OK, not really. Well, maybe. It could be time to panic. We’ll work through 3 scenarios and make a decision at the end. But first, let me apologize for not posting in awhile. We had guests in town. But that didn’t stop me from smacking my head into a wall several times yesterday.
There are really three ways to look at our current situation. Let’s start with the gloomy doomy scenario–
We’re 5-4. We play 4 teams with the same or better record than we do. We’re a game out of a playoff slot. Without an upset, we go 8-8 (or worse) or even 9-7 but miss the playoffs. Despite their decent performance we have holes in the defense going into next year. We still need a pass rushing DE. London Fletcher is likely to slide soon due to age. Shawn Springs may have to switch to safety. Carlos Rogers is likely going to take a year to get back to the place he was this year, and let’s face it, while it was good, he wasn’t Champ Bailey. On offense, the line is aging and depth is still a problem. Campbell still needs a year or two to develop and by then Clinton Portis’s combined knicks and injuries will turn him into an average RB at best. In fact, it is already happening.
Even with a nearly full slate of draft picks, we can’t possibly fill all the holes and there isn’t cap room to go picking up too many free agents. This is a team that will be spinning its wheels for years. Just when Campbell is good enough to lead us somewhere Moss, Randle El, Portis, Fletcher, Washington, and the entire defensive line will be too old to be a part of this team. We can’t replace them all in time and we will be a perpetual 8-8 team spinning our wheels for the next few years.
Scenario 2 aka Wait Til Next Year- We still go 8-8 and miss the playoffs. But under this scenario, Shawn Springs has another year at CB. Rogers comes back well enough to play nickel for the first few weeks and back to starter by our bye week with Smoot (or another free agent) keeping his spot warm. In the meantime, Sean Taylor and Laron Landry continue to grow and provide lock down deep coverage to help prevent the big play. Fletcher gives us one more good year and our LBs are still the strength of the team.
On offense, Jansen and Thomas come back. Heyer gets an offseason to grow even more and is prepared to step in if Jansen can’t be ready right away. Portis, Moss and Randle El heal in the offseason. Campbell grows through another season.
We have a nearly full slate of draft picks. Our recent drafting history has been fabulous. We’ve traded up for Chris Cooley, Rocky McIntosh, Jason Campbell all of whom are integral members of the team. We’ve also drafted Sean Taylor and Laron Landry, not to mention we’ve picked up useful guys in late rounds or through undrafted free agency like Heyer, Anthony Montgomery, and HB Blades.
Conceivably, we can fill our needs through the draft and maybe one or two key FA pickups. We need a deep threat at WR and this can be found in the form of Malcom Kelly from Oklahoma who would likely be on the board when we pick. We need pass rushing DE and guys like Auburn’s Quentin Groves or Vernon Gholston from Ohio St. would fit the bill. Personally, I’m voting Gholston, because how many lines can boast a Golston and Gholston at the same time?
At any rate, no one wants to wait until next year, but this is a team that is going the right way now. Building through the draft and adding depth will pay off.
Scenario 3 aka Don’t Panic- We’re going to beat the Bills, Bears, and Vikings. And of course, the stupid thing is a win last week probably would have given us a playoff slot. But hey, those three wins make it 8. Can we take a game from New York or Tampa? Sure. We should have beaten New York the first time. Tampa has no running game to speak of. We can take one or two there. Can beat Dallas? I hate to admit it, but probably not. But the great thing about the rivalry with the Cowboys is that you just never now. These teams have a way of ruining the other team’s dreams when you least expect it. We can take these guys if we play at our best.
So, can we still make 10-6? You bet. And if we do, we hold the tie breaker with Lions and if we beat New York, we may hold it with them (it gets too complicated to predict since we will have split the series).
So buck up Redskins fans. Circle the wagons. We can still make the playoffs. We can still push this franchise over the top.
Well, that, or we might as well hope they suck and get a good draft slot. You decide. And comment below. I, for one, still think I’ll be watching the playoffs with my jersey on.