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That the Washington Redskins hit rock bottom as a franchise Sunday came as little surprise, as they have seemed to be executing a plan to get there over the last few years.
But the speed in which they did it is still amazing.
Think about it: Just a little less than three years ago, the team had won the NFC East. The team had gone 9-7, finished the regular season with 4 straight wins, and 5 of their last 6 to win the division. They had a sharp young offensive coordinator in Sean McVay, and the fruits of his hard work and imagination were obvious: QB Kirk Cousins threw for over 4,000 yards, the running back committee of Alfred Morris, Matt Jones and Chris Thompson rushed for 1,457 yards. There were dangerous receivers in Jamison Crowder, Pierre Garcon, Jordan Reed and DeSean Jackson.
The team had weapons. It was entertaining to watch. And despite the loss to Green Bay in the first round of the playoffs, the future looked bright for the Redskins. They had to shore up defensive issues, but they had an offense that seemed as if it could score on anyone.
That was only three short years ago. Compare it to what was on the field yesterday.
Yes, you can point to injuries and bad luck and all sorts of reasons to rationalize being down 40-0 to a 4- win team and losing your fourth game in a row on your way to a 6-10 record. But that’s the nature of the game. A lot of teams encounter this without having a weekly search to see who can be found on the streets to be your starting quarterback.
It’s managerial malfeasance to fall this far in so short a period of time. Consider, if you will, if the team had just made these five moves in the last three years. Then tell me where you think the team would be today:
If these five things had been done – and none of them would have been that difficult to accomplish – I’d argue this year’s Redskins team would win the NFC East again, given how down the rest of the division is. Would they win a playoff game or two? I’m not going that far, but they’d have a chance. They certainly wouldn’t be down 40-0 to a team with only 4 wins on their own home field in December. And it wouldn’t be in front of a crowd so small you could get tickets a few minutes before the game for $10.
But they didn’t. And here we are.
In only three years.
The rare periods of success were only blips on the sustained period of misery that marks the Dan Snyder regime.