The Redskins have underachieved in recent weeks, and their failings have muddied their path to an NFC East championship.
Since starting the season with a record of 5-2, the Washington Redskins have lost three of their last four. In each contest, their defense has failed to generate consistent stops, and their offense has not produced at a reliable level.
All three of the Redskins’ losses were equally disappointing, but the most recent one, against the division rival Dallas Cowboys, could be the most severe blow to Washington’s eventual playoff hopes. They’re now tied with Dallas at 6-5, but Dallas possesses all the momentum.
Perhaps the most disappointing thing about the Redskins recent collapse is the fact that we’ve seen the multi-faceted talent this team has, especially on defense. The defensive line was supposed to remain dominant. Zach Brown and Mason Foster were supposed to form one of the league’s better linebacker duos, and the secondary, after adding Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, was supposed to earn its ‘Flight Marshals’ moniker.
Washington’s defense was supposed to coalesce into a trusted squad of playmakers. Instead, they’ve fallen apart in four straight weeks; even in the team’s win over the Buccaneers, they allowed over 500 offensive yards. They’ve said they’re aware of the need to get better. But ‘better’ hasn’t arrived yet.
When the players have the capability to play at a high level, and have shown it, but lack the consistency to mentally compete week in and week out, it’s up to the coaches, Jay Gruden and Greg Manusky, to glean the players’ best versions of themselves, and put that product out on the field.
The fate of the Redskins 2018 campaign is in the hands of the coaches. The team has won before, and even in the midst of injuries, they’ve shown resilience at times. While it’s important to address the adversity faced when discussing the coaches, a simple truth is evident: If the coaches aren’t actively a solution, then they might be part of the problem.
With five weeks left in the regular season, and a team looking to find its way again, the coaches have an opportunity to be the solution, to capitalize on the opportunity and lead the Redskins to an NFC East title. If they can’t, then it could be their last chance.