This team is not the 2005 Washington Redskins

Clinton Portis led the Redskins to the Playoffs in 2005

Before we over-analyze the possible demise or unlikely heroic run of the Washington Redskins as they prepare for their December push, let us take one thing off the table — they are not Joe Gibbs’ 2005 team.

Does that matter? Well its not necessarily a good or a bad thing, but that team had more going for it prior to its run than its 2010 counterpart.

1. The Defense in 2005 was much better

In 2004, the Redskins defense was number one in the NFC, number three over all.  They had veterans like Marcus Washington and Cornelius Griffin in the fold.  Stars like Shawn Springs, led the team in both interceptions and sacks with six each.  And Sean Taylor, a rookie, was making his presence known as a feared hitter in the backfield.

This carried over in 2005 and the defense was feared.

The 2010 defense, not so much.  Outside of LaRon Landry and Brian Orakpo, teams needed to do little scheming for this defense as holes and weaknesses showed themselves week in and week out.

2. The quarterback play was much better

Mark Brunell stunk in 2004.  However, in 2005 he has his last good year.  He managed the offense well with 3,050 yards through the air and threw 23 touchdowns to only 10 interceptions.  He was careful with the ball and threw TD passes.

This year while on pace for over 4,100 yards, Donovan McNabb has not been as efficient with the ball.  He has thrown 13 interceptions to only 11 touchdowns.

3. The Redskins had Clinton Portis in his prime

This year, everyone fell in love with Ryan Torain, but let’s face it…he’s not Clinton Portis.  Heck, even Clinton Portis isn’t Clinton Portis.  In 2005, he was brilliant.  He ran for over 1,500 yards for the third time in four years.  He scored 11 times on the ground and during the stretch of “5 in a row or we don’t go” he went on a tear going for 136, 105, 112, 108, and 112.  He also scored six times during that stretch.

Last week versus the Vikings, the Redskins gained 29 yards on the ground.  Boy we had it good didn’t we.

4. We had a coach who knew how to coach the Redskins

I am not saying Mike Shanahan is a bad coach or will be a bad coach for the Redskins, Joe Gibbs simply knew the organization, the town, and the media.  He knew how to handle all three.  Even when the team wasn’t winning, he knew how to handle them.

He also played to the team’s strengths, which went much, but got the most out of it.  Shanahan will have duplicate that or even exceed it should the Skins want to even smell the post season.

5. The Redskins schedule allowed them to control their own fate

Now the 2010 Skins still have three divisional games versus two opponents, but 2005 the stars aligned.  Playing Dallas and New York at home and on the road vs. Philadelphia allowed the Redskins to completely take care of business so long as they won.  This year, the Skins need to win every game and hope the Eagles stumble.

Frankly if this 2010 Redskins team wants to make the playoffs, they more than likely have to overachieve in a limited amount of time.  But considering what they were last year, aren’t they doing that now?

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