Sunday, January 3, 2016
The Washington Redskins Could be a Dangerous Team in the Playoffs
Last Saturday Night, the Washington Redskins have completed one of their greatest turnaround seasons in franchise history by defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 38-24, to clinch their second NFC East title in three years. This was their 15th divisional title and their 600th win in franchise history. The Redskins, who were among the worst teams in the NFL during the last two years, have all of the suddenly look like a real likable NFL team.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins threw for 365 yards and four touchdowns, two of those came in the second half to give the Redskins a huge lead going into the fourth quarter. Tight End Jordan Reed continuous to be unstoppable and a coverage nightmare for defenses. The defense was able to shut down the Eagles offense , despite nearly giving up a big play at times, and the Eagles offense self imploded themselves. This road victory summarizes a major accomplishment for the entire organization. The entire season was all about football, not the endless starting quarterback drama and dysfunction that we all use to seeing from this organization.
Just like this season, the Redskins will enter the playoffs with little expectations and a major chip on their shoulders. Most national media NFL analysts see the Redskins being one and done in the playoffs. That will add fuel to the fire for the players and coaching staff. The Redskins will host a Wild Card playoff game next weekend at FedEx Field against either Seattle, Minnesota, or Green Bay. In the NFL playoffs, we see upsets and surprises every year and the way the Redskins are currently playing, they can win a playoff game at home. The Redskins are 6-2 at home this season, and they play much better in front of their hometown fans at FedEx Field. Also, unlike in years past, the Redskins are a resilient team. They have overcome key injuries and setbacks all seasons. Anytime they were in a must win situation, they have delivered. Whether that helps in the playoffs remains to be seen, but it is a major step forward.
I am aware the Redskins don't have an elite roster and talent compared to the teams in Carolina and Arizona, but if the Redskins play optimistic football, they have a chance to surprise everyone in the NFL. Kirk Cousins offense continues to move the football and avoided turnovers. The defense is very suspect to giving up big plays, but they are second in the league in forcing fumbles. Special teams continues to improve, but they will need to avoid penalties and improve their kickoff return coverage.
The Redskins will play their final road game of the season today at Dallas. Hopefully, no starters gets hurt today and only plays one full half of action. While today's game is meaningless, Kirk Cousins needs to throw 129 yards to set a single season franchise record for passing yards. Tight End Jordan Reed needs two more touchdowns to set a single season franchise record for the most receiving touchdowns in a single season.
Finally, finishing the season with a NFC East title and a 9-7 record is a great accomplishment going forward. It will solidify their first winning season in three years.
Image Courtesy of CBS Sports