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Divisional Play

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Old 12-22-2009, 09:56 AM   #1
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Divisional Play

After last night's debacle I was particularly fed up with the fact that once again the Redskins laid an egg against a divisional opponent. It feels like the team simply cannot win games against the division and that we play better against non-divisional opponents than against divisional opponents. I checked out the stats to ensure I wasn't just imagining it. Here's what I found:

This decade, the Redskins winning % against non-divisional opponents is .505 (48-47), while their winning % against divisional opponents is .349 (22-41). That's a rather large difference. Furthermore, only once this decade have the Skins had a winning record against the division (2005, 5-1), while in half of the seasons this decade the Skins have finished with one win or less against divisional opponents (2005, 1-5; 2003, 1-5; 2004, 1-5; 2006, 1-5; 2009, 0-5). The worst the Skins have fared outside of the division during the entire decade is 4-6.

I don't think I need to express how frustrating this is and that every Skins fan in the nation would desperately wish to have these numbers reversed. But what explains the difference? Why are the Redskins above .500 outside of the division but significantly below .500 within it? Is it simply a matter of playing in a much tougher division, or does it say something deeper about the culture of the team and its ability to step up in games that matter more?
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:03 AM   #2
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Re: Divisional Play

I think it's pretty simple to see why when you look at how the other NFCE teams are assembled. The other teams in the division are strong on the offensive and defensive lines, all 3 teams place a premium on stocking their lines in the draft. Also, the other 3 teams have been much more stable at QB and with their coaching staffs.
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:10 AM   #3
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Re: Divisional Play

the 3 divisional teams we play have been good against most teams for this decade. the cowboys have been challenging most every year, the giants won a super bowl, and the eagles have been to a super bowl. we struggle against them for a variety of reasons, but mainly, imo, because they are three of the better teams in the league, especially the giants and eagles.
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:25 AM   #4
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Re: Divisional Play

Here's the thing (and this is why is might not be simply the tougher schedule of playing in the NFC East):
-The Giants' non-divisional record over this span is nearly identical to the Redskins' (.521 vs. .505), yet the Giants' divisional record is .609. Clearly this is a team that steps it up when a divisional opponent comes to town.
-Furthermore, the Eagles divisional record vs. non-divisional record is nearly a wash (.670 vs. .635 respectively).

If it were simply a matter of a harder division, then these numbers wouldn't be what they are. It leads me to conclude that, for the Redskins, it's possibly a matter of heart and integrity.
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:35 AM   #5
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Re: Divisional Play

My conclusion from this is that our Skins have essentially become the St. Louis Cardinals from the old days, an easy mark for our divisional rivals.

As for the root cause, I agree with Matty, and have been screaming for YEARS about Snyder ignoring the offensive and defensive lines in the draft. Our 3 divisional rivals were built from the inside out, while Snyder has insisted on building the Skins from the outside in, focusing on perimeter, "skill" players. The most glaring example was selecting Rod Gardner over Steve Hutchinson in 2001. Hutchinson, along with a young Samuels and Jansen would have been the second coming of The Hogs. We are all flash and little smash. That is why we are the weak sisters of the NFC East.
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:37 AM   #6
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Re: Divisional Play

The "style" of NFC East football is power football. I don't know how or why that evolved, but it is the case. The Cowboys, Giants and Eagles all line up with big and powerful lines and linebackers and push people around.

The Redskins OL and DL are not brutes - - and they have not been since the late 80s/early 90s. They get pushed around in division games - - simple as that.

When you have the situation where some - - not all but surely some - - of the players come to the Skins "to get paid"; you aren't going to get rough/tough/brutish play out of all of them. Lots of high priced free agents come down with what I call "fat wallet syndrome". They get that huge bonus check and they dial it down just a bit until it is "contract time" once again.

Look at some of the Skins' high priced free agent signings the year before they signed here and the year after they signed here. You may see why - - in a division that plays power football - - the Skins have come up short for the last decade or so.
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:37 AM   #7
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Re: Divisional Play

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coff View Post
Here's the thing (and this is why is might not be simply the tougher schedule of playing in the NFC East):
-The Giants' non-divisional record over this span is nearly identical to the Redskins' (.521 vs. .505), yet the Giants' divisional record is .609. Clearly this is a team that steps it up when a divisional opponent comes to town.
-Furthermore, the Eagles divisional record vs. non-divisional record is nearly a wash (.670 vs. .635 respectively).

If it were simply a matter of a harder division, then these numbers wouldn't be what they are. It leads me to conclude that, for the Redskins, it's possibly a matter of heart and integrity.
I would start with saying the other 3 teams are just more talented and are better coached.
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:42 AM   #8
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Re: Divisional Play

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Originally Posted by Mattyk View Post
I would start with saying the other 3 teams are just more talented and are better coached.
But that wouldn't explain the discrepency. Are the Giants more talented and better coached only when they're playing divisional games, but equally talented and equally coached when playing teams outside the division?
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:50 AM   #9
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Re: Divisional Play

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But that wouldn't explain the discrepency. Are the Giants more talented and better coached only when they're playing divisional games, but equally talented and equally coached when playing teams outside the division?
Well if you are better coached and have better players, you are going to fare well against a team you know very well.
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:52 AM   #10
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Re: Divisional Play

Stability and continuity.

SKins are in "start over mode" on average every 3 years under Snyder.
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:57 AM   #11
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Re: Divisional Play

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coff View Post
But that wouldn't explain the discrepency. Are the Giants more talented and better coached only when they're playing divisional games, but equally talented and equally coached when playing teams outside the division?
I would say the NFC has been the strongest division this decade as well in the NFC. Our FO bears alot of responsibility as well, very poor players choices, horrible contracts, poor coaching, etc...
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:57 AM   #12
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Re: Divisional Play

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Originally Posted by Coff View Post
But that wouldn't explain the discrepency. Are the Giants more talented and better coached only when they're playing divisional games, but equally talented and equally coached when playing teams outside the division?
I think you may be overthinking things a bit with this thread... the truth is the other 3 teams in the division are simply better teams, period.

Look at enough stats and you can find unexplainable discrepancies all over the place.
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