The Vikings, 4-1 record aside, are a team Redskins fans would probably feel pretty good about their chances against, especially considering Sunday’s game is in Maryland and not Minnesota. But home field hasn’t provided much of an advantage lately: The Redskins are 0-2 this season, 2-8 since the start of 2011, and 4-14 since the beginning of 2010, when Mike Shanahan took over. Those last two figures are each worst in the NFL.
Contrast that with Baltimore, which is 19-1 at home since 2010 began (but also a much better team in general), or rivals Dallas (8-10), Philadelphia (9-10) and the New York Giants (12-8). The generally accepted stat is that NFL home teams win 57 percent of their games.
Cleveland (0-2; four straight home losses), Kansas City (0-3; four) and Jacksonville (0-3; three) are the only other NFL teams who have yet to win at home this season.
Though the Redskins’ last home win was against the Cardinals in Week 2 of last season, most of the losses were in close, winnable games, like last week’s 24-17 defeat against the Falcons. Though there’s a long enough streak to try to draw some conclusions, I’m not sure anyone we come to would have a whole lot to do with whether the Redskins can win at home this Sunday.
More concerning, from a fan’s perspective, should be the loss of confidence — and by extension, morale — when at home. Retroskins14 illustrated this perfectly in Tuesday’s Opening Kick comments:
“more than anything else that’s dysfunctional about the Skins (even though i think we are on the right path)
losing losing losing losing losing losing losing losing at home, that is what make me most upset about the Skins right now, hands down”
It’s a legitimate downer to go to the stadium, tailgate, whoop it up for the better part of three hours, and leave in a mopey, depressed state. Nobody wants to hear the visiting fans jabbering on the way out. Although your tickets don’t guarantee a win in the fine print, there’s certainly an expectation that home games come with an implied advantage. The Redskins just aren’t seeing it right now, and it’s not good for business or for fan enthusiasm.
One win Sunday might well change that. But until then, since as Redskins fans you’ve been more deprived of home-field success than any team over the past few years, do you have any home-field confidence left? I have to imagine it’s still better than playing on the road, but does the lack of home success mean anything to you? Do you think it’s a fluke or rooted in a trend, something the Redskins are doing? And more importantly, do you think it ends on Sunday?