Fans don’t always agree with what Redskins coach Jay Gruden says. It’s natural that there are conflicts between the coach’s vision of things and the Redskins’ worldview of the masses.
But on Monday Gruden said something that would earn near-unanimous approval from the team’s fan base.
“We obviously wouldn’t think of it as a successful season unless we get in the playoffs, that’s for sure,” said Gruden. “That’s our goal coming into the season. We went to the playoffs a year ago, and had every intention of trying to win the division and go back to the playoffs. Obviously, the Cowboys played very, very good football for 16 games, and they deserve to be where they are, but we’re still trying to get in there.”
The Redskins have a fairly simple scenario for making the playoffs. If they beat the Giants at FedEx Field on Sunday, they will get a wild card spot unless the Packers-Lions game on Sunday night ends in a tie. Since less than one percent of NFL games end in ties that essentially is a win and in situation.
It wasn’t so long ago that the Redskins’ bar for a successful season was much lower. For a long time success could be defined by not having double-digit wins or finishing in last place in the division. Also by factors like not having the head coach and quarterback get into very public match of egos or by making it through a year without a high-priced free agent utterly embarrassing the entire organization.
No, the bar is higher now, up to the standards of a competent NFL team. The credit goes to Gruden and to GM Scot McCloughan for turning it around.