News & Politics

The 17 Worst Moments of the Washington Redskins’ Terrible Season


Photograph via Flickr user Keith Allison

The Redskins ended their embarrassing 7-9 season with an equally embarrassing loss at home, which more Eagles fans than Skins fans attended. It was the capper to an especially depressing period for the once-proud team, whose season was marred by bad luck, terrible decisions, and poor play. Because we’re Skins masochists, we decided to attempt a ranking of all of the most awful moments.

17. After a 16-3 win against Tampa Bay, Josh Norman, the highest-paid cornerback in the league, trashes the team’s fans in an interview with USA Today.

16. Skins game? What Skins game? An Eagles vs. Cowboys contest, broadcast on Fox, receives a 19.8 rating in the DC market. The Redskins vs. Giants game on the same afternoon gets a 14.0 rating.

15. The phrase “starting Redskins quarterback Josh Johnson.”

14. Rookie running back Derrius Guice tears his ACL in a pre-season game, forcing the team to rethink its running game and sign Adrian Peterson (see No. 8).

13. Fans evacuate the stadium at halftime during a humiliating 40-16 blowout loss to division rival New York Giants (who finished with a dismal 5-11 record).

12. Redskins owner Dan Snyder, with Mayor Muriel Bowser‘s support, attempts to get provisions to build a new stadium at the former RFK Stadium site included in a federal spending bill. The goal was to grant the District control of the site before the Republicans lost control of the House, as Democratic congress members have been less supportive of the idea.

11. Every moment that Snyder continues to not change the team’s racist name.

10. Defensive leader D.J. Swearinger is cut in late December after publicly criticizing defensive coordinator Greg Manusky. He’s later picked up by the Arizona Cardinals.

9. In June, the team gets rid of its long-touted season-ticket waiting list, finally admitting that packages are available to whoever wants them. Snyder once bragged the list had 200,000 fans waiting for access to season tickets.

8. Adrian Peterson, who was suspended for much of the 2014 season due to an indictment on disturbing child-abuse charges, surpasses Skins legend John Riggins‘s record for career rushing touchdowns scored. Has there ever been such a talented Redskin who’s harder to root for?

7. Despite desperately needing a quarterback, the team—whose owner donated $1 million to the Trump campaign—ignores Colin Kaepernick. Sure, the Skins aren’t the only team to pass on Kaepernick, who began a league-wide protest against police brutality and racial injustice by taking a knee during the National Anthem in 2016. But their refusal to even give him a tryout is disheartening, to say the least.

6. The phrase “starting Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy.”

5. Defensive back Montae Nicholson is arrested after allegedly getting into a drunken 2 AM brawl in December. A video of the altercation appears to show Nicholson knocking someone out cold in, of all places, a World of Beer parking lot in Loudoun County.

4. The New York Times releases a report on the Redskins’ creepy week-long trip to Costa Rica in 2013, when the team’s cheerleaders posed topless for an all-male group of team sponsors.

3. The Redskins are the only team to claim linebacker Reuben Foster off waivers after he is released by the 49ers in November. Foster was arrested in Florida the night before on domestic violence charges—his third alleged domestic incident of 2018. The charges were later dropped due to insufficient evidence.

2. During a loss to the Texans, Alex Smith breaks his leg in two places, ending his season and throwing the Skins into chaos. Which results in fans suddenly having to grapple with…

1. The phrase “starting Redskins quarterback Mark Sanchez.”

Assistant Editor

Elliot joined Washingtonian in January 2018. An alum of Villanova University, he grew up in the Philadelphia area before earning a master’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University. His work has also appeared in the Washington Post,, and, among others. He lives in Bloomingdale.