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No drama Redskins head into bye week

Arizona Cardinals v Washington Redskins Getty Images

The Redskins enter their bye week at 3-1, a record that has inspired cautious playoff talk in D.C. and an appreciation of a business-like start.

It’s hard not to think about the contrasts with the team’s other bye week under Mike Shanahan.  The team had just benched Donovan McNabb in a loss to the Lions midway though last season.

The ensuing tumult inspired the team to hand McNabb more money as an apology in what should be remembered as one of the most ridiculous contracts in NFL history.

This year, the Redskins are quietly moving along without much drama except for the occasional DeAngelo Hall brain cramp, which is going to happen no matter what.  The defense is vastly improved, with Ryan Kerrigan earning early rookie of the year consideration.  The free agent moves on the defensive line have worked and the secondary looks competent.

The running game isn’t exactly explosive, but it looks like a Mike Shanahan production. Three receivers have more than 238 yards, and none of them are Chris Cooley.   The tight end’s slow recovery from a knee problem is basically the only serious injury the team has since the preseason injury to Jarvis Jenkins.

The only position that hasn’t improved is quarterback. Rex Grossman had a good half in the opener against the Giants, but he has more turnovers (7) than touchdowns (6.)  At least he’s cheaper than McNabb.

“Every quarterback is going to be judged by if he wins or loses, that’s the nature of the job,” Shanahan said Monday.

Translation: We won’t see John Beck unless it’s absolutely necessary.

You can’t fault the Redskins for getting two wins against the NFC West. The best route to a sneaky playoff spot for a flawed NFC East team like Washington is to sweep the NFC West and play .500 football against everyone else.

Without the drama and with a little bit of luck, perhaps these Redskins can pull it off.

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52 Responses to “No drama Redskins head into bye week”
  1. expatpatfan says: Oct 4, 2011 11:31 AM

    I’ll admit it, before the preseason I thought the Skins were done. They looked pretty good in the preseason and I though, “maaaybe.” Grossman will still have his Grossman-esque moments, but this team has a good defense and plays hard. Not the best team in the NFC, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see them get in the playoffs.

  2. inbillwetrust says: Oct 4, 2011 11:31 AM

    just cooley choking out romo.. besides that, no drama at all.
    jets are comin to FOXboro!
    -in bill we trust

  3. CJ says: Oct 4, 2011 11:32 AM

    “No drama Redskins”….

    So I guess the headline directly below this about Cooley wanting to fight Romo in a cage doesn’t count?

    I realize it’s two different writers, but come on.

  4. jimmymcnultysbottleofjameson says: Oct 4, 2011 11:32 AM

    Just sitting and waiting and preparing to laugh

  5. davidgq says: Oct 4, 2011 11:34 AM

    Teams in the NFC East needs to win the Division to go to playoff this year. No wild card since either Packers or Lions will get that spot.

    If you going to talk about flaw, look no further than Cowboys and Eagles. Both have “great” Qb according to many analysts and look at what happen. Grossman beats out those “great” QB.

    Giants’s injuries hurt them but they’re not whining like Mr Romo or Vick. Just go out and play. That will earn more respects than “refs is not calling the hits” or “Wasn’t my Center’s fault for early snaps. It was the other team’s fault”

    Winners don’t complain.

  6. barneyrumble says: Oct 4, 2011 11:37 AM

    Post seems like a “Make up call” for ranking the Skins so low in power rankings LOL and taking so much heat. HMMM

  7. redskinsince87iegee says: Oct 4, 2011 11:37 AM

    perhaps man. perhaps. FOR GLORYYYYYYYYYY

  8. joegibbsisking says: Oct 4, 2011 11:40 AM

    Damn it Rosenthal. Stop giving us love. Were too used to the hate and flying under the radar. That way, when we win the division, we can say “we told you so.”

  9. cgamundson says: Oct 4, 2011 11:40 AM

    and you see how well Hainsworth and McNabb are doing with their respective teems. It’s nice not have that kind of drama around the club.

  10. isonic1 says: Oct 4, 2011 11:43 AM

    “The best route to a sneaky playoff spot for a flawed NFC East team like Washington is to sweep the NFC West and play .500 football against everyone else.”

    Seriously, Rosenthal?! You just can’t help but put a jab in there somewhere on the skins. They are are a young team and should be 4 – 0!

    All I have to say is, at least they didn’t spend 200 million to try to buy a super bowl and only have a 1 -3 record!!!

