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Washington Redskins a playoff threat? - TD sports debate p2

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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]

 

TODD:

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.

 

DAN:

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]

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