#2. This week, USA Today ranked the Redskins the sixth best team in the NFL. Do you agree with that assessment? And why?
IC: Withholding injuries, I would agree with that ranking. The Redskins’ roster has the playmakers on every level to bolster a playoff team, even a championship team, although I fear my bias might be starting to show. With injuries, however, this team looks completely different. Washington needs its playmakers to win. And a lot of their playmakers are hurt.
Football is won in the trenches, and until a couple of weeks ago, the Redskins had a very good situation in that area. But now, things look far different. On the defensive side of the ball, stout rookie Jonathan Allen is out for at least eight weeks, and his partner-in-crime, Matt Ioannidis, has surely missed his presence.
Ioannidis started the year strong, but without Allen at his side, he was mauled into submission on Monday night. On the offensive side of the ball, four of the team’s five starters on the offensive line could be out in Week 8. And Trent Williams, the team’s stalwart blindside blocker, has a knee injury that he might need surgery on, effectively ending his season.
If this team is healthy, yes, they’re a team worthy of that No. 6 ranking. But because of all the injuries they’ve sustained in the last few weeks, I don’t think they should be that high. I wouldn’t recommend a sizable drop. After all, who else is better? Who else has only lost to top five teams?
The fact of the matter is that a lot of teams are maddeningly inconsistent this year, and the Redskins have naturally floated to the top. I’d put them at around No. 8 for now. But to stay there, they’ll have to prove to me that they can survive this deadly bout of injuries. Do I see that happening? The optimist in me says ‘yes’. But we Redskins’ writers have learned to be realists over the years, and realistically, it’s not a promising situation.