Week 16: Redskins Final Exhibition

Nov 23, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) passes the ball as New York Giants nose tackle Robert Thomas (99) defends in the third quarter at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 20-10. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Redskins fans, the final game of the 2017 campaign has arrived. This has been a commitment testing, loyalty limits, bend don’t break type of season. This Washington Redskins team has underperformed and at times looked like quitters, some would say. We’ve witnessed the ups and downs of this 2017 campaign. As disappointing as this season has been, there are a few good points we can all take from it. The true and loyal showed up and showed out on every opportunity given. Jewels were found throughout the team to help build a better Redskins team for seasons to come, and Kirk Cousins found a way to surpass his QB totals from seasons past.

As the Redskins prepare for this final game versus the New York Giants, there are a few things to keep a close eye on: 1. Who will be playing with passion and energy; 2. How aggressive will the coaching staff allow Cousins to be; 3. Will the offensive line be forceful or will they be held back as has been the case all season, using injuries as the crutch to get through the post game press conference? It’s too early to begin talking about next seasons expectations, but there isn’t much else to talk about at this point.

The Giants enter this week 16 matchup dead last in the NFL with only 2 wins on the season. This does not automatically make the Redskins the favorite in this game. When it comes to the NFC East matchups, all records, stats and divisional placement go out the window. Regardless of their record, the Giants want to go into their offseason on a high note, by winning the last game. That’s the only importance this game has on the Giants side of the field. The Redskins on the other hand are trying to finish their season at .500 with an 8-8 record. Some may say that’s not important, but it is. With a record of 7-9, coaches and players alike are nervous and uncertain when it comes to their future with the team. At 7-9 so many more questions are asked in a negative manner than with a record of 8-8. At 7-9 the injuries are not viewed as what kept the team from winning, unlike 8-8 where the injuries are the reason that the team didn’t perform better. At 7-9 a lot of blame goes to the Head Coach, whereas at 8-8 the Head Coach is thought of as doing a good enough job to finish at .500. As Redskins fans, we witnessed last season’s final game let down at the hands of the New York Giants. That should not happen two seasons in a row without serious questions and moves being made in the Redskins organization.

The Redskins have a lot riding on this week 16 finale. If they win, the changes won’t be drastic. If they lose, who knows what will follow. That’s especially the case if the loss happens the way it did last season, with the Redskins playing unprepared and ready to end it all. I’m sure I’m not the only fan that would love to see the Redskins go into this matchup with a fire in their bellies unrivaled by any Giants player. All week we’ve heard about the discord within the Giants locker room, finger pointing and blame throwing – everything associated with losing. These negative circumstances make the Giants Head Coach’s job of preparing his team very difficult. The Redskins are in prime position to take advantage of the New York Giants’ misfortune. The only question is, will the Redskins seize this opportunity? This coaching staff hasn’t been very aggressive this season. Let’s hope that has changed. This is our last look at the Redskins for the 2017 season. With all the disappointment and shortcomings, winning this game would leave us all on a good not for the offseason. It would also be a step in the right direction, until the draft that is. Nevertheless, this Redskins team has to show up and show out like so many of us fans have this season, regardless of weather, travel distance, or win/lose record. This team has to realize we the represent them, and they represent us. That’s our motivation. What’s yours?

I want to give a special thanks to my Managing Editor Denise Robinson who has worked hard to edit and publish these weekly thoughts of mine on cover32.com/Redskins along with fellow writer Leonard Kirby for all his dedicated efforts at advertising, marketing and promoting for cover32 Redskins.  It’s been great sharing with you all and I can’t thank you enough for your support. I appreciate you and I wish everyone a Happy New Year!

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