How the 2014 Redskins Compare to the 2004 Team


Oct 19, 2014; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch as Tennessee Titans cornerback Jason McCourty (30) defends during the first half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

As a Redskins fan, you get used to winning the offseason. The big splashes, the fancy signings, the big name coaches that come in to resurrect the franchise all lead to the same result.

Do Deion Sanders, Adam Archuleta, Antwaan Randle El, Jeff George ring a bell? Who could forget the seven-year $100 million contract signed by Albert Haynesworth? It doesn’t stop at players either. The team has brought in Marty Schottenheimer, Steve Spurrier, Joe Gibbs (Part II) and Mike Shanahan to lead the team.

Looking back 10 years at the 2004 season, it is easy to see some similarities to the 2014 season. In 2004, the Redskins had hired a new head coach, bringing back Joe Gibbs for his second run with the team. In 2014, the Redskins hired Jay Gruden as the new head coach, albeit not as big of a splash signing, but a change in command nevertheless.

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The 2004 season featured a major move to bolster the offense with the trade for Clinton Portis. In 2014, the team was again looking for some offensive firepower and added DeSean Jackson. In 2004, there were rumblings that Portis and Sean Taylor were getting preferential treatment from the team. The 2014 season started with similar rumblings regarding RGIII in the Redskins locker room.

We had a famous Brian Mitchell rant in 2004 and another more humorous rant from Mitchell in 2014. There was also a quarterback controversy in 2004 as newly acquired, Mark Brunell, was benched in favor of Patrick Ramsey after a 3-6 start to the season. Ramsey did not fare much better than Brunell, which is reminiscent of how Captain Kirk did while taking over for RGIII.

The similarities are striking as both the 2004 and 2014 teams were held back by inept quarterback play. In spite of that, the newly acquired players did shine and gave the fan base some hope for the future. Portis rushed for 1,315 yards and five touchdowns while also having two receiving TDs. Not to mention he threw for a score as well, giving him only one less touchdown thrown than RGIII has thus far this season.

This year, DeSean Jackson is 10th in the league in receiving yards with 858, while leading the league in yards per reception (20.4).

The major contrast between the 2004 and 2014 team is that the offense and defense are night-and-day. The defense in 2004 allowed the fifth-least points per game, with an average of 16.6 per game, according to Pro Football Reference. This year’s team is allowing 24.8 points per game, which is more than a touchdown more.

However, this year’s offense has amassed 4,017 total yards of offense through 11 games while the 2004 team had 4,397 yards of total offense for the season. The 2004 team averaged 15 points per game, which was second-to-last in the entire league. This year’s offense, although not drastically better, is an improvement, averaging 19.7 points per game, which is 23rd in the league.

This season seems like it will end in a similar fashion to 2004. Different Year, Same Ol’ Redskins. The 2004 team finished 4th in the division at 6-10, while this year’s team is currently at 3-8 and sitting at fourth in the division.

So is there anything to look forward to in 2015? If the team comes together in Gruden’s second season as they did in Gibbs’ second season, then maybe things will start looking up. The 2005 season was memorable since it was the last time the team won a playoff game after finishing the season 10-6.

We can always hope…right?