The Washington Redskins haven’t managed an opening-week victory since 2012. Here’s a look at the ugly numbers of recent years.
When the Washington Redskins take the field against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, the team will be looking to avoid yet another 0-1 start to start as season. You have to go back to the rookie year of quarterback Robert Griffin III and a 40-32 victory over the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome to see the club get off to a good start.
So what have we seen these past four seasons in Week 1? A loss is simply a loss.
Eagles 33, Redskins 27 (2013): It was the beginning of the Chip Kelly Era in the City of Brotherly Love and it would come on a Monday night. It was also the season debut of 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Robert Griffin III. The young performer sat out the summer while recovering from a knee injury that knocked him out of the 2012 NFC Wild Card Game. Things began well when Washington’s DeAngelo Hall scooped up a fumble and returned it 75 yards for a score. But before you could say “fight for old D.C.,” it was 26-7 Philadelphia at halftime.
The deficit would increase to 26 points before the Redskins rallied and scored 20 consecutive points. But the Eagles’ ground attack rolled up 263 yards (184 from LeSean McCoy) and Kelly’s club gained 443 total yards in the win.
Texans 17, Redskins 6 (2014): The Redskins got on the board first in this visit to the Lone Star State. And Jay Gruden, making his NFL head-coaching debut, has to be happy with a defense that limited the Texans to one offensive touchdown. Washington gained a more-than-respectable 372 yards on the afternoon.
But mistakes wound up costing the ‘Skins dearly. Robert Griffin was sacked three times and lost one of his two fumbles. Tight end Niles Paul put the ball on the turf as well. The team had a PAT blocked after their lone touchdown and the Texans buried a punt and scooped up the ball for a touchdown. And Houston running back Arian Foster rolled up 103 yards rushing against the Washington defense.
Dolphins 17, Redskins 10 (2015): It was somewhat of a snoozer in Landover as Kirk Cousins was anointed the team’s new full-time starter. And the club opened up a 10-0 second-quarter lead. But Miami’s Ryan Tannehill threw a three-year TD pass to Rishard Matthews with 27 seconds left in the first half. And the difference in the game proved to be a 69-yard punt return by wideout Jarvis Landry. Cousins threw for only 196 yards and while he had one touchdown pass, he was picked off twice in a disappointing loss.
Steelers 38, Redskins 16 (2016): This was a game that wound up quite lopsided. Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for three scores (2 to Antonio Brown). DeAngelo Williams ran for 143 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Mike Tomlin’s club rolled up 437 total yards.
However, it was the Redskins that owned a 6-0 first-quarter lead. But while they settled for field goals, the aggressive Steelers gambled and won on fourth down twice. Washington’s lone appearance in the end zone on this Monday night came early in the fourth quarter. But by that time Pittsburgh had opened up a 24-9 lead and tacked on two more touchdowns in the closing six minutes.
Russell S. Baxter is the Washington Redskins lead writer for Pro Football Spot. You can follow him on Twitter at @baxfootballguru. Looking for more Redskins news and features? Like our Facebook page HERE and also follow @spot_redskins on Twitter.