|(Will 2012 end up like recent years with fans shaking their heads and face palming?)|
What you do need to know is that the Redskins play the NFC East a whopping 5 times in these final seven games. Three of those games are at home, which would mean something if FedEx actually provided a home field advantage (it doesn't for multiple reasons). Four of the seven games are at home (again an advantage for most teams, not the Redskins who are 1-3 at home this year). The Redskins will face teams that are currently 22-24 (.478) with 5 of those games against teams with losing records (Cowboys x2, Eagles x2, Browns). The teams with the two winning records (Giants, Ravens) are currently leading their divisions but neither look as dominating as they have in prior years.
After the bye, it looks like the Redskins are as healthy as they are going to be from here out. Nick Sundberg is back, Pierre Garcon is as well (even though he will not be 100% again this season, if ever). Brandon Meriweather will finally make his Redskins debut. Meanwhile, the Eagles and Cowboys seem to be in disarray. The Ravens have injury issues and can't play well on the road and the Browns are the Browns.
So let's look at the scenarios and guess where this team is headed.
WIN (5-2 or better)
The Redskins find a way to take advantage of bad teams and turn around what looked to be a mediocre season at best. I know what you're thinking "if they go 5-2, they only wind up with a 8-8 record, so what?". Well when the last time the Redskins had a winning record was 2007, you cherish any record that is .500 or better. I highly doubt this scenario happens just because the Redskins haven't played well against the NFCE or the Ravens in a while and I'm not fully convinced that a bye week will fix all of the problems that we've seen so far from the Redskins this year.
Positives: Maybe the Redskins are on the right track and are just some adjustments and a few players away from actually becoming a team worth watching. Maybe it is just the injuries that is holding the team back.
Negatives: Some of the players and coaches that the fans would like to see gone will be less likely gone if the 'Skins can win with them.
LOSE (2-5 or worse)
This means that at best the Redskins goes 5-11 or worse. You mean to tell me that the addition of Robert Griffin III dosen't make the Redskins any better than when Rex Grossman/John Beck was at the helm? Really? Yeah, I know the D has reached new levels of suckitude but I just can't see this team as bad as the 2011 squad. While the fans will be calling for Shanahan's head if this happens, he'll be back next year but I'll be convinced that he'll not be able to turn the franchise around. Might give me enough motivation to give up the season tickets.
Positives: There will have to be a sacrificial lamb or lambs to justify the return of this administration so expect a few big cap players to be gone and probably Danny Smith or Jim Haslett in the process.
Negatives: It will be another long, miserable off-season. The draft won't make it better. My advice is to skip the entire first round unless you want to hear ad nauseum about the Redskins trade for RGIII.
Medium (4-3 or 3-4)This is where I see the team is heading which goes along with my 7-9 prediction. The good news is that the 'Skins at least beat one of the NFCE teams, probably Dallas in the final home game of the season.
Positives: Hopefully, the future is getting brighter. My hope would be that the team will be improved in various areas but there will be glaring weaknesses that can and will be addressed in the off-season.
Negatives: The Redskins still have a lot of work to do and Mike Shanahan will be entering his fourth season on a serious hot seat if he can't get the team turned around quickly in 2013.