Washington Redskins

Quick Links

The Road Ahead

The Road Ahead

Yes, I know you're not supposed to look ahead, play 'em one at a time, focus on the task at hand. But I'm not playing this Sunday and so far Joe Gibbs has not responded to my offer to help with the game plan. So I think that no damage will be done if I take a peek ahead at the Redskins' possibilities for who they will meet in the playoffs and when they will play.

The only spot the Redskins can get is the six seed. The Giants have wrapped up the other Wild Card spot and they have 10 wins and the most the Skins can finish up with is nine.

That means that if anyone offers to sell you tickets for a Redskins home playoff game, do not buy them. They can't host a playoff game no matter what. The higher seed gets home field and the Redskins can't be the higher seen in any game since they are the lowest seed.

Should the Redskins qualify, they will play at the three seed. Seattle has locked up that spot, so we would have a rematch of sorts of the 2005 season playoffs when the Skins gave the Seahawks some problems before bowing.

When would that game be played? There are four slots for the Wild Card round. NBC gets a Saturday doubleheader, one AFC game and one NFC game, with time slots at 4:30 PM and 8:00 PM Eastern. Fox and CBS each get a Sunday game, one at 1:00 PM, the other at 4:30. Out of the four time slots the only one that the Skins-Hawks couldn't play in is the Sunday 1:00 since it would be 10 AM in Seattle. The guess here is that NBC, having carried the Redskins the last two weeks, will ask for and get the New York market for its NFC game, which would put the Redskins into the late Sunday game.

If they win that one it would be on to Dallas. There is no March Madness-style bracket in the NFL playoffs. The highest remaining seed plays the lowest remaining seed. The Cowboys are the top seed and a surviving Redskin team would be the lowest remaining.

The Divisional round is January 12 & 13. On Saturday, Fox has a 4:30 game and CBS has the prime time 8:00 spot. On Sunday the games are at 1:00 and 4:30 and either network could get either slot. The preference is to give the top seed a Saturday game to give them the slight advantage of an extra day of rest before the conference title game, so that 4:30 on January 12 seems to be the likely landing spot for this game. Since the other NFC game will be in Green Bay there is no West Coast consideration so a possible Skins-Cowboys rematch could be in either time slot on Sunday.

Quick Links

Cousins believes "a lot rides" on the coming Redskins season

Cousins believes "a lot rides" on the coming Redskins season

RICHMOND—While Kirk Cousins has had a lot of success in his first two seasons as the Redskins’ starting quarterback, he and the team didn’t finish last season the way they wanted to. They lost four of their last six games to finish out of a playoff spot. With the game on the line in the season finale against the Giants, Cousins threw an interception as the team was driving for a late score to win or tie the game. The loss was the final blow to their playoff hopes.

As with any disappointing situation, Cousins and the team must walk a line between learning from the mistakes that were made—and there were many beyond the Cousins interception—and dwelling on the past. Cousins said today that the failure to make the playoffs will help drive the team this year.

RELATED: Reed one of four to start camp on PUP

“I think what it does is it gives us an edge, because we stay humble and hungry because we left the season realizing we do have a long ways to go,” Cousins said of the late-season woes. “We do need to improve if we want to go in the direction that we all believe we can. In that sense we’ll take the silver lining that nobody is content, nobody is entitled, nobody feels like we can rest on what we’ve done in the past.”

While they can focus on the silver lining for now, Cousins says that they realize that coming close to the playoffs but missing out year after year won’t cut it. That’s what gets coaches fired and leads to players losing their jobs.

MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, the final update

“We do feel like a lot rides on this season up ahead,” he said. “Hopefully, that gives us a sense of urgency all through training camp to be really focused, and as a result gets the best out of every one of us so that our team can play as well as we possibly can.”

Cousins is playing on the one-year franchise tag. He has been quick to point out that many of his teammates are either on one-year deals or in the final season of a multi-year deal. Cousins is one of over a dozen starters or key contributors who will become free agents in 2018. If they are going to stay around they can’t go 2-4 down the stretch like they did last year.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

Quick Links

Redskins' Cousins says he bets on the system, not on himself

Redskins' Cousins says he bets on the system, not on himself

RICHMOND—As Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins goes into playing under the franchise tag for the second straight season, the phrase commonly used about him is that he is betting on himself, eschewing the long-term security of a multiyear deal in favor hoping to improve his leverage by playing on the tags.

However, Cousins said that is a misconception.

“I don’t know that I ever bet on myself, I bet on the system, he said. “It has nothing to do with myself. I’m just going out and playing and there’s never been anything but positive feelings. I’m excited to get to work here. As I’ve said, my wife and I love it here and we’re in a good place.”

RELATED: Reed one of four to start camp on PUP

Ever since the deadline for him to sign a long-term contract this year came and went without a new deal, Cousins has been trying to debunk the notion that he has a desire to leave the Redskins as soon as he can. Appearing on 106.7 The Fan last week, Cousins said that the Redskins are his “first choice” to be his team going forward. He talked positively about his future in Washington again today after the Redskins first training camp walkthrough.

Although there was talk that the contract negotiations took a sour turn at the end after team president Bruce Allen revealed some of the details of the team’s final offer to Cousins, Cousins indicated today that everything is fine.

“W e’ve done a good job communicating between me and the team,” he said. “We’re on the same page and we’ve done everything we can possibly do to get that settled and move forward. I think we’re all in a good place right now and we’ve got enough to worry about getting our offense playing at the level we need to have a great season so I can be back in future years.”

MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, the final update

What it really comes down to, what Cousins believes will make things good in the future for him and the Redskins, is success on the field.

“If you win football games, everything else takes care of itself,” he said.

“In the offseason, the ball’s in the team’s court. But from Week 1 to Week 17, the ball’s in my court and I’ve got to go play football well. That’s where my focus is.”

There likely will be more talk of Cousins future beyond the 2017 seas in the coming weeks and months. It appears that for right now that is the furthest thing from Cousins’ mind.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.