It’s been a feast and famine season for the Redskins. Everyone knows it. They eat well at home. The Redskins are 5-1 at FedEx Field with five straight wins after a season-opening loss to the Dolphins (which gets to be more of a head-scratcher as the season goes on). On the road, they starve, with a record of 0-5.
Rarely does a press conference or locker room media scrum go by without the subject of the home vs. road records coming up. It’s been the subject of countless blog posts and talk radio segments. But the disparity between the Redskins’ home and road record is no great mystery. In fact, it’s pretty simple.
By almost any measure, they have played better teams on the road than they have at home—much better, in fact.
Let’s look at the simplest measure of a team’s quality, their win-loss record. The six teams the Redskins have played at FedEx Field are the Dolphins (4-7), Giants (5-6), Eagles (4-7), Bucs (5-6), Saints (4-7), and Rams (4-7). That comes to an aggregate record of 26-40, a .394 winning percentage.
On the road, they’ve gone up against the Patriots (10-1), Jets (6-5), Giants (5-6), Panthers (11-0), and Falcons (6-5). That rolls up to at 38-17 record, a .691 winning percentage.
In short, the average road opponent is 8-3. The average home opponent is 4-7. It doesn’t take an advanced degree in football analytics to figure out the Redskins’ road schedule has been brutally tough while the home schedule has been relatively soft.
But if you want to dive into some other measures of how well or poorly a team is playing, let’s do it. Here some other stats with the average of the Redskins’ home and road opponents in each of them.
*Through Week 11
The last set of numbers may explain Kirk Cousins’ great split in his performances at home and on the road. At FedEx Field, facing pass defenses that are worse than average (the average NFL passer rating is 88.4) Cousins has 74.7 percent of his passes with 12 touchdowns and two interceptions and a passer rating of 113.0. Playing on the road against pass defenses that are better than the norm in the league, Cousins has completed 61.9 percent of his passes, thrown five touchdowns and eight interceptions and posting a passer rating of 69.8.
The Redskins will go the rest of the regular season without playing a quality team at home. Their two remaining home opponents are the Cowboys (3-8) and Bills (5-6). That’s a winning percentage of .364. If they make the playoffs they likely would host a team that would test their home-field advantage but we will see about that down the road.
But if they finish the season winless on the road, they won’t be able to say they lost to all quality opponents. If they can’t get a win in Chicago (5-6), Philadelphia (4-7), or Dallas (3-8) you can genuinely say that something isn’t right when this team hits the road. In fact, it would be fair to question their roadworthiness if they don’t win two out of those three.