  11. jdandcoke says: Oct 4, 2011 11:43 AM

    giants are the best team in that division…..and the boys or eagles will finish second.

    im calling it now….dont be surprised when the skins lose 3 of their next 4 games. the eagles and bills are going to beat them….and they will lose to either the niners at home or the panthers on the road.

  12. isonic1 says: Oct 4, 2011 11:45 AM

    CJ says: Oct 4, 2011 11:32 AM

    “No drama Redskins”….

    So I guess the headline directly below this about Cooley wanting to fight Romo in a cage doesn’t count?

    Of course it was taken out of context. He was only joking around in the interview. Anyone that knows anything about Cooley would know that.

  13. nineroutsider says: Oct 4, 2011 11:47 AM

    “…sweep the NFC West and play .500 football against everyone else.”

    The 49ers will come into DC and beat them. It will be tight and ugly, but the 9ers will find a way…the Redskins play our type of game, but we are better at it.

    But by all means, please have your way with the rest of our division!

  14. The Phantom Stranger says: Oct 4, 2011 11:50 AM

    At least the Vikings won’t give McBadd more money after they bench him.

  15. ratboygl says: Oct 4, 2011 11:53 AM

    Hey..

    Didn’t YOU say the Redskins would only win 2 games this year?

    Now you are talking playoffs?

    ROFL..

    Typical media….

  16. mistersmith22 says: Oct 4, 2011 11:54 AM

    Speaking of Kerrigan, anyone else wondering why on Madden ’12 Gus Johnson calls his “P-Ryan Kerrigan” every time?

  17. nagaswan says: Oct 4, 2011 11:54 AM

    John Beck would easily step in to this offense. Step in and be the 32nd ranked QB in the league.

  18. cmb79 says: Oct 4, 2011 11:56 AM

    As I said in the Cooley thread…

  19. skinheadsam says: Oct 4, 2011 12:02 PM

    The hate continues. Keep bringing it, because the Skins will keep stepping up. I’m collecting all of these Redskins posts so I can put them up at the end of the season when the Redskins are in the playoffs.

    Why do you say they are a flawed team? Just like any team, they have strengths and weaknesses. However, their weaknesses are fewer this year and they are stronger in many areas. The duo of Orakpo and Kerrigan will continue to get better (which should be really scary for the teams coming up on the schedule). Look for both to go to the Pro Bowl this year.

  20. inbillwetrust says: Oct 4, 2011 12:10 PM

    skins ultimate goal: make the playoffs. if ur goal isnt to win the superbowl dont play

  21. efangule says: Oct 4, 2011 12:11 PM

    “one of the most ridiculous contracts in NFL history.”

    You do realize it only cost the $3mil for that $40 mil contract right?

    The only way you can consider it ridiculous is if you put that on McNabb agent for telling him to sign it and McNabb for actually signing it.

    Love the short memory of the media.

  22. tundey says: Oct 4, 2011 12:12 PM

    What do you mean the QB position hasn’t improved? Have you seen McNabb’s record with the Vikings? McNabb maybe a better QB, on paper, than Grossman but he wasn’t willing to do the things the coaching staff wanted. So he had to go. Grossman isn’t the QB that McNabb was/is but the more important thing is that McNabb isn’t the QB the Shanahans wanted.

    Don’t even mention John Beck…

  23. brownwood26 says: Oct 4, 2011 12:13 PM

    This is a team in transition, so playoffs is nothing more than gravy, IMO…just seeing marked improvement is a step in the right direction.

    The NFC East as a whole is vastly overrated, so nobody should be surprised if the Skins take it by default. I seriously doubt anybody in this division wins more than 10 games, so the Skins breaking even from here on out to go 9-7 isn’t exactly crazy talk.

    I will say this: their December stretch is brutal, highlighted by playing the Jets, Pats, and at the Giants in consecutive weeks. If they can steal one or two of those games and take care of business in the more winnable games at the end (Seattle, Minnesota, Philly should be done by Week 17), they should get in. Definitely should be interesting…

  24. howley1 says: Oct 4, 2011 12:15 PM

    The duo of Orakpo and Kerrigan will continue to get better (which should be really scary for the teams coming up on the schedule). Look for both to go to the Pro Bowl this year.

    ————————-

    Maybe as backups. Six sacks between 2 guys over 4 games isn’t really that many. Spencer and Ware have 8.

  25. skins23 says: Oct 4, 2011 12:16 PM

    LOL at how furious MFlo must be at this article.

