It’s time for the Washington Redskins to move on from Jay Gruden. The team hired the former Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator back in 2014, seeking stability after a tumultuous tenure with Mike Shanahan running the team. This desire for continuity has negatively impacted the decision-making of the Redskins front office, as they have kept Gruden as head coach despite several disappointing seasons. The Redskins have a 35-46-1 record under Gruden, an 82-game stretch of inconsistency that includes a 12-20 record against division rivals.
Why It’s Time for the Jay Gruden Era in Washington to Come to An End
The defining feature of the Redskins under Gruden has been their inability to close out wins. During his tenure of five-plus seasons, the team has blown 14 games in which they led by more than six points at some point in the game:
Let’s take an in-depth look at a few of the major collapses during Gruden’s tenure:
Week Three, 2014 at Eagles
The Redskins jumped out to a 17-7 lead after quarterback Kirk Cousins threw two early touchdown passes. The defense gave up two touchdowns in the last six minutes of the second quarter, including a Nick Foles touchdown right as time expired. This gave the Eagles a 21-20 advantage at halftime. Philly on to win the game 37-34.
Week Nine, 2014 at Vikings
Washington built a 10-0 lead as halftime approached, but once again they allowed the opposing team to score points right as time expired. Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater threw a 20-yard touchdown to tight end, Chase Ford, cutting the deficit to three points after one half of play. This momentum carried into the second half, as the Vikings went on to win 29-26.
Week One, 2015 vs. Dolphins
A year later, the Redskins once again had a 10-0 lead approaching halftime, but they allowed Ryan Tannehill to lead a touchdown drive with only 27 seconds remaining in the second quarter. Like the Vikings, the Dolphins would take the momentum from this late score and carry it over to the second half, ultimately winning the game, 17-10.
Week Four, 2017 at Chiefs
Another notable collapse was in Kansas City on Monday Night Football, where the Redskins had a 10-0 lead heading into halftime, but Alex Smith found Travis Kelce for a touchdown right at the two-minute warning. The Redskins led this entire game until late in the fourth quarter. They would go on to lose 29-20 in overtime.
Week 11, 2017 at Saints
This was the worst blown lead of Gruden’s tenure in Washington. The Redskins had a 31-16 with less than six minutes left in the game. Saints quarterback Drew Brees responded with two touchdown drives along with a successful two-point conversion to tie the game. New Orleans would go on to win 34-31 in overtime.
Week One, 2019 at Eagles
Washington jumped out to a 17-0 lead early in the second quarter but went on to give up a 51-yard touchdown to DeSean Jackson on a third-and-long play. This allowed the Eagles to gain momentum heading into the second half. The Eagles took the lead after another third-and-long, 53-yard touchdown to D-Jax. They went on to win the game, 32-27.
Week Two, 2019 vs. Cowboys
The Redskins took a 7-0 lead early in the game before allowing a 51-yard touchdown to Devin Smith. The Cowboys would take complete control of the game after this score, going on to win 31-21. This was another example of the Redskins giving the opposing team momentum by allowing a long touchdown.
Time to Cut Ties
During Gruden’s tenure, the Redskins have started six different quarterbacks, such as Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy, Josh Johnson, Mark Sanchez, and Case Keenum. The one constant in these collapses is the head coach. The team has blown leads with conservative play-calling and poor execution. The Redskins have kicked off the 2019 season with consecutive blown leads against division rivals. This type of performance is inexcusable. It’s now time for the team to change the culture of collapsing in close contests – Gruden must go.