ESPN.com put out their weekly “Power Rankings” this week, and ranked the Redskins at 30th out of the 32 NFL teams, only ahead of Houston (dead last) and Jacksonville.
But couldn’t you make a very realistic argument that the Redskins really are the worst team in the NFL right now? Can we definitively say that that, if put on a neutral field, the Redskins would beat the Jaguars or Texans? Just like ESPN mentioned, Jacksonville went 3-1 in November. The Redskins haven’t gone 3-1 in any stretch of the 2013 season.
ESPN ranked Houston as the worst team in the league. But, couldn’t you see Ben Tate and Dennis Johnson — they wouldn’t even need Arian Foster — running roughshod through the Redskins defense, culminating with DeAndre Hopkins smoking the Redskins for a backbreaking deep touchdown pass from Case Keenum? Tell me you couldn’t see JJ Watt, who plays left defensive end in the Texans 3-4 scheme, routinely blowing by right tackle Tyler Polumbus like he was a subway turnstyle in the middle of rush hour.
We know the Redskins wouldn’t beat another three-win team in Minnesota, because, well, they already lost to Minnesota. Do we really think they’d beat Atlanta or Tampa, the other teams with three wins? I don’t.
The Redskins have lost four straight games, all by a touchdown or more. When matched up against teams that were in the playoffs in 2012, their average margin of defeat is a whopping 17.5 points. Or, simply put: when they’ve played against the best teams in the NFL, they’ve been completely outmatched.
In a combination of best-case and realistic scenario(s), this team will finish 5-11 at best. By comparison, there are 23 teams — over 71% of the league — in the NFL, just in the first week of December, who have five or more wins already. Essentially, that means that when you make a list of the worst 10 teams in the NFL, the Redskins are on that list.
They’ll play a pissed off Kansas City squad, fresh off a three game winning streak that includes two losses to division rival Denver. They travel to Atlanta to play a Falcons team that has a top-five passing offense and averages just over 21 points per game at home. If they pull off two more wins this season, I’d say they’d have to come from stealing a win at the Meadowlands against the Giants and beating the Cowboys at home, because Dallas routinely saves their worst football for the winter. But, at this point, even those two “hopes” see far-fetched.
With one more loss, Mike Shanahan would have his third double-digit loss campaign with the Redskins, which ties the total that Norv Turner posted in his seven seasons with the team. If you asked me two weeks ago, before the San Francisco game, I would’ve told you that it’s too much of a knee-jerk reaction to fire Shanahan. Now? For the first time since the 2nd year of the Zorn era, I really think the team has quit on its head coach. There was just no fight from that team on Sunday evening, and a lot of bad mistakes — marks of a careless and apathetic team.
For the first time since the lame duck days of Steve Spurrier and Jim Zorn, this team has become borderline unwatchable. There is more conversation about who will be leading the team in 2014 instead of what the team will do for its remaining Sundays in 2013.
As much as you couldn’t fathom the Redskins being this bad this season, it’s getting to the point where it’s hard to fathom how this team can be any worse.