The Fanpulse question of the week
Will your team make the playoffs?
Redskins fans answered with a resounding YES vote at 93%
Washington fans have reasons to be be confident, but also reasons to question whether the 2018 iteration of the Redskins is really a contender.
The Redskins boast a defense that is 2nd against the run, 5th in yards per game, 7th in points per game, and 2nd in time of possession.
However, the Redskins also field the 24th ranked offense (in yards per game), and rank 25th in points per game. The team’s quarterback, Alex Smith, seems to be struggling, and there’s been little consistency in the passing game.
Situational football and special teams have been bright spots, however. The Redskins are +6 in turnover differential, which is 4th best in the NFL, the punter Tress Way has routinely been pinning opponents inside the 20 yard line (he did it 5 times against the Cowboys) and has yet to have a touchback this season, while the placekicker, Dustin Hopkins has missed only one kick all season and sports a 92% success rate on field goals and 100% on PATs.
The Redskins have a 4-2 record, which is 3rd best in the NFC behind the Rams and Saints. Washington also holds tie-breakers in head-to-head matchups with the Packers, Panthers and Cardinals, should they need them.
Also undefeated inside the division at 1-0, with a game against the Giants this Sunday, the Redskins appear poised to extend their lead while the Cowboys are on a bye this week, and the Eagles take their break a week later, following this Sunday’s game against the Jags in London.
A final reason for confidence in a playoff berth this season is the Redskins’ remaining schedule. The eight opponents that lie ahead in the Redskins ten remaining games have a current combined win-loss record of 22-32 (40.7%). Incidentally, I read on the ticker running at the bottom of the NFL Network last night that this is the lowest win percentage among remaining opponents of any team in the NFL. Six of the eight teams have sub .500 records, and only one, the Texans, currently sports a winning record.
A look at our division rivals
The Cowboys fans are in a dark place, with less than a quarter of the fan base expressing confidence in the direction of the team, and just 27% still predicting a playoff berth for the 3-4 squad.
This week’s news for Cowboys fans was the acquisition of receiver Armani Cooper from the Raiders in return for the Cowboys’ 2019 first round pick.
Giants fans, who were talking about division championships and playoffs after drafting Saquon Barkley and Will Hernandez, and signing free agent Nate Solder in the offseason are now a broken bunch.
The offensive line can’t protect the aging QB or open running lanes for the rookie running back. The team is 1-6 and the GM is holding a fire sale.
Confidence, as measured by Fanpulse, sits at just 7%, and 96% of Giants fans already realize the inevitable — there will be no playoffs for Big Blue again this year. My only real question here is to wonder who the 4% of fans are that still believe the Giants will be playing in the post season.
Eagles fans started the year as high as a kite, still buzzing from the team’s superbowl victory, and encouraged to be getting Carson Wentz back. Nick Foles was a Super Bowl MVP, and could carry the team until Wentz was ready.
The season hasn’t really unfolded as the Philly fans expected.
By Week 3, the team was 2-1 and Carson was showing that he was ready to play any day.
What followed was unexpected by most analysts and Philly fans. The team has lost 3 out of 4 games, with the only victory coming against the lowly Giants. After watching a 17-0 fourth quarter lead evaporate against the Panthers this past week, the confidence of Eagles fans has fallen to a season low point.
Next up is a game that looked, early in the season, like it might be a Super Bowl preview — the Eagles taking on the Jaguars in London on Sunday morning. Now it looks like a desperate game for two reeling franchises. The Jags have dropped 3 straight games, getting outscored 90-28 in the process. Reports say that Leonard Fournette remains sidelined in Wednesday’s practice.
Meanwhile, Jacksonville has traded for Carlos Hyde in an effort to shore up the poor running game and give Blake Bortles some badly needed offensive help.
The only advantage that Jacksonville may be able to exploit this week is their experience in dealing with the challenges of playing in London. The Jags play there every year, while this will be the Eagles first foray across the pond.
Despite the steep drop in confidence levels among Philly fans, they still expect Doug Pederson’s crew to turn things around and make the playoffs, with 73% of the fanbase saying that they still expect the Eagles to play in the post season in 2018.