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The 5 O'Clock Club: Playing in Prime Time

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It’s 5 o’clock somewhere...

The 5 o’clock club aims to provide a forum for reader-driven discussion at a time of day when there isn’t much NFL news being published. Feel free to introduce topics that interest you in the comments below.

Here are some excerpts from an article published just prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers in November 2016 — a game that the Redskins won.

The Redskins’ season-opening loss against the Steelers on “Monday Night Football” dropped them to 5-20 in prime time since Joe Gibbs left for a second time after the 2007 season. Washington has been outscored 662-423 in those 25 games, or by an average of 10 points per nationally televised contest.

The Redskins have gone 2-6 in eight Sunday night games during that span, the most recent a 24-17 loss to the Giants in December 2013. The Redskins’ last win on Sunday night was a 28-18 triumph against the Cowboys in the final week of the 2012 season to clinch the NFC East title at home. Washington has lost seven consecutive prime time games at home since then.

Of course, we all know that the Redskins went on to win that 2016 game against the Packers — and win it rather decisively (42-24). Some people felt that the prime time curse had been broken.

Any thought that the Redksins were now ready for prime time was shattered in Week 15 when the Carolina Panthers ran away from the Redskins in a prime time matchup that ended with a 26-15 Panthers victory.

In fact, the only time since 2008 that the team has managed a pair of back-to-back prime time victories was in RG3’s rookie season of 2012 when the team got a pair of NFC East victories against the Giants and — as mentioned in the article above — the Cowboys on the way to a division championship.

The Sunday night game against the Raiders this week will provide the latest opportunity for the Redskins to buck the long-term trend. It will be followed up quickly by a Monday night matchup in Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium 8 days later. It would be nice to put up back-to-back prime time wins against the AFC West.

Statistics can be looked at in many ways. I like to think that the Redskins are .500 in their last 4 prime time games, with the opportunity to dramatically improve that percentage in the next two games.

Of course, the Redskins weren't quite able to change the equally notorious ‘can’t win the opening game of the season’ trend, failing get off the schneid to start the season, and extending their winless streak in season-opening games to 5 consecutive seasons with the defeat at home, where they hosted the Eagles.

But they did travel west in Week 2, and picked up a road win against a talent-stocked Rams defense with a renowned defensive line coached by Wade Phillips by running it "up their donkeys", restoring hope to a season that had looked bleak just days before.

The success against the playoff-bound Packers team last season shows that the Redskins can win in prime time. The good showing in LA indicates that the team can win under pressure.

So far this season, defense has been the premier unit in both games, with the offense — and to a lesser extent, the special teams unit — struggling for rhythm and consistency. Can Kirk Cousins and his offensive teammates finally get untracked and help the team pick up a home win against the undefeated and high scoring Raiders?

Poll

What will happen in the game against the Raiders on Sunday night?

This poll is closed

  • 33%
    The Redskins shit the bed.... yet again
    (171 votes)
  • 29%
    It’ll be a good game, but the home team Redskins will pick up another loss
    (150 votes)
  • 37%
    The Redskins will "just win baby!"
    (189 votes)
510 votes total Vote Now

The Redskins in prime time since 2008:

  • Thursday, Sept. 4, 2008, at Giants: L, 16-7
  • Monday, Nov. 3, 2008, vs. Steelers: L, 23-6
  • Sunday, Nov. 26, 2008, vs. Cowboys: L, 14-10
  • Sunday, Dec. 7, 2008, at Ravens: L, 24-10
  • Monday, Oct. 26, 2009, vs. Eagles: L, 27-17
  • Monday, Dec. 21, 2009, vs. Giants: L, 45-12
  • Sunday, Dec. 29, 2009, vs. Cowboys: L, 17-0
  • Monday, Nov. 15, 2010, vs. Eagles: L, 59-28
  • Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010, vs. Colts: L, 27-24
  • Sunday, Sept. 12, 2010, vs. Cowboys: W, 13-7
  • Monday, Sept. 26, 2011, at Cowboys: L, 18-16
  • Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, vs. Giants: W, 17-16
  • Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, vs. Cowboys: W, 28-18
  • Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, vs. Eagles: L, 33-27
  • Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013, at Cowboys: L, 31-16
  • Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, at Vikings: L, 34-27
  • Monday, Nov. 25, 2013, vs. 49ers: L, 27-6
  • Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013, vs. Giants: L, 24-17
  • Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014, vs. Giants: L, 45-14
  • Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, vs. Seahawks: L, 27-17
  • Monday, Oct. 27, 2014, at Cowboys: W, 20-17 (OT)
  • Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, at Giants: L, 32-21
  • Monday, Dec. 7, 2015, vs. Cowboys: L, 19-16
  • Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015, at Eagles: W, 38-24
  • Monday, Sept. 12, 2016, vs. Steelers: L, 38-16
  • Sunday, Sept. 20, 2016 vs. Packers: W, 42-24
  • Monday, Dec. 19, 2016 vs. Panthers: L, 26-15