Point-Counterpoint: Another run for the Redskins?

Point-Counterpoint: Another run for the Redskins?
November 15, 2013, 11:15 am
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Tandler - Tarik

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By now, you’re familiar with the storyline. The Redskins are 3-6 after nine games for the third straight season. Last year, they put together a stunning rally, winning seven straight games to claim the NFC East title.

Are the ingredients there for the Redskins to salvage their season again? Or are there just too many ominous signs that will make a playoff run a bridge too far? Rich Tandler and Tarik El-Bashir debate the Redskins’ 2013 future on today’s edition of Point-Counterpoint.

Tandler: I know Tarik is going to point out that only four teams since 1990 have started a season 3-6 and have ended up playing more than 16 games and that the chances of doing it two years in a row are slim. But not many of the teams trying to rally from 3-6 played in a division as bad as the 2013 version of the NFC East. The Redskins find themselves just a game and a half out of the division lead, one in the loss column. They don’t have to run the table to take the division. Nine, maybe even eight wins will do it. And not many of those teams trying to come back from a 3-6 start had a quarterback like Robert Griffin III rounding back into form. With his recovery from knee surgery progressing each week, it’s almost like the Redskins traded a spotty, inconsistent quarterback for one who is capable of taking over a game. Do the defense and special teams have to play better for the Redskins to repeat their 2012 feat? Absolutely, but they merely have to improve to competent, not great. The way Griffin, Alfred Morris, Pierre Garçon, and Jordan Reed are rolling, that’s all that will be needed.

El-Bashir: I do believe the Redskins are going to make it interesting down the stretch, but I also think they’ll ultimately fall short of a second consecutive trip to the postseason for three reasons. No. 1) While Griffin is certainly inching closer to being the dynamic threat he was a year ago, he’s still not quite there. RG3’s rookie of the year performance helped the offense average 30 points per game over the final seven contests in 2012. Not sure Griffin or the unit is capable of that right now. No. 2) The schedule. Kap and the 49ers. Still undefeated Kansas City. Not to mention the improving Eagles and Giants (twice). In all, the Redskins’ remaining opponents are a robust 33-32. No. 3) The probability of making a run of historic proportions in back-to-back seasons is simply too much to ask. While the odds of claiming a second straight NFC East crown are probably more favorable than winning the Powerball twice in one lifetime, I’m willing to bet they’re are almost as slim.