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Looks Like Someone Has a Sixpack of the Mondays—Merry Christmas

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Denver Broncos v Washington Redskins Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images
  1. Happy Victory Monday, y’all!!! That is what we’re celebrating today, right? I hope this Christmas day finds all of you happy and healthy. I hope this holiday season (ahem....Stabbe...cough) has been filled with family and fun and plenty of reminders of what makes life worth living. I understand that life doesn’t always honor the sanctity of this otherwise merry season, and so to any of you out there struggling in any way whatsoever, I remind you that in every way possible, we are in this together! Please remember you are aren’t alone, and please believe the best is yet to come!
  2. The Redskins are doing their part to bring this season home to a merry conclusion. There is a difference of opinion in some corners of Redskins Nation about just how merry an 8-8 record would be. I believe word reached me all the way from Ecuador yesterday telling me that the Redskins haven't had three consecutive seasons of .500 or better since 1999-2001 (thanks Odie). People can laugh at the celebration of such things—people like Patriots fans, Steelers fans...you get the picture. As a fanbase yearning to reach the heights those franchises have reached in recent seasons, we have to set up basecamp at the foot of the mountain. Establishing a stretch of non-losing seasons does just that. Perhaps we can quibble over the speed at which we are preparing to ascend the mountain, but please do me a favor and look at a running list of our records since we last had a decent three-year stretch (7-9, 5-11, 6-10, 10-6, 5-11, 9-7, 8-8, 4-12, 6-10, 5-11, 10-6, 3-13, 4-12). That is thirteen seasons’ worth of...you tell me. My point is if we are going to RIGHTFULLY complain about a team that has been hard to watch (and love), shouldn't we be prepared to see the good in what can be RIGHTFULLY called a turnaround? Even if it is a painfully slow turnaround?
  3. For my part, I can honestly say I am thinking about this last game against the New York Giants as a BIG GAME. I am getting up for it. And yes, I know some of you are not happy with because of that. I respect your opinion, and I even see your point, but I pushed my chips into the center on this season a long time ago. I feel like I’m on an inside straight draw...and chopping the pot is the best possible outcome. Against the team that showed up against the Arizona Cardinals yesterday...I like my chances!
  4. Without ruining anyone’s holiday, let me just repeat my refrain from The Audible: this offseason can go a few different ways, and some of them could hurt...a LOT. I honestly believe that a win that puts us at 8-8 decreases the chances for some of the most painful outcomes. A three-game winning streak to close out the season leaves a far different taste in our mouths as we hit what could be a dramatic offseason.
  5. What do you make of a team that has nothing to play for—against other teams that also have nothing to play for? Can you draw any conclusions from the team that emerges victorious from a series of games against other crappy teams? There is more than one right answer here, but I can’t help but read a few things into what the Redskins are doing these last couple weeks. With a coach (Jay Gruden) that plenty of fans want to run out of town, the Redskins are showing up with effort and energy. If any group knows what it looks like when a sideline full of players has no will to win in December, it’s Redskins fans. That is not what we are seeing at all. Jay Gruden’s tenure as head coach is likely to continue based on the way this squad is closing out the season. Keep in mind, the squad we speak of consists of guys who probably didn’t think they would playing (or starting) in an NFL game this season...or ever. We could field a pretty darned good team just from our injured reserve list. The strong finish would solve another potential offseason soap opera regarding our head coach. No matter which way you slice it, hitting this winter/spring on a three-game winning streak would make for a far...different...offseason. (That was a pretty good defense the Redskins played yesterday. The success Kirk Cousins had looks a lot better when you realize that only the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots put up more yards on the Broncos defense this season. The 386 yards put up by the Redskins offense was 110 yards more than the average yards given up by Denver this season.)
  6. This week on The Audible, we will be in full celebration mode. If you have never listened to us before, and are dying to hear (and see on Facebook Live) what it looks like when a few guys chain-drink glasses of whiskey and talk DC sports...we have the show for you! There has been a lot to lament from 2017 when it comes to DC sports, but lamenting is easy. We do the hard work of identifying those things that are worthy of celebrating—and there is no shortage of these stories. While we look forward to a better 2018 in terms of sports relevance (postseason success), we refuse to buy into the notion that the DC sports scene is cursed or beyond saving. It just ain’t so. That isn’t to say we won’t recognize and shine a light on those things that require attention and improvement—we do and we will. We have two more episodes of “After the Whistle” before we transition to our second season of “Offseason On the Brink.” Check out Hogs Haven’s Facebook page for the video feed, and if you have a second, drop a suggestion in the comments below for something you think we need to make sure to cover.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!