    “I DON’T WANT IT ROSENTHAL – YOU WRITE IT!!!”.

    Complete change of culture and attitude at Redskin park. Snyder no longer involved in football.

    Skins 3-1 and a 3rd and 21 away from being 4-0.

    Defense is 3rd in points allowed and 1st in sacks.

    Shanny traded DOWN and picked up the NFC defensive rookie of the month, and FIVE OTHER PICKS, including Helu who has been great, Neild (7th rounder) who has 2 sacks, forced fumble and been solid at the nose, Jenkins, who looked great before his injury, and a lot of talent at WR. Jenkins, Orakpo, and Kerrigan will be great players for us.

    Offensive line drastically improved.

    Great FA additions from within the division – Cofield and Bowen.

    He got a 5th and 2 6th rounders for letting go of garbage (McNabb and Haynesworth), and picked up 2 solid starters (Gaffney and Hightower) in exchange for guys we were going to cut.

    He benched McNabb last year for Rex, and everyone called him crazy…. not so crazy now, huh?

    We’re not an elite team but we’re a solid team with an outside shot at the playoffs. No longer a joke and no longer a team that other teams look forward to facing.

    Maybe some of the “journalists” out there should have been paying attention over the offseason/preseason….. I guess we’re not the 31st ranked team anymore.

  26. therealsmiley says: Oct 4, 2011 12:18 PM

    We’re 3-1….not 8-1. We’ve got a long way to go. A win is a win…but c’mon Grossman!!! The defense bailed us out again!! Hail!

  27. neilanblomi says: Oct 4, 2011 12:19 PM

    davidgq says: Oct 4, 2011 11:34 AM

    Teams in the NFC East needs to win the Division to go to playoff this year. No wild card since either Packers or Lions will get that spot.

    You do realize there are 2 wild card spots right?

  28. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Oct 4, 2011 12:24 PM

    The ensuing tumult inspired the team to hand McNabb more money as an apology in what should be remembered as one of the most ridiculous contracts in NFL history.

    Gregg, you forget that the skins didn’t actually have to pay him all that money from that contract, almost all of it depended on him being on the team this year, and guess what? He ain’t there. They basically paid $3m or so in order to be able to trade him and not just have to cut him.

  29. Lev says: Oct 4, 2011 12:28 PM

    As long as the Defense can prop up the Sex Cannon then we should be fine. Rex will be good and sometimes a little shaky, but look at the schedule! How can anyone say there is NO chance of playoffs?

  30. bossyrossy says: Oct 4, 2011 12:29 PM

    With regard to dinging the Redskins for ONLY beating the Rams by 7…this was basically the first full-workload game for Steven Jackson this season. And he is the difference-maker in that offense.

  31. rufustfireflyjr says: Oct 4, 2011 12:41 PM

    nineroutsider: A west coast team coming east and playing a 1 o’clock game? And winning?? Don’t bet the mortgage money on that one, my man.

  32. blackqbwhiterb says: Oct 4, 2011 12:42 PM

    It’s nice to see them FINALLY not doing anything stupid personnel wise. Still building the roster, it’s a work in progress, but they’re doing it the right way this time….so far…..What’s bothering me most this season is Kyle Shanahan’s play calling.

  33. chocolatebaconbutter says: Oct 4, 2011 12:46 PM

    I rue the day that I live in a world that a Rex Grossman helmed team wins a division. Say it ain’t so. He’ll fall apart, right? Skins fans?

  34. countsnail says: Oct 4, 2011 12:58 PM

    I don’t see how they can get very far with Rex Grossman at QB. That’s one important piece of the puzzle that the Redskins need to fill in. After that, they could be a force in the playoffs.

    If they had signed Matt Hasselbeck, they probably would be a more promising team.

  35. poopoodoodoohead says: Oct 4, 2011 12:59 PM

    I appreciate this site because it steers me in the direction of the stories I want to see since I am too lazy to do it myself, but I do not care for the writers inability to remain objective. But hey, it’s their site so they can root for whomever they want, it’s not like they are “real” journalists.

    I do have to say that I am completely dumbfounded by the level of ignorance of so many of your readers.

    We sit 4 games into the season and I am hearing the Dream Team is done, the Redskins are going to win the division, the Giants are the best team in the division… blah blah blah!

