Perhaps this isn't fair, but I believe it is already time to panic for the Redskins. Not for this year, but also for the next few years ahead.
Sure, anything is possible, but I am specifically talking about the lack of quality depth, cap space and resources available to give legitimate reason and hope for the Redskins to return to glory.
Sure, they might make the playoffs (somehow) and win a division title again sometime soon (like they did in 2012) but they are not set up to take that next big step like some other poor teams could be.
For instance, the Colts had one awful year (mostly because of Peyton Manning's absence) and landed the number one overall pick (Andrew Luck) and haven't looked back. They did it largely because of smart personnel moves like not holding on to Dwight Freeney who was no longer productive, retaining Reggie Wayne, re-building the offensive line and hiring a defensive minded head coach.
Oh..they also hired a personnel guru in Ryan Grigson to run the show, from a very stable and successful organization like the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Kansas City Chiefs were (2-14) in 2012 and with a culture change (Andy Reid) and a couple of dynamic building blocks (Jamaal Charles, Justin Houston, Tamba Hali, Eric Berry) took off last year, because they got steady and reliable quarterback play, excellent special teams and solid line play on both sides of the ball.
There are very few teams that have been consistently poor in the NFL over the last four or five years and in some cases longer.
Two of them play on Sunday at FedExField. The Tampa Bay Bucs (1-8) and the Redskins (3-6).
With that as a back drop, let's go "Inside the Numbers for these two teams that each need a win and a lot more help from there.
I. A lot of futility in the standings:
The Redskins are (27-46) since 2010 and if you include 2009 to make five full seasons plus this year, they are (31-58).
The Bucs are (26 - 47) since 2010 and (29-60) since 2009 to give us the five full season plus this year mark.
The Oakland Raiders are (24-49) since 2010 and (29-60) since 2009 to give us our five full season plus this year data.
The St. Louis Rams are (26-46-1) since 2010 and (27-61-1) since 2009 to give us our five full season plus this year record.
As you can tell, the Redskins are the best of the worst in terms of this group, and I suppose that counts for something but there was a reason I wanted to try and focus on this.
All four of these teams have an interesting connection to each other. The Rams are only connected by futility because of the Robert Griffin III trade but they have had all sorts of health issues with their quarterback and other key parts of their roster along with playing in the most demanding division in the NFL.
II. The Bruce Allen factor
Since leaving the Oakland Raiders for the Tampa Bay Bucs after the 2003 season, the Raiders are (49-119) which is simply hard to fathom.
While Allen was in Oakland from 1996 - 2003, the Raiders were (64 - 64) and made the playoffs three times.
While with Tampa, from 2004-2008, Allen's teams were (38-42).
As we mentioned earlier, the Bucs since 2009 and Allen's departure are (29-60).
What does this tell us? A couple of things. Allen came here with (record wise) below average credentials and a combined record of (102 - 106) as a high level executive.
How much control he had before arriving in Washington is subject to debate to a large degree, but it is widely believed in almost every league circle that Allen yielded top and ultimate control to Al Davis in Oakland and Jon Gruden in Tampa.
Of course, his first four years in Washington, Mike Shanahan had ultimate control with Allen very involved in the process on many ends, as he presumably was in Oakland and Tampa.
III. Why does Oakland and Tampa's record since Allen left matter?
It does to a large degree in my opinion and I would assume in many opinions it does. Why?
Because it shows me that either they (Oakland & Tampa) are sorely missing Allen's bright mind as a salary cap guru and whatever he contributed in terms of personnel OR and this is where it gets very tricky.
Did Allen's management input and philosophy (along with Davis' & Gruden's involvement) leave both the Raiders and Bucs in awful shape?
Certainly you can make the argument that some of the Raiders woes are a result of an old team that got really old and could never recover.
Clearly you can't blame Allen for the last few years in Oakland but it is reasonable to say the the four or five years after he left, was partially attributed to the mistakes that the Raiders made while he was a senior executive.
In the five seasons right after Allen left, the Raiders were a robust (20-60) from 2004-2008.
As for Tampa, it has been those five full seasons since Allen (and Gruden) were fired, and they have not made the playoffs in that time.
Again, what you do while you are with an organization shapes in a lot of ways what your organization will be like down the road.
If you understand football and drafting, along with building depth in a hard cap era, you understand what I mean.
IV. What does this mean for the Redskins?
Well, again the Redskins are (27-46) with Allen as Executive Vice President and General Manager for the first four years and now President/General Manager this season.
Allen is not going anywhere, anytime soon. He has at least a year-and-a-half of job security and very likely more than that.
Given the track record here, it is more than fair to believe that things will not get better anytime soon and for those of you that ache to make changes to coaches or executives, the grass isn't always greener on the other side.
Allen has proven that during and after every stop of his NFL career.
V. If there is ever going to be a week for the Redskins special teams ....
The Bucs have a pretty good returner in Marcus Thigpen who had a 53-yard punt return against the Falcons last week and a good young placekicker with a lively leg in Patrick Murray. Murray has four field goals of at least 50 yards this season. Murray is only (9-14) on the year. Their punter, Michael Koenen has eight punts downed inside the 20, which could be ugly for the Redskins offense.
The problem for the Bucs has been a blocked field goal in Cleveland, a blocked punt in the same game, and at Atlanta in week three, they allowed a 62 yard punt return for a touchdown to Devin Hester.
The last time the Redskins returned a kickoff for a touchdown was October 31, 2010 in Detroit (Brandon Banks). The last time they returned a punt for a score was October 26, 2008, also in Detroit (Santana Moss).
The last time the Redskins blocked a punt was December 24, 2006 in St. Louis (Vernon Fox). They did block a field goal attempt in 2012.
By contrast, they allowed a 102-yard kickoff return for a score in week three (Philadelphia), a 74-yard punt return for a touchdown last December 8th (Kansas City), a punt block for a touchdown to start this season (Houston) and just for good measure, missed an extra point attempt in that game and had two field goal attempts blocked in the same game last November 3rd.
And you want me to blame Jim Haslett for all of the Redskins problems?
VI. Tell me something good:
It's not all bad, as much as it seems it is.
1. Alfred Morris had a season-high 92 rushing yards (19-92) last week and looks for his first 100-yard day since last November 7th. He does have three rushing touchdowns in his last six quarters of football.
2. The Redskins are first in the NFC and tied for first in the NFL in yards per play at 6.2 per play. They're first in the NFL in yards per first-down play at 6.42. The offense is also first in the NFL in average yards after catch (6.9) and first in the NFL in yards after catch (1,460).
3. The Redskins defense is fourth in the NFC in sacks at 23, and second in the NFC in least first downs passing allowed.
4. Tress Way and the punt coverage unit rank first in the NFL in punt average (48.2) and have the longest punt recorded in the league (77 yards). They're also third in the NFc in net punting average at 40.5.
5. DeSean Jackson is first in the NFL in yards per reception (21.8) and is tied for first in the NFC for longest reception (81).
Chris Russell - SFTheRooster@Yahoo.com - www.twitter.com/russellmania980