An intriguing yet familiar storyline looms around the 2018 Washington Redskins heading into the third quarter of the season. After a 3-1 second quarter of the season, the Redskins enter a road game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reeling and licking their wounds following a 24 point loss against the Atlanta Falcons. What the Redskins displayed following their embarrassing Monday night loss against the New Orleans Saints is an excellent sense of resiliency and motivation, responding in a big way to win three consecutive games for the first time since 2016.
The month of October ended in a great way, as the strength of the offense, the rushing attack, averaged 121 yards per game. Defensively, the Redskins had a top five defense throughout the month, averaging 356 yards allowed per game, but 325 yards per game after the Saints loss. These wins were not pretty though, they were hard fought, and often Washington’s offensive production disappeared in the second half of games. However, after a three-game winning streak, reality struck the Redskins players and fans, that underlying issues will eventually come to the forefront and severely impact the outcome of the season.
The Atlanta Falcons came into FedEx Field this past Sunday and scored 38 points on the Redskins defense, beating Washington 38-14. So, what is a trend in the three Redskins losses? A margin of defeat by an average of 20 points per game. If you misheard, I will repeat, the Redskins are losing by an average of 20 points per game in their three losses. They are not competitive in the slightest, which is indicative of this night and day team. Another trend here, the Redskins are averaging 14 points per game in their losses, against teams with high powered offenses. The Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, and Atlanta Falcons are all top 10 offenses, and it has been evident ten weeks in that the Redskins have no answers for top-tier offenses.
The injuries piled up on the Redskins throughout the last four games. Washington lost three starting offensive linemen (two for the season), Chris Thompson has missed three of the last four games, Jamison Crowder has missed the past four games, Paul Richardson Jr. is out for the season, and cornerback Quinton Dunbar has been struggling with a nerve injury. A familiar storyline for the Redskins over the past couple of years has returned to bite this team yet again.
So for all the good that occurred for the Redskins, a first-place division standing, 2-0 divisional record, and top ten defense; the bad has been equally impactful if not more.
It is not a pretty thing to think about moving forward, all the injuries; however, the Redskins are a professional organization, and that must be recognized by the fan base moving forward. It is impossible and highly doubtful that they will fold and give up on the season with the position they are in at the moment. It is a long way to the finish line for Washington, and head coach Jay Gruden will need to display one of his best coaching stretches in the upcoming weeks he has ever had as a Redskin.
Collectively, the offense has been anemic all season, and there is an opportunity looming against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to get back on track for the short-term. This team is going to need all the help they can get from the offensive side of the football if they expect to win four to five more games, which is what it will take to win the NFC East.
I give the Redskins 2nd Quarter a solid B grade, what say you? Let us know.
What do you grade the Redskins over the last four games?
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