Where do they go from here?
Well, folks, the sun rose this morning. And they’re not going to cancel the Redskins’ remaining 13 games, so they’ve got to pick themselves up and move forward–even if it feels like their season is already a lost cause.
How can they do that, though? Yesterday’s 19-14 loss to the woebegone Detroit Lions was one of the lowest moments in recent team history.
For starters, the Redskins can accept the fact that they were not the best team on the field yesterday. This team must recognize its limitations, from the top on down. I believe The Washington Post’s Tom Boswell summed it up brilliantly in his column this morning when he wrote:
"…They may have to fight through an incredible amount of self-delusion about the talent level on their team. This week, Clinton Portis said he thought the Redskins had the most talent in the NFL. Comments like that have been common in the Redskins’ locker room for the past 10 years — regardless of all available evidence. Not only is the view tolerated at Redskins Park, it is encouraged and marketed. Where does this fallacy arise? In the owner’s suite, where the price of players is equated with their performance?
"They refuse to define themselves by the final scoreboard but, instead, cling to their own private view of themselves and their far higher value — sometimes based on their performances in other years or even on other teams."
If you look over the roster objectively and you can’t help but realize that this team is not that talented. And that’s especially the case when you stack the Redskins up against New York, Philly and Dallas. Look, it’s not my job to write that owner Dan Snyder needs to fire Vinny Cerrato or Jim Zorn or whoever. But when you move into the season with an offensive line that is so clearly limited, you can’t be surprised when you can’t get a yard on fourth-and-goal from the 1.
The faster that fans can accept that the Redskins aren’t that talented, the easier these final 13 games will be for them.
On the field, I’m inclined to say that the Redskins need to get back to a running identity on offense. But then I think about the line and wonder if that’ll work at all.
Defensively, the way that unit wilted yesterday was a bit stunning. The lack of turnovers is no surprise because they haven’t forced them regularly for quite a while. But if they can’t stop the run–one area in which they’ve been exceptional in recent years–then they really are cooked.
First and foremost, I believe a change in attitude would do them some good. Washington’s problems are so much bigger than one head coach or one quarterback. There’s a toxic culture out here, and one of the symptoms if this inflated sense of ability and talent. Whether that ever changes is anyone’s guess.