs

How the Redskins Will Make the Playoffs

Tandler’s Redskins Blog Ver. 09.09.05

You can reach me by email at rtandler@comcast.net
The 2005 Washington Redskins will make the playoff and anything less than that will be a disappointment.
The team has good, talented football players, a lot of them. One quick way to assess the level of a team’s talent is to see how many of its players would start for most other NFL teams. With the definition being that a player could start for at least half of the other teams in the league, the Redskins have quality players at all five positions on the offensive line, one at wide receiver with Santana Moss, one at tight end with Chris Cooley, and one at running back with Clinton Portis. On the other side of the ball they have defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin, linebackers LaVar Arrington and Marcus Washington, cornerback Shawn Springs and safety Sean Taylor. A few others such as safety Matt Bowen and defensive end Renaldo Wynn are on the borderline, but even discounting them that makes 13 players who are above average at their positions. That’s enough to win with.

There was some truth to what people were saying about Joe Gibbs last year, that he was trying to win in 2004 with plays that worked in 1990. Certainly it didn’t work like the typical Joe Gibbs offense, one that took best advantage of the talents of its players and always had a surprise or two in store for the opposing defense. It’s surprising to learn that some still think that the game has passed him by. He didn’t spend 15-20 hours a day at Redskins Park during the offseason trying to convince people that what he did last year works, he spent it revamping the Washington offense. Gibbs has always said the he would change about 40% of his offense from year to year. From ’04 to ’05 the numbers will probably be flip-flopped, with the coaches putting 60% or more of last year’s schemes in the trashcan. The shotgun, which we have seen used effectively during the preseason and zone blocking for Portis to allow him to bust some long gainers, plays that were missing from his 1,300-yard season in 2004.

Even with all of the problems with the offense last year, the Redskins still won three of their last five games. One of the losses was to the Eagles and the Redskins’ strong bid for an upset in that game was derailed by a late interception of a Patrick Ramsey pass in the end zone. The other defeat came in the dying minutes at Texas Stadium when a late Dallas touchdown pass pulled out the win for the Cowboys.
That’s the framework. So how do the Redskins take these quality players running an effective offensive scheme and a Gregg Williams defensive scheme and win the nine or 10 games that will be needed to make the playoffs?

  • Win three in the division: The Redskins have favorable matchups in their four meetings with the Giants and Cowboys in regards to the quarterbacks they will be facing. Williams’ aggressive, blitzing packages are designed to terrorize young quarterbacks such as New York’s Eli Manning and immobile quarterbacks like Dallas’ Drew Bledsoe. Even if they can’t steal a win from the Eagles, something they almost did in Week 14 last year, they should be able to muster a 3-3 division record.

  • Beat the teams they should beat: The home games against the Bears and 49ers are games that the Redskins should be favored in by a touchdown or more. Seattle comes to FedEx Field and they’re a terrible road team. The Oakland Raiders also visit FedEx and even with the addition of Randy Moss they’re still a team that will post a double-digit loss total. Tampa Bay is just a few years removed from a Super Bowl win but they seem to be a lost franchise now. The Redskins travel to Arizona and the Cardinals are supposed to be an up and coming team but I’ll believe it when I see it. Washington will win five of those six games.

  • Pull an upset or two: The three division wins and the five against the lesser teams mean that the Redskins need to find another win, maybe two, to get a ticket to the playoffs. Among the more winnable road games is the one in Denver. The Broncos just aren’t very good this year and, like Manning and Bledsoe, the mistake-prone Jake Plummer is the kind of quarterback that plays right into Williams’ hand. The Chargers, who play at FedEx Field in late November and if the Redskins are playing well then that will be a very tough game for the Chargers to win. A win in a December trip to St. Louis may be a tall order, but the Rams are nothing if not erratic and a win there is not out of the realm of possibility.


Of course, the usual caveats are in place here. The Redskins, like virtually every other NFL team not named the Patriots, won’t be successful if they are hit with an extraordinary number of injuries or get more than their share of unfortunate breaks. Given an equality of luck, however, the Redskins will be extending their season into the playoffs in 2005.

Quick Links

Redskins schedule preview: Weeks 13 and 17 vs. Eagles

Redskins schedule preview: Weeks 13 and 17 vs. Eagles

We’re previewing every game of the 2018 season with a look forward and a look back. Up today, it’s the two games against the Eagles. 

Week 13 December 3 (Monday night), Lincoln Financial Field

Week 17, December 30, FedEx Field

2017 Eagles: 13-3, First in NFC East, Super Bowl champions 

Projected 2018 wins per Westgate SuperBook: 10.5

Early line: Week 13, Redskins +7.5; No lines established for Week 17

Key additions: DE Michael Bennett, WR Mike Wallace

Key losses: DE Vinny Curry, WR Torrey Smith, RB LeGarrette Blount, DT Beau Allen

Notable: Quarterback Carson Wentz is aiming to be ready for Week 1 after suffering a torn ACL late in the season.  

Biggest questions: 

  • If Wentz isn’t ready, the Eagles have Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles ready. Is the real Foles the one who has been a journeyman or the one who starred in the playoffs? And will Wentz continue the freewheeling style that helped make him successful after the injury?
  • After winning Philadelphia its first Super Bowl, will the Eagles suffer from a hangover? 

