The Redskins look like a different team since their bye, the bye week that coincided with Mike Shanahan’s odd “evaluate” comments.
Can it really be as simple as they were “a tired group,” as linebacker London Fletcher suggested?
The Skins were a listless 3-6 after losing at home to the Panthers, but have since taken a break and won three straight division games to get back into the playoff hunt.
“If you think about it, we didn’t get our bye week until the tenth week of the season,” Fletcher said, via Mark Maske of the Washington Post. “We played nine games and then finally got a bye week. We had a lot of close games. That kind of wears on you a little bit. We just got a chance to get away for a little bit, refresh mentally, refocus. We understood, yeah, at that point in time we were 3-6. We looked at our situation and knew, ‘Hey, we win a couple ballgames, it could be totally different for us.’
“And that’s what we did. We really focused in. Getting that win against the Eagles was a big one. And then you think about going down to Dallas on a short week and coming away with a victory, and then setting it up to set the stage for [Monday]. It’s just a great feeling for us but we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”
Of course, that momentum they’re enjoying now only gets them back to even after a self-perpetuating streak of bad luck.
“You start believing, like, ‘When is it going to happen? Here it goes again,’ ” linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said. “Now I think it’s completely different. . . . . You know Robert [Griffin] is about to make a play. You know Alfred [Morris] is about to run for a big run. You know somebody is going to have a big catch. On defense, you know Rob Jackson is going to put some pressure on, somebody is going to stand up. That’s what you’ve got to have, that type of belief.”
That, and a little bit of luck, such as RG3’s fumble-turned-touchdown, can be enough to turn a season around when many thought it was done.