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Survey says Redskins fans are shaken but not shattered

Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Redskins Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images

It was a tough opening week.

Still no end to the Trent Williams holdout, and nothing to signal any kind of resolution in sight. The Redskins, after looking like champions for a quarter and a half in Philly, suffered collapses on both sides of the ball in the second half, failing to sustain any offensive drives until garbage time, stranding a tired defense on the field that was short of healthy bodies and unable to slow down the Eagles attack. While most people had predicted a loss to Philly in Week One, given the 20-7 halftime lead, it was a deflating loss when it came.

That was just the start of the bad news. During the game, Jonathan Allen, Washington’s young starting defensive tackle, hurt his knee and was not allowed to return. Post-game, it was unclear how much time he was likely to miss, though we’ve now been told he’ll be out for one or two weeks.

NFL: Washington Redskins at Tennessee Titans Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Right after the game it became clear that running back Derrius Guice, freshly returned from an ACL tear sustained in the 2018 preseason, had hurt his other knee. It was initially described as a ‘strain’, but we heard this week that he suffered a partial tear of his meniscus, and that he had mid-week surgery. He will miss several weeks at least.

NFL: Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The news on Greg Stroman’s injury came a little faster, as he had surgery soon after the game for what Jay Gruden described as a core muscle injury and was moved to IR.

After that, the list of the walking wounded is a mix of old and new injuries. Colt McCoy’s leg/foot continues to prevent him from even practicing, and it is increasingly unclear why the team is unwilling to move him to IR in an effort to open up a roster spot. Jordan Reed remained in the concussion protocol, though Jay Gruden seems increasingly optimistic about his availability for the Week 2 game against the Cowboys. Defensive Tackle Caleb Brantley and cornerback Fabian Moreau each continues to recover from pre-season injury, while DBs Quinton Dunbar and Montae Nicholson were held out of practice due to injuries that resulted from Sunday’s game.

Redskins fans suffering from a case of PTSD after watching 28 players sent to IR last year are wondering if the sky is falling on the 2019 season as well.

Fan confidence — low at 36% prior to the Eagles game — fell 11 points to 25%. Even so, the relative confidence rating of Redskins fans looked a bit better, as the confidence of 5 other fan bases fell to levels that ranged from 6% (Panthers) to 22% (Falcons). Unsurprisingly, those five teams — Carolina, Tampa Bay, NY Jets, Steelers and Falcons — all lost their opening game of the season.

In fact, the confidence level of fourteen fanbases fell by more than the 11-point drop found among Hogs Haven readers. Redskins fans were disappointed, but having entered the season with lower expectations, they simply didn’t have as far to fall.

A bit surprisingly, the confidence of Eagles fans fell 2 points, from 99% to 97% — probably because so many Eagle’s fans expect this team to get to the super bowl while the Redskins ‘earn’ a top-5 draft pick that the first half domination by Washington shook the faith a bit.

The other two teams inside the NFC East had predictable results. With the return of Zeke Elliott to the roster and a win over the Giants at home in Dallas, Cowboys fans responded with a confidence boost of 17 points, from 78% to 94%.

With everyone in the division playing each other to open the season, there were always gonna be two winners and two losers. The home team won in both contests, with the Giants falling to 0-1 to begin what threatens to be a long uncomfortable season for Giants fans. They responded strongly in the FanPulse voting, falling an incredible 44 points after an expected loss. The latest confidence number of 29% seems to be more in line with the type of season that awaits the Giants than the 73% confidence level BigBlueView readers had prior to the start of the regular season.

The national question in last week’s FanPulse poll was this:

Who was the most disappointing team in Week 1?

Personally, I wanted to vote for my own Washington Redskins, but since nationally nothing was expected of them, no one, I suppose, sees them as a disappointment.

Of the four teams on offer (Falcons, Bears, Steelers, Browns) I voted for the Steelers, who simply got wholloped, even if it was against the Patriots — perhaps because it was against the Patriots.

The majority wasn’t with me, however, as the pre-season darlings of the media hype — the Cleveland Browns — somehow disappointed the largest percentage of fans by falling to the Titans by a 30-point margin.

It’s very easy for fans, after waiting in anticipation through a long off-season, and getting excited about the team’s improvement in prospects after free agency and the draft, to feel a deep sense of disappointment and failure when their favorite team loses in Week 1. But a football season is a marathon, not a sprint, and it’s only just begun.

As John Keim was quick to remind us via Twitter on “Over-reaction Monday” at the start of the week: