We are considered the voice of the fan here at Hogs Haven and we talk daily about who the Redskins are and how the Redskins are doing. From last week’s game to this week’s game to that awful call from the referees, Washington fans congregate here and consensus is...mostly...formed
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The Fanpulse votes were cast on the question: Which team who won their division last season will not repeat as division champs?
Two teams led the voting: the Baltimore Ravens and the Dallas Cowboys. I’m not sure whether fans looking at the AFC North had more faith in the Browns or the Steelers (or perhaps a simple lack of faith in the Ravens), but I’m pretty sure the cause of doubt for the Cowboys wasn’t high expectations for the Redskins.
There are a lot of reasons to doubt Dallas’ ability to repeat that have to do with the team itself. One of those reasons is reported to have spent a lot of time in Cabo, Mexico this off-season — long enough that the team’s owner seemed to be puzzled when asked about him.
The Ewok, apparently, was not amused.
Ezekiel Elliott was not amused by Saturday's "Zeke who?" quip from Jerry Jones and thought it was "disrespectful," according to Elliott's agent. “I didn't think it was funny and neither did Zeke - we actually thought it was disrespectful," Rocky Arcineaux told @mortreport.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 19, 2019
Funny, I thought that the melodrama in Dallas had ended when we found out who shot J.R., but Jerry Jones and Elliott manage to keep it entertaining.
The more likely reason for NFL fans across the country to doubt the Cowboys’ ability to repeat is the fact that another team in the division appears to be loaded for bear, and, no, I’m not talking about the Redskins.
Expectations are high for the Eagles, who have a talented roster that many think could be strong enough to get them back to the Super Bowl after a one-year hiatus, though at the rate they are burning through quarterbacks in the preseason, Jeffrey Lurie may want to hold off on his Miami hotel reservations.
The confidence of Eagles fans is sky high, according to the Fanpulse survey results.
Cowboys fans? Well... they felt okay, but there’s a fair bit of doubt lingering. The confidence of Cowboys fans has drifted between the 50% and 75% levels throughout the off-season, and recent events have left the confidence of fans who read Blogging the Boys drifting downward ahead of the first pre-season game.
The fans of our “other” division rival, the Giants, seem to be irrationally optimistic. Perhaps they are just taking the longer term view, or maybe they are getting drunk on the glory that awaits them now that they’ve finally rid themselves of the deadweight Odell Beckham Jr. and drafted the incredible and charismatic Daniel Jones to lead the franchise.
Believe it or not, Giants fans feel better about what is going on with their team than Cowboys fans do about theirs. Given that the Giants have won 8 games in the past two seasons combined, recently traded away one of the most athletically gifted wide receivers in the league, and have to rely on Dave Gettleman to build the franchise, while the Cowboys are coming off of a division championship and have a team built around Elliott, Prescott, Cooper and Lawrence together with a respected offensive line, dynamic young linebackers and a maturing defensive backfield, it’s hard to see the rationality in all of this until one remembers that Dallas fans are relying on Jerry Jones to build the team. His success rate without Jimmy Johnson doesn’t really inspire confidence, I guess.
Of course, this is Hogs Haven, where our primary concern is the Washington Redskins.
Despite an incredible draft where the Redskins added two young talents — one on each side of the ball — by picking Dwayne Haskins at 15 and Montez Sweat at 26, and then going on to grab receivers Terry McLaurin and Kelvin Harmon in the 3rd and 6th, the excitement of the college draft hasn’t been sustained in Redskins-land.
Instead, the holdout of the team’s best player, Trent Williams, hangs like a pall over DC. The sad truth that Haskins will need more than 4 preseason games to be ready to step on an NFL field during regular season games, that Colt McCoy can never get healthy enough to take the field when circumstance throws an opportunity his way, and that Case Keenum is more likely the guy we saw in Denver in 2018 than the one we saw in Minnesota in 2017 was hitting home as fans watched the quarterback “competition” sputter through training camp. The oft-reported bad news about the ‘Skins offensive line and the apparent lack of NFL readiness of the team’s two OL draft picks also took its toll.
In a poll taken just prior to the first preseason game with Cleveland, our confidence — that of Hogs Haven readers who voted in the Fanpulse poll — was dropping. Our confidence is the lowest in the NFC East — lower even than that of the hapless Giants!
After seeing a rise in optimism post-draft, instead of riding the wave higher, the events of May, June and July hammered Redskins fans to the point where only about a third of responding Redskins fans felt confident in the direction of the team just prior to seeing the Redskins take the field against Cleveland.
I’m not sure that the two lossess — one to Cleveland on the road and the other to the Bengals at FedEx Field — will do anything to reverse that trend, but if you want to have your say, sign up for Fanpulse, and you can vote in the next SB Nation poll.
Until then, I can think of one thing the franchise could do to rally the fanbase.