It’s looking more and more likely, especially after their shocking home victory Thursday night against the Saints, that the Cowboys will finish the season with at least 10 wins. Dallas has been playing some of the best football in the NFL over the last four weeks, and it’s their defense that is leading the way.
For the Redskins, the up-hill climb fans are very used to seeing this time of year has just begun.
If the Redskins can sneak past the Eagles on Monday night, they have three very winnable games before facing Philly again to end the season. If the Skins drop two more of their remaining five games, the playoffs may be out of reach.
The Rams and Saints all but have their division locked up, and certainly a playoff spot in hand. The race for the NFC North is one to follow, as the Vikings will be pushing the Bears hard down the stretch. And, as we all know, you can never count out the Seahawks for a wildcard.
The Redskins do have an advantage over the Panthers, who are currently sitting second in the NFC South, because of a head-to-head win, and that may come into play as the season winds down.
The two biggest issues with the Redskins currently are health and inability to make plays.
The health part is starting to look up a bit, as many guys are finally coming around. Trent Williams is continuing to get better from a thumb injury he had surgery on. His presence at left tackle will be key down the stretch. Trey Quinn returned a few weeks ago from an injury that forced him to IR, and he looks the part of a key play-maker in Gruden’s offense. Both Chris Thompson and Jamison Crowder look to be near returning from ailments that have held them out for weeks. Getting both guys back will give McCoy some weapons on offense.
The defensive side of the ball has remained fairly healthy throughout the season, but where the team has felt it most was with the loss of Quinton Dunbar for a few games do to nerve issues in his leg. He tried to gut through the pain against Dallas, but he was more of a liability in the secondary.
The issues on defense reside at linebacker right now, as Mason Foster and Zach Brown can’t seem to stop opposing ball carriers, and neither can cover backs and tight ends in the passing game. If these issues can’t get corrected soon, the defense will continue to struggle stopping opposing offenses.
I hate to say this, but the team will only go as far as the arm of Colt McCoy can take them. If Colt can push the football downfield and eliminate costly turnovers, we may have a shot. If we are unable to make plays and put points on the board, we will be putting too much pressure on our defense - and with the way they have been playing recently, that is not a good thing.
It should be a fun and entertaining five weeks!
Will the Redskins make the playoffs this season?
This poll is closed
Yes - as division champions
Yes - as a wildcard team
No - they will fold down the stretch as they usually do