"Hail to the Redskins," Washington D.C’s favorite fight song, will be heard ringing throughout the Beltway right up until the burgundy and gold’s 2012 season comes to an end on December 30 against Dallas at FedEx Field.
The Washington Redskins' absence from the postseason will extend to five years this fall/winter and here are five reasons why.
The Presidential Election
As the home team of the nation’s capital, one would think the Redskins would shine during an election year. Nope! As of late, however, Washington’s fortunes during Presidential Elections have turned out worse than those of Republican Alf Landon (look it up) or Democrat Michael Dukakis.
Since 1980, the Redskins have only reached the postseason twice during an election year: 1984 and 1992. On both occasions, they fell in the divisional playoffs, once to Chicago, once to San Francisco.
Washington hasn’t finished above .500 in an election year since going 9-7 in 1996.
The E-A-G-L-E-S haven’t missed the postseason in consecutive seasons since 1998 and 1999.
The Redskins traded away their draft future in order to select Baylor quarterback and Heisman Trophy recipient Robert Griffin III with the second overall pick. A marketer’s dream, RGIII could turn into a nightmare this year for Washington.
Only one Heisman-winning quarterback has ever reached the playoffs during his first NFL campaign: Roger Staubach. After serving in the Navy, the former Midshipmen signal-caller joined the Cowboys in 1969, appearing in six games while starting one.
Dallas would go on to lose to Cleveland in the conference playoffs.
Neither of Washington’s previous two Heisman draftees brought any hardware back to old D.C. either. In 1968, the Redskins drafted UCLA quarterback Gary Beban in the second round. A career backup, the former Bruin attempted just one pass for the organization.
24 years later, the Redskins picked Michigan’s Desmond Howard with the fourth overall selection. Howard caught just 92 balls in four seasons with Washington.
Washington’s fearless red-faced leader has not sniffed the postseason since his starting quarterback was a sophomore at Copperas Cove High School in 2005 and hasn’t eclipsed 8-8 since 2006. He’s a stellar 11-21 during his tenure in Washington. (Actually the Redskins don’t do anything in the district. Fed Ex Field is in Landover, Maryland and they train in Ashburn, Virginia.)
Shanahan’s most recent experience with a rookie quarterback didn’t result in January football either. In 2006, Jay Cutler led a Denver outfit, more talented than the current installment of the Redskins, to a 2-3 mark. The Broncos finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs.
An Overall Lack of Talent
Take a quick glance at Washington’s roster. See anyone on the list that would be considered the best player at their position in the NFC East? No, you don’t. Aside from linebackers Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan, most other Redskins would find it difficult to start on any one of their divisional opponents’ respective rosters.
Washington simply doesn’t have the horses to compete. Oh, and if RGIII should go down, Rex Grossman returns under center.
Bonus Reason: Daniel Snyder