The Washington Redskins have been here before. This time last season, the Redskins were a team that was blooming with potential but couldn’t capitalize on opportunities when it mattered most. However, once RGIII found his rhythm along with the Redskins defense developing a level of much needed consistency, this team went on to win seven games in a row and were able to win their division in the process. While the Redskins are currently experiencing an unwelcoming sense of déjà vu, they still have a chance to at least compete in a close division that is wide open for any team that can rejuvenate their wavering confidence.
Although the Redskins offense has looked much more efficient and dominant in their last two games, their lackluster defense has seemingly gotten worse from game to game. While their defense did come through valiantly when it prevented the San Diego Chargers from scoring the game-winning touchdown, their overall performance throughout the season has been mediocre at best. Ultimately, the Redskins secondary is the culprit in this team devastating meltdowns as they have allowed 274.8 passing yards per game (27th in the NFL) and have only held one team to less than 20 points throughout the season.
However, even with the defenses inexplicable failures, the onus of the Redskins demise also falls on the shoulders on the once prolific young passer RGIII. While RGIII has become a much more effective offensive contributor in the last few weeks, his athleticism and overall speed have become noticeably depleted. Last year, RGIII rushed for seven touchdowns and over 800 yards. This season, RGIII has yet to score a rushing touchdown and has only rushed for a meager 300 yards.
Yet, even with his regressed running capabilities, RGIII has also become an average passer that has failed to live up to his prominent accolades from last season. By far the most alarming statistical change is RGIII’s turnover rate that was one of the lowest in the league last season. All of last year, RGIII only through 5 interceptions while completing over 65% of his passes, which was highly impressive for even the most determined rookie. This year, not only has RGIII thrown more interceptions (he has thrown 9 INT’s this year), his completion percentage has decreased significantly to around 60%. To be fair, RGIII’s inconsistencies can at least be partially attributed to a paper-thin offensive line that seemingly struggles to hold back even a standard four-man rush. However, it can’t be denied that RGIII has also been demoralized and worn down both physically and mentally. The combination of these two critical aspects has resulted in the Redskins becoming a one-dimensional team that is heavily reliant on rushing the ball and lacks the athletic balance that it needs to succeed against more formidable opponents.
Despite the Redskins depressing discrepancies, they still have a decent chance at staying competitive within their own division. As of now, the Redskins are only one game behind the Philadelphia Eagles for second place and with a win next week at Lincoln Financial field, the Redskins could easily find themselves valiantly competing for the top spot in the division. However, the Redskins will have to find a way to stop the fast paced offenses of both the Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys if they hope to win out throughout the rest of the season. Without a sufficient defense that is able to force three and out, the Redskins will find themselves relying on an ailing RGIII who can’t always be relied upon to pull out close victories like he did on a regular basis last season.
In the end, the Redskins are team that is facing intense adversity and will need to take the next week and a half to figure out a way to resurrect their team from the ashes to pull off a spectacular comeback. Although the road to victory won’t be easy and will be easier said than done in the long run, the Redskins still have a chance to right their wrongs to become an inspirational competitor once again.