When Jay Gruden’s Redskins squad started the 2015 season 2-4, the coach famously declared their next game against Tampa Bay a “Code Red” game, suggesting a loss to the Bucs would result in severe consequences.
So what does that make Sunday’s Redskins game at Lambeau Field against the Green Bay Packers? Is there even a color for the severe consequences that could follow this Packers game? What color would describe the consequences of a victory for Washington?
Maybe it’s a rainbow of irrationality.
After all, how many times does a team that plays in the NFL (please note while the Redskins play in the NFL, they are really not an NFL franchise) face a game where a win could have a debilitating effect on the team for years to come?
Unless, of course, you actually believe that Bill Callahan being the Redskins’ head coach for this year and beyond would be a positive development.
It would also give the Redskins a 4-4 record under Callahan since he took over after Gruden was fired following an 0-5 start, and no one would deny that 4-4 is a lot better than 0-5 — which is likely what team president and Prince of Darkness Bruce Allen told owner Dan Snyder when they put Callahan in charge.
The problem in that small dysfunctional circle of mistrust at Redskins Park was Gruden, they believed — certainly not the roster that Allen had put together. The sales pitch was probably something along these lines — put Bill, a longtime associate and friend of Allen’s, in charge, and he will bring accountability and discipline to this team.
A 4-4 record, capped off with a huge upset over the Packers, would make their case, at least in their limited minds.
It is the Green Bay game that is the main ammunition. This would not be a win over a team with a losing record and a backup quarterback, like Callahan’s three previous victories over Miami, Detroit and Carolina. This would be a victory over the NFC North division leaders, one of the top teams in the NFC, and a future Hall of Fame quarterback in Aaron Rodgers. It would be the first win for Washington at Lambeau Field since 1988. And it would be a victory over one of Mike Shanahan’s proteges, head coach Matt LaFleur.
This win would be the one that gives Allen and Callahan the weight they need to make the case once again that they are “close,” and that Callahan — who once took an Oakland Raiders team to a Super Bowl — has this team going in the right direction and is deserving of a contract to keep the good times going.
What, these aren’t good times?
It’s hard to tell sometimes, isn’t it?
I would say the prospects of Callahan being the head coach of the Redskins in 2020 and beyond are alarming, but it’s hard to find many decisions that are made at Redskins Park that shouldn’t scare their fans — at least the ones that remain. Callahan’s 1980s offensive style would fit into the way Allen saw this team developing last season, when they were 6-3 under Alex Smith. A 4-4 record under Callahan, anchored with the win over Green Bay, would fit the narrative Allen has sold in his limited public appearances – and what he is likely selling to Snyder.
Of course, they would have to beat Green Bay for all this to happen. A beat down by the Packers is obviously far more likely.
So if through some miracle, Washington wins, how could you possibly say no to Callahan moving forward? Particularly looking at what would lay ahead for the remainder of the season — a reeling Philadelphia Eagles team at Ghost Town Field, a bad New York Giants the following week also at home, and then finishing in Dallas against the Cowboys, who may have nothing to play for at that point.
A victory over Green Bay could mean all things are possible.
⦁ Hear Thom Loverro on 106.7 The Fan Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings and on the Kevin Sheehan podcast Tuesdays and Thursdays.
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