Series history

The Redskins lead the all-time series 82-75-6; the Eagles won both meetings last year after Washington had won five straight. 

Series notables

The first time: October 10, 1937, Griffith Stadium — With the Redskins trailing 7-0, rookie Sammy Baugh twice led the Redskins deep into Eagle territory. Washington couldn’t push it across the goal line either time, though, and Philly got out with a 14-0 win.

The last time: October 23, 2017, Lincoln Financial Field — The Redskins took a 10-3 lead midway through the second quarter, but Wentz and the Eagles took over after that, scoring 21 unanswered points. The Redskins got it back within a touchdown and on a third and eight play early in the fourth quarter, it looked like they had Wentz sacked. However, he scrambled out of trouble and ran for the first down. That drive ended with a touchdown pass and Philly went on to win 34-24.

The best time: January 5, 1991, Veterans Stadium — After getting pummeled by the Eagles in the Body Bag Game (see “The worst time” below), the Redskins qualified for the playoffs and got their shot at revenge. The seedings called for the Redskins to return to the scene of the crime, Veterans Stadium, for a first-round playoff contest.

A near turnover that wasn't was the game's turning point. The Redskins had taken a 7-6 lead and were driving for more when the ball popped loose from Earnest Byner's grasp when he was tackled at the Philadelphia six. CB Ben Smith scooped the ball up and ran 94 yards for an apparent TD. 

Fortunately for the Redskins, instant replay showed that the ground caused the fumble and the call was reversed, with the Redskins retaining possession. The reversal became a 10-point turnaround as Chip Lohmiller connected on a short FG and instead of a six-point deficit, the Redskins had a four-point lead. The Eagles' offense never could get untracked and the Redskins won 20-6.

The worst time: November 12, 1990, Veterans Stadium — As the Redskins went into 1990, the core players on the team, Art Monk, Joe Jacoby, Jeff Bostic, Charles Mann, Darrell Green, Don Warren, and Monte Coleman, were on or approaching the over the hill side of 30.  The team had gone from Super Bowl Champs in 1987 to a losing record in ’88 to out of the playoffs again in ’89. They were facing their last stand as they went into The Vet for a November Monday night game.

This one became known as "The Body Bag Game". Five Redskins had to be carted off of the field as Buddy Ryan's team knocked a total of nine out of the game, including both of the active QB's. The carnage induced one Eagle to yell, "Do you guys need any more body bags?'' as yet another injured Redskin was lying on the turf. The Eagles and Ryan taunted the Redskins after the game, a 28-14 Philadelphia win that was not nearly that close.

Redskins schedule series

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  and on Instagram @RichTandler

Quick Links

Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Offense

roster_prediction_hero_image.png
Various sources

Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Offense

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, June 18, 38 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

Redskins 53-man roster projection—offense 

It may still be early to project the roster, but things are coming into focus after the round of practices in helmets and shorts. Here is my look at who I think will make it on offense; defense up tomorrow. 

Quarterbacks (2)
Alex Smith, Colt McCoy

I think that Kevin Hogan is very much on the bubble as the third quarterback. They got along with two QBs last year, and with Alex Smith having demonstrated great durability during his career, Hogan may well get bumped off. 

Running backs (4)
Derrius Guice, Chris Thompson, Samaje Perine, Rob Kelley

I’d say that this is 95 percent locked in. Maybe Kapri Bibbs or Byron Marshall can make a push for Kelley’s roster spot but his history with Jay Gruden will make it very hard for him to get knocked out. 

Wide receivers (6)
Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson, Jamison Crowder, Maurice Harris, Robert Davis, Trey Quinn

The first time I did this back in April I didn’t have Quinn on the roster. That was before he was a man among boys at rookie camp and a player who looks like he belongs when the veterans showed up. I don’t know if he’ll have the impact that many fans think he will, but he’s certainly going to get his chance. Brian Quick could steal a roster spot from Harris or Davis.

Tight ends (3)
Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle

The Redskins did not draft a tight end or sign one in free agency so there seems to be faith that Reed will be healthy. We’ve heard that before and it seems somewhat risky to leave Davis, who has Father Time nipping at his heels, and the inexperienced Sprinkle as the only two backups. They may try to make room for an undrafted rookie like Hudson Garrett.  

Offensive line (9)
Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses, Ty Nsekhe, Geron Christian, Tyler Catalina, Tony Bergstrom

I think that Gruden is probably happy with the starters here but the depth is shaky, especially in the interior. The key could be whether Christian is ready for prime time as the swing tackle. That could allow Nsekhe to fill in at guard. Bergstrom is fine as the backup center, although I wouldn’t want to have to count on him for more than a few games. 

Offensive players: 24
Rookies (3):
Guice, Christian, Quinn
New to the organization in 2018 (5): Rookies plus Smith, Richardson 
Not on 2017 Week 1 roster (11): Rookies plus new plus Harris (practice squad), R. Davis (practice squad) and Bergstrom (not on the team). 

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

Tandler on Twitter

An Indiana state police officer tweeted that he pulled a driver over for going too slowly in the left lane. I believe this person is a national hero. 

Timeline  

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 38
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 52
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 75

The Redskins last played a game 167 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 83 days. 

In case you missed it