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Redskins' Gruden: Season won't be a success without playoffs

Redskins' Gruden: Season won't be a success without playoffs

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.

RELATED: Shawn Springs: Not suprised if Washington lets Cousins walk

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Somehow, the Redskins still have a fairly straightforward playoff path. Somehow

Somehow, the Redskins still have a fairly straightforward playoff path. Somehow

You're going to feel absurd for reading the following sentence, but probably not as absurd as it felt to type the following sentence.

The Redskins, who are on their fourth option at QB, who made the '18 Giants look like the '72 Dolphins and who are large underdogs this weekend to the 4-9 Jaguars, actually still have a straightforward path to the playoffs.

Now, the word "straightforward" only applies to the path on paper, because realistically, there's nothing straightforward about fixing the litany of issues that are plaguing Washington at the moment.

Regardless, by losing on Monday night to the Seahawks, the Vikings blew a chance to separate themselves from a pack of NFC teams chasing(?) them and their final wild card spot. The Redskins are one of those teams, and here's how they could pass Minnesota to qualify for the postseason:

With the way the season is unfolding, you'd expect the Burgundy and Gold's playoff scenario to involve a bunch of teams losing a bunch of times in these final three weeks. The tweet above illustrates that's clearly not the case. They only need Minnesota to drop one more to go along with the Redskins winning out.

Of course, the Redskins stringing three straight plays together without committing a holding penalty feels like too much to ask for, so anyone expecting a three-game winning streak is either a bit crazy or a relative of Josh Johnson. But still, they're not out of the hunt quite yet. Somehow.

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Jay Gruden not considering changes to his coaching staff

Jay Gruden not considering changes to his coaching staff

The Redskins gave up 40 points and more than 400 yards in a loss to the Giants last Sunday, and that was without Odell Beckham suited up for New York. 

The Redskins have lost four straight games, and five of six, while giving up more than 30 points three times. 

The Redskins surrendered more than 200 rushing yards to the Giants, and have not held an opponent under 100 yards rushing in their last six games. 

You get the idea. 

After the Washington defense got out to an impressive start to the season, things have fallen apart down the stretch.

Despite the struggles, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has no intention of shaking up his coaching staff.

"No. Not really," Gruden said on the Redskins Talk podcast when asked about any coaching changes. 

As the Redskins struggle and lose their grip on a playoff spot, it's not unheard of to think some staff changes might be coming. The Panthers fired two defensive assistants last weekend, and as the NFL season approaches the finish line, more coaches will lose their jobs. 

In Washington though, it seems the staff is safe. Still, the Giants loss stings. 

The Redskins' offense has been decimated by injuries, particularly at quarterback and along the offensive line. There was some leeway for a loss to New York, but not when the home team got down 40-0 to a 4-8 Giants team. 

That type of deficit brings questions. Questions about the coaches, questions about effort.

On Sunday, Gruden made clear he understands his future is week to week.

"We have a game to win next week in Jacksonville," the coach said. "We have to go about trying to find a way to do it."

On Monday, he made clear his assistants are safe. As far as he is concerned anyway. 

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