    Look people, we are sitting 1/4 of the way into the season. The Eagles had a huge roster turnover inserting new players that are learning new systems without much time to learn the play books because of the shortened off-season. Vick is over rated, but his athleticism will win them games, the injuries will heal, the new players will come together. Their biggest problem is injuries. If they cannot find a way to win the next couple of games with the injuries they have, they will be in trouble. Their LB corps is bad, but they have talent in so many other places, they will contend. Right now, no need to panic. I hope I am wrong about that!

    The Giants won 3 in a row against lesser opponents and all of a sudden they are the best team in the Division? Maybe, but the Redskins beat them. And I don’t want to hear about the injuries on the Giants side of the ball, the Redskins were dealing with injuries too, arguably their best defensive player was out and their starting DE was lost for the season. I will say the Giants are probably the best team, but we still have 12 games left in the season. I do appreciate how the “experts” said the Giants wouldn’t compete this year.

    As for the Redskins, my favorite team! UGH!!! I have been listening to the homers talk about playoffs and I want to vomit! Dod you guys remember the past 5, 10, 20 years? We have been here before. I was happy to see Rex Grossman win the job over Beck because Beck sucks! But he is never going to change. I thought maybe he could change, mature with age and he has not. He’s the same, great/terrible player he was and will always be. We cannot possible talk about playoffs as long as Rex leads this offense with shaky offensive line play, receivers who do not get open and RB’s who cannot cutback and hit the hole. Yes, Torain looked good this weekend, against the worst run D in the league. Yes Rex made some nice throws, but he threw 2 picks. OK, one was on Moss, but there were other throws that should have been intercepted that weren’t, hitting the defenders right in the hands.

    As Redskins’ fan I have learned one thing over the past 20 years, do not count on anything! 3-1? Well, under Zorn we were 6-2 heading into the 2nd half of the season and we didn’t make the playoffs, so…

    Oh and as for the Cowgirls! **** ‘em!

  36. nineroutsider says: Oct 4, 2011 1:15 PM

    rufustfireflyjr says: Oct 4, 2011 12:41 PM

    nineroutsider: A west coast team coming east and playing a 1 o’clock game? And winning?? Don’t bet the mortgage money on that one, my man.
    ——————————————————–
    No worries, the Niners have already done it twice, my man.

  37. deadmanwalking47 says: Oct 4, 2011 1:17 PM

    can’t wait when the skins make the playoffs and all the idiots of the world can jump on the bandwagon only to be thrown off by those of us who have been redskins fans forever,and always will be!

  38. jdandcoke says: Oct 4, 2011 1:18 PM

    poopoodoodoohead

    very fair assessment. the redskins are definately a team that needs to be taken seriously. the only reason i personally dont give them THAT much thought as a real threat is that rex grossman is their qb. like someone above said….if matt hasselbeck was their qb, as a giants fan id say that they were the best team in the division. with rex grossman at the helm i just cant see it.

  39. rufustfireflyjr says: Oct 4, 2011 1:30 PM

    poopoo: Agreed that it’s too early to talk playoffs for the ‘Skins, but “shaky offensive line play, receivers who do not get open and RBs who cannot cut back and hit the hole?” Really?? Have you been watching the same games that I have?

  40. skinheadsam says: Oct 4, 2011 2:31 PM

    howley1 says: Oct 4, 2011 12:15 PM

    The duo of Orakpo and Kerrigan will continue to get better (which should be really scary for the teams coming up on the schedule). Look for both to go to the Pro Bowl this year.

    ————————-

    Maybe as backups. Six sacks between 2 guys over 4 games isn’t really that many. Spencer and Ware have 8.

    ___________________

    Sacks aren’t the only measure of a LB. QB hurries, knockdowns, batted balls, forced fumbles, recovered fumbles, interceptions, tackles, tackles for loss, etc. I’m just saying, these two are going to be the next great linebacking duo in the NFL. QBs will fear them.

  41. steelers0wn0hio says: Oct 4, 2011 2:47 PM

    The Skins are a Matt Hasselbeck, Carson Palmer or Kevin Kolb away from being a legit contender. Grossman will keep this team near .500 all season. At the end of the day the writer is correct, sweep the garbage NFC WEST and go 6-6 against the rest and they will end up in the playoffs.

    Not very far fetched considering they have very winnable games left on the schedule.

  42. n0hopeleft says: Oct 4, 2011 2:54 PM

    The Giants are coming for you, and you should be afraid.

  43. p4ever says: Oct 4, 2011 3:27 PM

    Don’t get your hope too high, Midget Snyder is still the owner.

