It's always fun to look at the "what ifs" and "what could have beens" of a team's season. Heading into the final two weeks of the regular season, most fans will agree this team is not where it should be right now. Some heartbreaking loses(and a tie), and some uninspiring play when it mattered most, have all but dashed the Redskins playoff hopes.
Below are some what if scenarios that are worth discussion.
What if Dustin Hopkins could make a makable field goal?
What if Dustin Hopkins could make a makable field goal? The Redskins would have certainly won the game in London against the Bengals, and probably the one in Detroit as well. His two misses against Dallas on Thanksgiving could have definitely changed the outcome of that game, as the Redskins ended up losing by 5 points. On the season he's missed 7 field goals(tied for the league lead with rookie Roberto Aguayo from Tampa Bay)and 3 extra points.
What if DeAngelo Hall hadn't gotten injured?
The injury to DeAngelo Hall surely threw a wrench into the team's plans at free safety. The 33 year old vet was entering his 14th season in the league, and his first as a full-time free safety. He played in just three games before tearing the ACL in his right knee. There has been an open door at safety since Hall was placed on IR, with David Bruton(now injured), Will Blackmon, Duke Ihenacho, Donte Whitner and Deshazor Everett all seeing time at the safety position. Hall might have not been the long-term answer at the position, but his intelligence, ball skills, and anticipation would have helped the back-end tremendously.
What if we had two other competent defensive linemen to compliment Chris Baker?
Chris Baker leads all defensive linemen with 42 total tackles. Ziggy Hood is the next closest with 29. Baker has tallied 4.5 sacks(one more than Preston Smith)3 tackles for a loss and 2 forced fumbles. No other defensive linemen has more than 1.5 sacks. Between the other three "regulars" in the rotation, they have COMBINED for just 67 total tackles, 3 sacks, 8 tackles for a loss and 1 forced fumble. Baker may have only brought the quarterback down 4.5 times, but he is the only member of the interior defensive line who generates consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks with his ability to collapse the pocket.
What if Junior Galette hadn't blown his Achilles...for the second year in a row?
General Manager Scot McCloughan signed Junior Galette two years ago after he was released by the New Orleans Saints following a domestic violence incident that went viral on the internet. He never played a down for the Redskins in 2015 due to an Achilles tear he suffered in practice, yet that didn't stop McCloughan from re-signing him for 2016. The result?...another Achilles tear and another missed season.
Now, no one knows how this may have played out if Galette had remained healthy, but one can only assume that he would have added a much needed pass rush presence on the outside, making life much worse for opposing quarterbacks, and making life easier for our secondary and linebackers in coverage.
So, what are YOUR what ifs for the 2016 Redskins, and how may they have changed the season to date? Please share in the comments section.