The Redskins are in what is now a familiar 0-1 hole to start the season.
They haven’t won a season opener since 2012 when Robert Griffin III dazzled the NFL world against the Saints.
Since then, with one season under Mike Shanahan and now four with Jay Gruden at the helm, the Redskins have been unable to get it done out of the gate. Here are the five losses with some of the statistical lowlights.
2013—Eagles 33, Redskins 27 Three turnovers, 443 total yards given up, offense 2 of 10 on third down
2014—Texans 17, Redskins 6 Texans QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 109.3 passer rating, 3 of 12 on third down offensively
2015—Dolphins 17, Redskins 10 Redskins two turnovers, 11 penalties for 88 yards, Cousins two interceptions, 68.8 passer rating
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2016—Steelers 38, Redskins 16 Cousins two interceptions, 72.7 passer rating, offense 3-10 on third down (30%), defense 9-14 on third down (64.2%), offense 55 rushing yards, defense gives up 147 rushing yards
2017— Eagles 30, Redskins 17 Redskins four turnovers, Cousins an interception and two lost fumbles, 0-2 in red zone, offense 3-11 (27.3%) on third down, defense 8-14 (57.1%) on third down
The last two years, the seasons took decidedly different turns after the bad starts than they did in 2013 and 2014. Shanahan’s team finished 3-13 and that, among other factors, cost him his job. Gruden’s first year was a 4-12 campaign.
But the last two years they managed to turn things around. Both the 2015 and 2016 teams were 1-2 after three games. In ’15 they won eight of their last 13 games and won the NFC East. Last year they went 7-5-1 and just missed the playoffs.
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Will 2017 be more like the last two years with a decent recovery after the bad start? Or will things spiral out of control like they did in 2013 and 2014?
I think that this team is clearly more talented than the two earlier teams and arguably better at most positions than they were the last two seasons.
But talent is not the only factor.
In Week 1 in ’15 and ’16, they had the same talent in those losses as they had later in the year when they strung together some wins. It’s also a matter of being ready to play.
The Redskins weren’t yesterday and we’ll see if that turns around the rest of the season.