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Meaningful Games


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Who'd a thunk we'd be playing meaningful games in December. Still, here we are and we have at least two monkeys on our back to hit with a stick. The first are those Monday Night national game jitters. This team seems to still suffer from the yips when the national spotlight shines on them. Remember Carolina and too many Monday and Thursday night fiascos?


Here's the good news... the Redskins have shown this season that they can win the desperation games. With the season on the line they have won twice (against Tampa and New York.) that bodes well, but Monday against the Cowboys isn't a desperation game. We are not drowning on the verge of being pulled under. Instead, it's a meaningful game... it's a game that if we win puts pressure on New York and pushes us towards relevance.


This is the game you have to win in order to be a team that matters. It's not the survival game, but the over the hump game. In a way, the game against Dallas is more important than the one against the Giants. We will answer a number of questions on Monday. The first of which is will we rise to the occasion. Too often the past we haven't. With a chance to make a statement we come in and sleepwalk. We come in overconfident and think that a team will roll over for us. We make critical mistakes born of nerves or carelessness.


The second question is can we take a punch. This team has showed resolve in coming back a few times, but it also has shown a glass jaw and a little bit of quit. We saw this in Carolina particularly where after the refs screwed us over and over in the second quarter the team pretty much lied down.


The final question want be answered on Monday, but it will begin to be answered. Are we ready to compete. Are we real or fake? Were the Giants and Saints' games fools gold? Are we a slightly below average team or a rising team... or worse yet, are we a bad team that can only compete against other bad teams?


I'm excited to find out. More, I'm ready for meaningful football. We started the year believing that we would play no meaningful games. Now, we probably will play at least five. 

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its always an issue between too many choices and to few.  My line of thinking was:


1) 4 or less puts us on par with the last 2 seasons, and we've yet to escape the trouble of past mismanagement.


2) 5-6 shows some improvement but a hill still to climb. Perhaps another solid offseason or two to get to the next level.


3) 7-8 very good improvement and the core has been put in place just needs longer to bake. Perhaps a handful or starters and additional depth needed to contend for the playoffs or division on a regular basis. Roughly or close to a .500 team.


4) 9-10 SM and JG out did their jobs in year 1 of working together and we're in playoff or division contention. Luck involved of course.


5) 11+ division winners, with way better then expected improvement. Other variables of course, but perhaps on the cusp of in contention of the playoffs year in and out from this point further.



So early! Still so many questions on Griffin's fit in Gruden's offense, on how well the new defensive coaching staff performs, and how well the overhauled defensive secondary gels into a decent unit, (especially if a sputtering offense keeps them on the field too much).

I think with that many questions, I'd plunk down an optimistic 7-8, going with the assumption the Skins get reasonably decent play from the QB position. (Frankly, I believe the team could mirror how well the QB performs in supplementing the running game --so if the QB is bad they'll sink to 5-6; if the QB is really good, 9-10+.)



I can see 10 games. The defense will be very good. We have a lot of good players. Secondary will be better than last year.



This assumes no rediscovery of his 2012 form for RGIII:


Ceiling: 7-9


Expected: 6-10


Floor: 4-12


Vegas set our over/under total at 6, and Vegas knows what it's doing on a macro scale. 5 is a bit too low, 7 may be a bit too high, hence the six. 


if RGIII were to find his 2012 form, the ceiling would be 11-5, but so far that seems highly unlikely.



Just for fun I will use a math formula.  We will win 60% of the games Robert starts (rounded down) or 40% of the games Kirk starts (rounded down) which ever is higher.


So, if Robert starts all 16 games, we will win 9.  If he only starts 10 games, we will win 6 games this year.


If Kirk starts 10 games, we will win 4 games this year.


My thought process is that if Robert is starting, then he is healthy and doing relatively well.  If Kirk is starting Robert was hurt or sucked, the team is dejected and we continue to find ways to lose.



Had to go with 5-6 wins because of the QB play, if we get QB play like we did in 2012 we could easily win 10 games and the division.



I'm pretty shocked that 50% of us think we're a .500 team.



My max was 6 before FA, & it sits at 6 now. I want to rate us higher....at about 7, approaching 8; however, not only have many other teams also gotten better this offseason, but specifically the ones we get to face on our schedule.

Our schedule won't get any preseason "league's toughest schedule" marks...but i would venture a guess that come season's end, our schedule will be rated as one of the toughest.

MIA, BUF, NYJ all got better by a lot, & NE is the defending SB champs. STL, TB, CHI are our fellow bottom dwellers, & 2/3 there also heavily improved. I thibk the only teams that don't particularly worry me are CHI, NO, NYG, & PHI. I also am never terribly concerned about the Pukes as i usually figure a split is in the cards.

I could see us win 4 Divisional games this year, & then it's a crapshoot. If we figure out the QB situation by vastly improving our rushing attack, & converting 3rd downs & RZ opportunities, we could win as many as 10 or 11...but i believe we would still be eeeking out W's.

I love the Culliver, Goldson, & JJ acquisitions to help cover behind the defensive front. I think we upgraded the front 7 significantly, & Scherff is going to let people know who he is.

My best (realistic) hope is that we meet 6 wins or exceed up to 8/9, but that we hit teams square in the mouth week in & week out. Even if we go 4-12 with each game being one where we make our opponent take notice, & recognize that the Redskins came to play...then i'm good. Let the next draft class come in & let's keep it rollin'!



I'm going 10 - 6

We should all be happy and proud of our Redskins! HTTR!!

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Great thread and OP. I can't really add much to these thoughts. Several times since 1992 we have had glimpses of hope and a team that looked like it was on the verge of establishing itself as a contender. 


The 1996 team was a piece or two away, but even the second-half collapse that season didn't leave me thinking we weren't emerging to step in and replace Dallas in the East. But, we plateaued in 1997 and then regressed in 1998. 


The 1999 team overachieved and looked poised to stick around for a couple years. But injuries, impatience, and no kicking game derailed the 2000 team and we started the whirlwind first decade of Snyder's tenure. 


The 2001 team rebounded from a horrible start and had some mid-season magic before being mediocre after Thanksgiving. 


The 2002 team finished with 7 wins and showed some promise but Spurrier wasn't up to the task of finishing the job as we regressed the following year. 


The 2004-2007 teams felt like an old-school Gibbs team. We played better down the stretch and found ways to win without spectacular offensive output. But we were up and down and never really peaked before he left. 


Then Zorn even had a flurry of success in 2008 before the league caught up to him. 


Shanahan's tenure peaked with Griffin and the innovative offense but the injury and some politics interfered. 


In the end, we have had a few moments over the past quarter-century when it was reasonable to expect some amount of sustained success. Yet, despite that, we've never had a playoff season in back-to-back years and only once have had a winning record in consecutive years (1996 and 1997). 


I would really love to finish strong this year (winning the division or not) and actually have it propel us to something of significance over the next 3-5 years. That would be a golden age in some ways. 

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