Pandemic to playoffs
Warpath|February 2021
Chris Russell

Of all the crazy years in the Dan Snyder ownership era, there’s simply no doubt 2020 was by far the most bizarre and chaotic. Naturally, in true 2020 style, the somewhat unthinkable happened. A 1-5 start and 2-7 stall led to a 7-9 finish and a division crown.

As hall of fame baseball broadcaster Mel Allen used to say, “How about that!”

The year started out on the right note – Snyder and the then Washington Redskins were somehow able to lure and recruit Ron Rivera to Washington just as the disastrous 2019 season ended and team president Bruce Allen was finally fired.

Rivera was given full control of football operations and also had to serve as a savior for a downtrodden franchise that was rotten at the core. He quickly assembled a coaching staff filled with many assistants familiar to him from his time in Carolina, but retained special teams coordinator Nate Kaczor and hired defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, both of whom he had not worked with beforehand.

Rivera promoted Kyle Smith and his staff went to work on free agency and the draft. They landed Logan Thomas, J.D. McKissic, Cornelius Lucas, Ronald Darby and Kendall Fuller. All were starters or key contributors for much of the season.

Washington drafted Chase Young at No. 2 overall and things seemed to be normal. Until the bottom fell out.

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