Redskins looking to break cycle in 2013
The Washington Redskins have not won back to back NFC East titles since their Joe Gibbs heyday of the early 1980′s when they won three straight from the 1982-1984 seasons. The Redskins will have a daunting task ahead of them in 2013 as there has not been a repeat NFC East winner since the Philadelphia Eagles four consecutive division championships back ten years ago. The New York Giants were the last NFC East champion to win the Super Bowl in 2011 and the last NFC East champion to do it before that was back in 1995 when the Dallas Cowboys went to the Super Bowl and beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. Since 2009, a different team in the division has come away with the NFC East title with the Cowboys in ’09, the Eagles in ’10, the Super Bowl champion Giants in ’11, and then the Redskins winning it last year. The numbers are certainly against the Redskins repeating in 2013 and the task of repeating will certainly be a daunting one.
To look at the task ahead of RG3 and company in 2013 as far as repeating as NFC East champions, the first thing to do is look at the 2009 winners in the Cowboys and 2011 Super Bowl team in the Giants. Both of these teams are pretty much the same heading into 2013 with the biggest similarity being that Tony Romo is still under center in Dallas and Eli Manning is still the top man of the offense in New York. That 2011 Super Bowl winning team of the Giants will certainly tell you that it was the Redskins that gave them their biggest competition of that season. This was also the rookie year of current Redskins players Ryan Kerrigan, Roy Helu, Leonard Hankerson, DeJon Gomes, Niles Paul, Evan Royster, and Aldrick Robinson; all players who are playing contributing roles with the current NFC East champs. Redskins fans will certainly remember that opening game of the 2011 season when Kerrigan took an INT for a touchdown and led the team to a 28-14 win. That game was so memorable because it was played on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Later on in the year, the Redskins went to MetLife Stadium and humbled the Giants by a score of 23-10 behind the stellar QB play of Rex Grossman. The Redskins defense from that year is very similar to the one that will be taking the field in 2013 and the big thing is that a lot of the same players from that team are still playing with the team today.
The 2009 Cowboys were able to sweep the Redskins that year but that was a year in which Jason Campbell was playing his final days with the team and injuries plagued the Redskins that whole year. 2013 will certainly be far from that miserable year. The 2010 season in which the Eagles won the NFC East was the year of the Donovan McNabb project in D.C. and that was the first year that Michael Vick had become the top man in Philly. McNabb was able to get the win in Philly in the first game of the year between the two rivals but the second game was the infamous 59-28 thrashing at FedEx by the Eagles and will always be remembered by the opening drive hail-mary bomb by Vick to DeSean Jackson for an 88 yard score.
The good thing is that this was all in the past and with the 2013 season on the horizon, the Washington Redskins should be looking at their chances of repeating as NFC East champions in a very good and positive light. The Redskins have pretty much the same team coming back for 2013 and the good thing is that the people who were injured last year, I.E. Brian Orakpo, Adam Carriker, RG3, are going to be 100 percent and another good thing is that the Redskins were able to come out with a solid draft in 2013 despite being hit with an $18 million salary cap fine. Another good thing is that the other teams in the division are somewhat going through some hard times. Philadelphia will break in new head coach Chip Kelly in 2013 and will be going into the season with a QB controversy and a whole new system. Controversy is certainly swirling in Dallas as Jerry Jones will be expecting spectacular play from Tony Romo after getting a record-breaking contract extension. The defense and the offense are going to be suspect this upcoming season and the Cowboys are going to have to step up, especially if head coach Jason Garrett is going to keep his job. Eli Manning and the Giants look to be the Redskins chief rival and competition for the division crown this upcoming season and you can bet that they are going to be looking to knock the Redskins off the top perch this season.
2013 will be all about the Washington Redskins and them being able to break the cycle of not having a repeat NFC East winner for over a decade. RG3 is said to be coming along very fine in the rehabbing of his knee and should be able to start on opening day. Alfred Morris is ready to go and the defense will be looking to show that they are one of the best. If those key pieces of the Redskins puzzle come together in 2013, they should have no problem in repeating as the NFC East champions and having an even better shot at contending for the NFC crown and better yet the Super Bowl and the world championship.