In Must-Win Situations for Remainder of the Season, History is on the Redskins Side

The Washington Redskins don’t necessarily have to win out, yet, but with a 6-5 record heading into Monday Night Football after the Dallas Cowboys defeated the New Orleans Saints on Thursday, winning out would help improve the Redskins chances of at least making the playoffs. Let’s see what lies ahead and take a dive into the history books of Redskins teams in a similar situation.

At a glance:

Dec. 3 at Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles have struggled with the Super Bowl hangover but a comeback win over the Giants has catapulted them to a 5-6 record, pitting them back in the hunt for the NFC East race. This is a dangerous game for the Redskins, a loss to Philly would give them confidence and make this a three-team fight for the division title. The game is also played on Monday Night Football, a kind of game that the Redskins play poorly in. During their last 16 appearances in such games the Redskins are just 2-14 including six straight losses. No bigger game and no bigger stage to end this drought than on the road against the defending Super Bowl champions.

Dec. 9 vs. New York Giants: The Giants are struggling at 3-8 however, the team has won two of their last three games. The Redskins won the first meeting between the teams this season in late-October in the Meadowlands but the Giants have given the Redskins problems in the past. A team that had nothing to play for and rested their starters still came away with a big victory to end the 2016 season, putting the final nail in the coffin in the Redskins playoff hopes that year. They cannot afford to lose this game.

Dec. 16 at Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars have struggled this season after a trip to the AFC Championship game last year, posting a 3-8 record. The Redskins can’t afford to drop this one either.

Dec. 22 at Tennessee Titans: The Titans sit at 5-6, a similar record to the Eagles and the Redskins. This pre-Christmas matchup will be a big one between two teams desperate to make the playoffs. It’s doubtful the Titans will win the AFC South so they’re currently in the hunt for the Wild Card.

Dec. 30 vs. Philadelphia Eagles: This is the second meeting of the season between the two NFC East rivals. This game could be of significant importance, perhaps implicating playoff positioning or even an NFC East title. I imagine if the Eagles get hot and the Cowboys tank while the Redskins stay on the winning path, this game could be the deciding factor of the NFC East and perhaps change to a Sunday Night Football game.

History:

The Redskins have had similar opportunities and have succeeded. Let’s take a look at three of the most notable ones.

2005: In 2005, the team was 5-6 but went on to win five straight games to make the playoffs. They even defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card game. Offensively, that team was led by Mark Brunell, Clinton Portis and Santana Moss. On the defensive end it featured the likes of Marcus Washington and Sean Taylor.

2007: After the team tragically lost Sean Taylor, the Redskins rallied to make the playoffs. The team was led by backup quarterback Todd Collins under center after Jason Campbell suffered a season-ending injury.

2012: With a 3-6 record, rookie quarterback sensation Robert Griffin III led the Redskins to seven straight wins. Kirk Cousins had to start one of those games after RGIII hurt himself in the Ravens game but they didn’t skip a beat. They defeated the Cowboys in Week 17 to win the division.

Three times, the Redskins have delivered and they’ll look to do it for a fourth time beginning on Monday Night Football against the Eagles.

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