Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Redskins a playoff threat? - TD sports debate p2


The Washington Redskins have offensive playmakers, but the defense is sorely lacking by NFL standards. Are the Redskins a legit playoff threat in 2014? Dan Salem and Todd Salem debate in part two of this week’s TD Sports Debate. Two brothers from New York yell, scream and debate the NFL and sports.

[Part one - Redskins' offense has powerhouse potential]



The new head coach thing in Washington is a good point. I overlooked that. It is quite possible Jay has no idea what he’s doing as far as head football coach is concerned. This has happened to many a great coordinator in recent years. If that is the case, this team has no chance obviously. That puts a damper on my optimism for the Skins’ offense. But, as you said, the defense puts a bigger damper on the team’s outlook in general.

Last year, Washington finished tied for 30th in scoring defense.They finished tied with that historically inept Chicago Bears run defense, and finished just ahead of the overlookedly (I know that’s not a word, but bear with me) inept Minnesota Viking pass defense. It was not a good year for the Redskins defense.

Brian Orakpo was out for much of the year; he’ll be back. But other than that, the rest of the defense is a graveyard of failed veterans. Ryan Clark and Brandon Meriweather at safety, Akeem Jordan, Barry Cofield, even Orakpo himself might be in this discussion if he cannot return to his old form. Things are so bad that ESPN’s current depth chart for the Skins has Jarvis Jenkins starting at both defensive end spots at the same time. Where else are they to turn!?

So perhaps the offense won’t be as explosive as I’m thinking. And the defense could be worse than even last year. However, I’m not with you on comparing playoff teams and counting down the spots remaining for Washington to make a run. How many consecutive years must the league be flipped on its head before you realize that preseason or offseason expectations for teams can mean nothing? Sure all the teams you listed appear great, but they all have chinks in their armor that can be exploited.

And of course, in this league, all it takes is one injury.



Yes, yes the NFL flips on its head every year and new teams make the playoffs. Its one of the reasons I’ve still enjoyed watching my Jets these past two seasons. However, and this is a big however, although I avoided using all caps, I believe you are ignoring the obvious duality of the turnover in the NFL. We do have several new playoff teams each season. Yet we also have several teams which have made the playoffs every year for the last few years. Looking at just the last four seasons we see the following:

In the AFC the Patriots have made the playoffs the last four years in a row, the Broncos and Bengals have both made it the last three years in a row, and the Colts have made it three of the last four years.

In the NFC the Packers have made the playoffs the last four years in a row; the 49ers, Seahawks, Falcons, and Saints have all made it three of the last four years, and the Eagles have made it two of the last four years.

There are teams that have been consistently winning, and winning a lot, over the last four seasons in the NFL. The Redskins may look shaky on defense and have work to do in order to become a competent offense once again, but their saving playoff grace is the fact they are in the NFC East. Winning that division last year was easier than securing a wildcard berth. I have a feeling, unless the Eagles run away with things, that it will be a similar story in 2014. The Redskins can win that division. I don’t think they will, but its not out of the question. They have playmakers and their competition in the NFC East doesn’t have nearly as many.

I don’t mean to keep bringing things back to playmakers, but more so than having a star quarterback, the NFL is being won by teams with playmakers, standouts who rally their team to be better than just good. As a New York Jets fan I’ve watched first hand how a team can play its butt off to be above average. But without two or three standout players, who make game changing plays, a team is stuck at 9-7 or worse; much, much worse.

[If you missed part one - Redskins' offense has powerhouse potential]

Tags: NFL Nfl Playoffs Washington Redskins

  • trinity

    The redskins still have needs. But lucky for them, they are playing in the worst division in football. They could emerge on top with 9 or 10 wins

    • Crystal AC

      Worst division in football is a stretch considering the fact that a two super bowls came out of the division within the past 10 years. Not many divisions can say that. They also currently lead the league (by a large margin) in cumulative super bowl wins. It’s a nice narrative to say the division sucks but that’s only because championship level play is all that is accepted.

      • trinity

        ….maybe you didn’t read the article. It asked “are the Washington redskins a playoff threat?” . Not, “what has been going on in the NFC east for the last decade? “. The past championships are very nice. It’s also completely irrelevant to this discussion. Are the Washington redskins a threat RIGHT NOW? yes, because they happen to be playing in what is the worst division in pro football RIGHT NOW, in the nfc east. Better known as the NFC LEAST. simple.

        • Crystal AC

          you’re the one that said the NFC East was the worst division in football and that’s what I responded to. Your reasoning for them being the worst division in football is what? I looked at the 2013 standings and there are other divisions with a worst overall record. I am trying to figure out if you’re just a NFC East hater or actually have facts to back up your position.

          • trinity

            My opinion is based on the fact that it is the easiest division to win. This is because you don’t need as many wins in that division to take the crown, compared to other divisions. The eagles won it at the very last game of the regular season with 10 wins. The only division boasting a winner with fewer wins than the NFC east is the NFC north. Thanks in large part to Aaron Rogers being injured and them ending up at 8-7-1 because of that. So to reiterate my point, the redskins could take the crown in part because they won’t have to win much in that division.

          • Metric-Buttload

            fewest wins needed to win a division only equates to easiest to win if the level of competition is low. If those wins are very difficult to come by,. which they usually are, you really have no point. Nice try.

          • trinity

            Fewest wins needed to win a division equates to not needing to win as much because the teams are too mediocre to close the gap and pull away from a record that is not that great in the first place. 9 or 10 wins is enough in that division. Nice try.

        • Metric-Buttload

          now you care about what the article says and act like their response wasn’t true to the argument? Your initial; statement has nothing o do w/ the argument either. Learn to follow your own argument.

          • trinity

            My initial response was my opinion on the Washington redskins chances. Learn some reading comprehension skills. The Washington redskins can win that division with 9 or 10 wins. That would not be enough in other divisions, but such is life in the NFC east. That is my argument in a nutshell. Sorry if it isn’t remedial enough for you buttload.

  • Crystal AC

    “Brian Orakpo was out for much of the year; he’ll be back” Orakpo missed most of 2012, not 2013. He was out in the last game of the season but that was it.

  • SactoSteve

    Something else to consider: I’ve always considered Jim Haslett to be a good defensive coach. He was clearly stymied last year by some of the decision-making of Team Shanahan. Let’s see how he performs this year when he will have more freedom to run the defense his way.