Washington Redskins: Evaluation Mode

Sep 10, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden looks on the field from the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at FedEx Field. Philadelphia Eagles defeated Washington Redskins 30-17. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Redskins fans, week 13 has come and gone. Yet again it seemed as if the Redskins weren’t prepared for their second contest of the season against the Dallas Cowboys. All of the Redskins injuries have been taken into consideration, but not used as excuses. It’s part of the head coach’s job to prepare and compensate for injuries. I’m not one to call for a person’s job, but the numbers are staggering when it comes to wins and losses, playing unprepared and overall lack of production. In order to fix things, an uncomfortable conversation has to happen based on what we’ve seen these past four years under the present leadership.

Let’s take a look at the numbers: 0-4 in season home openers; 1-7 versus the Dallas Cowboys (our team’s most hated rival). The Redskins record in 2014 was 4-12; in 2015 it improved to 9-7; in 2016 it leveled off to 8-7-1; this year (2017) we’re 5-7 thus far. These are not acceptable numbers, yet Redskins fans still remain supportive and loyal to the team. Reflecting back to the Giants game last season at FedEx Field, the Redskins needed to win to make it into the playoffs. Despite the fact that the Giants didn’t play all their starters, the Redskins couldn’t find a way to take advantage of the situation and win. Since the Redskins lost the game in London last season, they lost something of their competitive edge.

Funny thing is, with a win on Sunday versus the Chargers, the Redskins still have a chance to make the playoffs this year. Each game from this point forward is a must win. We’ve found ourselves in this position too many times. Which Redskins team will show up? Will we see the dominating, confident for 3 quarters team that let the game slip away in the 4th quarter? Or will we see the unprepared, disinterested group? Gruden once said in a press conference that motivating players isn’t his job. He said that being professional players should be motivation enough. That was one of the most damning statements that a head coach could make. From Pop Warner football, to high school, college and in the NFL, motivation is one of the most important responsibilities of a head coach.

The Los Angeles Chargers are playing inspired football at least for their past 5 games. Chargers QB Philip Rivers has found a reliable target in All Pro WR Keenan Allen, combined with the ever dependable TE Antonio Gates, and a running game that’s getting better week by week. The Chargers are sitting second in the AFC West at 6-6, losing their first 4 games of the 2017 campaign. Here recently the Chargers have found their motivation, winning their last 3 games in dominating fashion. The Chargers enter this matchup versus the Redskins as the heavy favorite to win. That’s on paper. We all know the game is played on the field. Home field advantage shouldn’t be an issue, since this is the Chargers’ first year in the LA area. This should allow the Redskins to call plays and actually be heard. The Chargers defense is entering this game in the same manner in which the Redskins are – injured. Injuries have plagued almost every team this season, but no excuses will be accepted. Whether a starter or backup, the job requirement doesn’t change.

The Redskins announced that the remaining games of the season will be used as an evaluation period of QB Kirk Cousins and the rest of the team. At this point, the Redskins should already know the individual and collective talent level on their roster. Rumors have surfaced about unnamed players in the receiving corps expressing their dislike of Cousins. This comes with losing. The Redskins should be focused on making it to the playoffs. Distractions have played a part in this season’s poor performance. Whether it was Josh Doctson, Terrelle Pryor, Matt Jones, or whomever, uncertainty was an obstacle from the very start of training camp. It’s time to right the ship and dominate our opposition. This is all we are asking for as Redskins fans. Make us proud and win with dominance. Leave no doubt that we are heading in the right direction. HTTR4LIFE!

What are your opinions and predictions? Share them with us at @cover32_WAS on Twitter and Cover32Washington Redskins on Facebook. HAIL to the Redskins!

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