  44. rufustfireflyjr says: Oct 4, 2011 3:31 PM

    nineroutsider: Touche’ . Should be a good game between two up and coming teams. But the ‘Niners won’t find that squishy soft Eagles’ rush defense waiting for them when they come to FedEx. If they go down by 17 in the first half again, it’ll primarily be on A. Smith to bring them back, and we’ll see if they can keep Orakpo and Kerrigan off his back.

    nohopeleft: Afraid? Of what, their B.O.?

  45. swizope82 says: Oct 4, 2011 3:51 PM

    shanny said upon being hired that if snyder wasn’t willing to give him 5 YEARS to turn the team around, he didn’t want the job. this is only year 2. if we’re already talking a possible playoff berth, what will things look like when the end of that 5th year arrives??? i’m liking what i see… HTTR

  46. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Oct 4, 2011 4:04 PM

    I wish I could find the article but I called the redskins doing good before the season started. At like the start of the pre-season even. Just sayin!!

  47. diablito0402 says: Oct 4, 2011 4:39 PM

    Redstinks taking that bitch like attitude from their coach shanahan, example: meangelo hall, chris cooley, who ever the hell this guys is, i thought he was out of the league a couple of years ago,,

  48. footballfanman says: Oct 4, 2011 5:03 PM

    Grossman is good for a turnover or two per game. Which is bad, but I still like his play more than Mcnabb’s last year. This is only year two in Shannahan’s regime and the ship is already turned around. With a make-shift team we’re already looking much better. We’re doing better based off of chemistry and heart alone, and Kerrigan. With a few more drafts and free agency periods coupled with getting a permanent fixture at Q.B. look for the Skins to be knocking on the door of the Super Bowl in the coming years. I for one optimistic about this team’s future. Lets go Skins.

  49. skinsfandcdan83 says: Oct 4, 2011 6:37 PM

    Not really worried at what the haters say..We are playing football and winning..Its obvious the only person holding us back is Rex Grossman..Other than that Skies the limit for this young team!!!

  50. boyshole25 says: Oct 4, 2011 6:44 PM

    hey nineroutsider you are absolutely crazy if you think they have even the slightest shot of beating the skins. not in a million bro but seriously good story tell it again

  51. boyshole25 says: Oct 4, 2011 6:45 PM

    hey nohopeleft 28 14 is a whippin not just some fluke

  52. poopoodoodoohead says: Oct 5, 2011 12:31 AM

    rufustfireflyjr says:
    Oct 4, 2011 1:30 PM
    poopoo: Agreed that it’s too early to talk playoffs for the ‘Skins, but “shaky offensive line play, receivers who do not get open and RBs who cannot cut back and hit the hole?” Really?? Have you been watching the same games that I have?

    Look, there has been shaky O-line play whether you want to believe it or not. Is it better than last year’s line? Absolutely! But Trent Williams is getting beat in pass protection too often for a player that was drafted 4th overall. Demarcus Ware got all kinds of pressure, yeah I know he’s probably the best in the league, but he threw Jamaal Brown to the ground like a rag doll. Montgomery is soft in the middle, not Turnstile Raybach soft, but there is penetration coming up the middle too. They are improved, but they have been shaky.

    Moss and Davis are the only receivers we have who have been getting open consistently. I like Gaffney, but it seems like his catches are from the “good” Rex, usually great throws. Cooley has slowed tremendously, Stallworth cannot seem to get open…2 receptions on the year. Where has Armstrong been? Austin?

    Torain on Sunday was the first RB to take full advantage of hitting the holes when he was in there, but look at the opponent. Hightower just hasn’t been making the cutbacks when the holes open, instead choosing to hit the corner because he had success there against the Giants on a few runs. Did you notice teams are lining up wider with Hightower in there? Helu has hit the holes, but he doesn’t seem to break through the first contact like Torain. I think Helu is good and will get better. I think Hightower has likely lost his starting position unless Torain gets hurt again.

    My point was, there is nothing wrong with any of that, if you have a QB who can overcome those faults. No team is perfect, not even the Packers, but Rodgers is so good you don’t see their 2nd and 3rd receivers don’t get often as much as you’d like. I think Hasselback, the way he has looked in TN is a prime example of a QB that could make us much better. Carson Palmer? Maybe, but it’s too late for this season. We have Rex and we will live and die by his inconsistency. I like Rex. But he’s is unlikely to mature enough to become any more than great at times and horrible just as often and that will leave us at .500.

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