The Washington Redskins return to the Los Angeles area and the west coast for a third time this year this weekend when they face the surging Los Angeles Chargers at 4:05 ET on Sunday.
The game will be played at the StubHub Center, a listed 30,000 seat soccer stadium in Carson, California which is serving as the temporary home of the (6-6) Chargers after they left San Diego this past off-season.
The Redskins are coming off of their worst loss of the year in terms of overall play and competitiveness last Thursday to the Dallas Cowboys, in a must-win game for them to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The Chargers have won six-of-eight after starting the year (0-4).
With that as our scene-setter, let’s go “Inside the Numbers” for this next to last road game of the season for Washington.
1 – Beasts of the umm…West?
If only the Redskins could play anybody from the west coast this year, each and every week, they’d be dominant. If only the Redskins could avoid playing NFC East games, they’d be pretty good.
Neither is reality but the Redskins are (2-0) in the pacific time zone this year,
beating the Los Angeles Rams and Sean McVay, 27-20
the Seattle Seahawks, 17-14 in week nine
beat the Oakland Raiders
San Francisco 49ers
at FedExField to improve their record against west coast based teams to (4-0) in 2017.
They are a miserable (1-4) against their divisional foes from the NFC East this season beating the Giants on Thanksgiving but getting swept by Dallas and Philadelphia.
This all could mean very little because the Redskins feel like they are sinking while the Chargers are tied for first place in the very strange AFC West after defeating the Cleveland Browns last week.
2 – Playoff Possibilities?
In short, the Redskins barely have a pulse. It was already going to be tough with a win last Thursday in Dallas and now it is next to impossible.
However, they still have the slightest of chances if they run the table and a lot of other scenarios unfold.
FootballOutsiders.com has Washington at having a 0.5% chance
at making the playoffs. Not very good, as Steve Spurrier once said about a dismal season with the Redskins.
The Redskins can obviously only secure the # 6 seed at this point with Carolina currently holding 29.8% cods of making that spot, with Seattle holding a 22% chance and Atlanta holding an 18.9% chance at the sixth and final playoff spot.
Dallas, after beating the Redskins last week to improve to (6-6) still only has a 7.1% chance of making the NFC playoffs and a 5.2% chance of getting the six-seed in the NFC.
In case Football Outsiders work isn’t good enough for you,
PlayoffStatus.com gives the Redskins a 1% chance
of making the NFC postseason dance.
3 – Around the Zorn?
With Jim Zorn’s forgettable tenure back in the news this week because of what Clinton Portis and Santana Moss told NBC 4 Washington about a pre-game ritual they had with Sean Taylor and continued after his death, it’s a reminder that the last time the Redskins played a road game against the Chargers was the final game of the Zorn era, January 3, 2010 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.
That was also Jason Campbell’s last game as a member of the Redskins.
The last time the Redskins played the Chargers? November 3, 2013 at FedExField, a 30-24 overtime win for Washington. The last win of the Mike Shanahan era with the Redskins. The team would start a season ending eight-game losing streak just a few days later at the old Metrodome in Minneapolis on a quick turn-around for a Thursday night game.
4 – On the line…
**If the Redskins score a touchdown, it would be consecutive game # 49 (including playoffs) in which they would have scored a touchdown. The current 48-game streak is the third-longest active streak in the NFL and the fourth-longest in team history.
**If the Redskins hold the Chargers to seven or fewer first downs on Sunday (hard to fathom), it would the third-time this season and mark the most amount of times in one year since 1945 per ProFootballReference.com via Redskins PR.
The two previous times this year was the dominant effort against the Oakland Raiders (7) and on Thanksgiving against the Giants (7). The season low for first downs in a game for the Chargers offense is 14, against Denver on October 22.
**As part of that equation, if the Redskins can limit the Chargers to only one rushing first down, it would also be the third time this season that the Skins defense accomplished that. It would be the first time since at least 1999 since they last did that.
**Phillip Rivers (pictured above) and the Chargers passing attack has racked up 769 passing yards in the last two weeks, in wins over the Cowboys and Browns.
Impressive but it hasn’t translated into red zone success as the Bolts are just (2-9) in red zone touchdown percentage over those last two games and only (4 -14) combined in their last five games.
Overall on the year, the Chargers rank # 27 in both red zone touchdown percentage (44.12%) and goal-to-go (54.55%) touchdown percentage.
Chris Russell has covered the Washington Redskins for eight seasons for multiple media outlets and was a part of the Redskins Radio Network broadcast team for five years. He covers the Redskins, Washington Valor and Baltimore Brigade for Monumental Sports Network (www.DCHotRead.com). Listen to Chris on Washington D.C.'s # 1 sports radio station, 106.7 The FAN