Should Redskins fans be more optimistic?

Ben Krimmel
November 24, 2018 - 10:30 am

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports


The Washington Redskins are 6-5 with five games remaining: Is the glass half full or half empty? 

Or, in the case of some Redskins fans, is the glass broken, cracked, and spilling more liquid with each passing moment? Others will go a step further on the pessimism scale and claim there never was a glass at all, just an illusion.

As the team finds themselves revaluating their standing as a defense and hoping a long week of practice can knock off the rust of the back-up quarterback, the fans are revaluating their standing as well. Asking themselves: "Can we still reach the playoffs?"

Head coach Jay Gruden remains optimistic, pinning some of his hopes to players returning from injury.

The path is this: at the Eagles, home to the Giants, at the Jaguars, at the Titans, and, in Week 17, home to the Eagles. 

The combined record of those four opponents: 15 wins and 25 losses. Each of Washington's opponents are in third or fourth place in their division. None are better than 5-5. 

Football Outsiders gives Washington a 41.8 percent chance to make the playoffs and 32.6 percent to win the NFC East. FiveThirtyEight is slightly less bullish: 39 percent chance at the playoffs and a 24 percent chance at the division.

But Redskins fans? A gut-check came back 3-to-1 against the 'Skins making the postseason for the first time since 2015.

None of this is a criticism of fans for their differing approaches to rooting for the Redskins. Some intentionally keep expectations low so the pain of a loss doesn't sting and the joy of victory is off the charts. Others love riding the wave of good feelings and never thinking about the downside. 

And for some, painful lessons have been learned: When optimism is not rewarded, the crash of falling short and the sting reality is like a dagger in the heart. Best to wait and see. 

With eight days until Washington's next game the wait may seem interminable. But the next key game for Redskins fans comes in just five days when New Orleans travels to Dallas.

A win by the juggernaut Saints puts the Redskins back atop the NFC East. Their fate would return to their own hands. No matter how full the glass, for the Redskins, it is all still in front of them.

As a fan, what more could you ask?

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