The Redskins will host Philadelphia next Sunday in a game in which the only remaining meaning for Washington is the chance to finish with a .500 record. Facing a similar situation in Week 17 last year, the Redskins lost to the Giants on the road, 18-10, finishing with a 7-9 record. The Redskins have finished with a losing record in 10 of the last 16 seasons. They are 31-31-1 since the start of the 2015 season.
“Yeah, it’s very disappointing without a doubt,” Gruden said. “… It is a tough pill to swallow, because I know we have a very talented team here and I feel like I didn’t get enough out of them to get us in a position to advance to the playoffs.”
That their playoff hopes ended on a day they weren’t even playing is the latest disappointment for a team whose outlook was markedly different six weeks ago. Midway through the season, the Redskins were 6-3, with a two-game lead in the division, and had become the betting favorite to win the NFC East. Since then, almost nothing has gone right: Two starting quarterbacks broke their legs, a host of other players suffered major injuries, the Cowboys and Eagles both improved, and Washington lost head-to-head games against all three of its divisional opponents.
The Redskins are 1-5 in the six games since starting quarterback Alex Smith was injured. They are now 10-12 in regular season games played in December and January under Gruden.
They will face significant offseason decisions, with uncertainty at the quarterback and running back positions, questions about many of their highest paid payers, and the possibility of change in the coaching staff and front office. First, though, there’s one final game: at FedEx Field, behind fourth-string quarterback Josh Johnson, and with almost nothing at stake for the home team.
Since Washington’s last Super Bowl win, following the 1991 season, the franchise has six playoff appearances in 27 seasons, and no trips to the Super Bowl. Every other NFC East team has at least 10 playoff appearances, at least two Super Bowl appearances, and at least one Lombardi Trophy in that span.
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