Inside linebacker Perry Riley is confident that the Redskins can make the postseason. Why? Because he was on a Redskins team that did it before. He looks back to the team’s last division title in 2012.
“Knowing that we were 3-6 and won seven straight you know you can do it. It’s been done—we’ve done,” said Riley, who is in his sixth NFL season. “It’s not like [something abstract], it’s something that has been done, can be done. We’ve done it. So the mindset is a lot more confident than it was back in 2012 when we started winning."
Riley's contribution to that playoff run will have to wait a little while. He will miss three to six weeks after suffering a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone on the right foot. Riley spoke to reporters after sustaining the injury but before the diagnosis of the fracture and multiple missed games.
“We should be able to win five in a row. Looking at the records and and the teams, we feel like we have a great chance of running the table and getting in the playoffs at 10-6 and letting the rest take care of itself.”
The Redskins are in better shape now than they were at the same point three years ago. They are currently 5-6, tied for first in the division with the Giants with an edge over New York in the tiebreakers. After 11 games in 2012 they were also 5-6 but they were tied with the Cowboys for second place a full two games behind the 7-4 Giants. They were in the hunt but they needed help in the form of Giants losses.
This year they don’t need help. If they win out, they are in. Even if they don’t go 5-0 the rest of the season they could get in. That’s the advantage of being in first place.
“We control our destiny,” said Riley. “We can go as far as we take ourselves. We know the importance of this last month of football. We’re going to do everything in our power to get it done for the fans.”
After two years of playing out the string starting prior to Thanksgiving, Riley appreciates where the Redskins are.
“It’s definitely a good feeling to come into December and have meaningful games and also be in first place,” said Riley. “We see the importance of it. This team is as hungry as any team I’ve been on since I’ve been here. We want the playoff berth, we want the home game, we want to win the division, we want to win out. You can feel it. The way we come to work, the way we practice, everyone pays attention in meetings, don’t have the little side conversations. Everybody’s locked in, you can feel it from everybody. It’s not just one or two people, not just the vets. Young guys, everybody is paying attention to detail.”
Riley is having surgery done to get a pin put in to repair the fractured bone. He will undergo a few weeks of rehab and the team medical staff will assess his condition from there. With Keenan Robinson still out with a shoulder injury, Mason Foster will play in Riley's place.