Thursday, October 04, 2012

How The Mighty Have Fallen

It is a sad state of affairs to be a Washington Redkins fan right now.  When your fans are flipping out over a win over a franchise like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, you know that something is wrong.  In a display of modern football, the Redskins beat the Buccaneers 24-22 with a last second field goal from Billy Cundiff. 

Let's see what went right for the Redskins.  RG III is still an unknown commodity.  By that, I mean that teams are still getting the feel of how he plays the game.  Their offensive line beat the Buccaneers at the point of attack.  I understand that in Pro football, you have to have the next man up mentality, but Redskins fans shouldn't be celebrating the offensive line as the second coming of the Hogs yet.  When the opponent's defensive line is playing 3 reserves as starters, you should be able to control the line of scrimmage.  The running game is a hidden gem for the Redskins.  They have tailbacks that can step in for each other.  While you won't get superstar stats, you will get good stats from the group.  The Redskins acquisition of Pierre Garcon isn't looking bad at the current time.  In fact, it might be the best free agent that the Redskins have signed in the last couple of years.  And finally the defense stifled the 30th ranked offense in the NFL for the most part.  Of course, it lost a double digit lead in the 4th Quarter, so there is something to be said for consistency. 

Now to get to the title of the post.  How is it that one of the storied franchises of the NFL has 3 playoff appearances over the past 20 years?  And in those 3 playoff appearances, they have won in the Wild Card round twice, being beaten in the Divisional Round both times a week later and have lost the 3rd Wild Card game they played in.  The last time they won the NFC East is in 1991 when they went and won the Super Bowl.  20 years between Division Championships.  Sort of sounds like the Detroit Lions or Arizona Cardinals.  Anyways, they have put together 6 winning seasons since 1991.  In that time period, they have never had more than 10 wins in a season.  This from a franchise that counts 5 league titles, including 3 during the Super Bowl era. 

Mike Shanahan was brought in before the 2010 season to turn the franchise around.  Well, that hasn't went so well so far.  He didn't get a Top 5 QB in his prime and a workhorse running back that had the character and desire of Terrell Davis when he joined the Redskins.  He still doesn't have that.  He has shunned players that he didn't believe in and has also alienated fans and others alike.  He brought in his son Kyle as offensive coordinator.  I don't believe that Mike Shanahan is a coaching guru like most people do and I fully expect that the Redskins will not get the most out of their personnel due to Mike Shanahan being there.

And I do believe that the Redskins have a future Pro Bowl Quarterback on their roster and one that with experience will be a capable team leader that will keep his team going back to the playoffs year after year.  It's just not Robert Griffin III.  RG III is great for ticket sales, highlight reel plays, and excitement.  But name me one of the dual threat QB's that lead their teams to be legitimate threats for a Super Bowl.  You can't.  Michael Vick couldn't do it.  Cam Newton is starting to look like the football is Kryptonite to his Superman persona.  Randall Cunningham couldn't make enough throws during the playoffs.  Let's look at the past 20 years and make a list of the QBs that won the Super Bowl:  Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Brad Johnson, Kurt Warner, Trent Dilfer, John Elway, Brett Favre, Troy Aikman, and Steve Young.  Now tell me if Young was that dual threat that everybody wants now when he was a 49er.  He wasn't.  By that time, he had refined his game where he was only running maybe once a game by design and the other rushes are when the offensive line collapsed and he decided to run.  The others have never been a dual threat to run options, designed naked bootlegs that are designed as runs.  As a fan, RG III is great.  But the person that I would want starting for my team is Kirk Cousins.  I believe that he could be a Top 10 QB for many years if developed and allowed playing time. 

In closing, the Redskins have fallen from one of the premier teams of the NFL into the realm of teams like the Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and St. Louis Rams.  Teams that have a local following, but aren't going to become dynasties.  And until their fans decide that they have had enough of a franchise that is floundering around and is content to possibly be on the verge of the playoff race, the Redskins will stay in the class of teams that don't have a long and storied history.  And their fans will be real happy with close victories over teams that they shouldn't be worried about.


DC Homer said...

Dang it! We have got to have another Blog challenge--this isn't what I expected! I was looking for humility and a gaping wound for me to rub salt in while I did the "Nya, nya, nya!" dance.

But noooooo...Brent had to "go there!"

It was a good read, and while I had to wade through four paragraphs, you did hit one point with which I totally agree: Kirk Cousins. While I do think RGIII is a qualifyingly "better" QB, I wholeheartedly agree that Cousins is completely under-appreciated. But I think the Skins realize that which is why he's on the roster as a not-too-distant 3rd on the depth chart.

As for the Skins themselves, I'm prepared to say "time will tell," and Lord knows we've had plenty of "time," so I'm thoroughly prepared to be patient because, like my Nationals, I firmly believe in the adage: even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes (just ask the NY G'ain'ts). The days of the NFL dynastys are gone--free agency ruined that. So, the day will come for the "Redkins" (smile), hopefully RGIII will be there. Who knows, it could be our other "RG3" (Rex Grossman, 3rd String) who brings home the gold! Remember that blind squirrel!

Good post, BK!

Brent said...

You would have gotten the post that you were looking for, except you weren't gracious in victory. Disparaging the team that you beat and then expecting a humble fan to point out how your team beat his just doesn't happen.

The reason that I bring up the 20 years of futility, is that the people in and around D.C. are still nuts about the Redskins. It might help that the area finally has a team for a year that is good, in the Nationals. We both know that the Capitals don't count because they love to choke in the playoffs. But until the Redskins start to feel some pressure from their fans by way of monetary pressure, Daniel Snyder and the brass won't feel the pressure of winning.

And if you are actually pinning any hopes on Rex Grossman actually doing anything to help the team, you Redskins fans are past the point of no return. Yes, there is the "even a blind squirrel finds a nut" analogy. But there is one that I believe works better. "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."