“Evaluation” period pulls Redskins into first place


After the Redskins lost a “must” win game to the Panthers in November, Washington coach Mike Shanahan, in the opinion of many (but not Mike Shanahan), threw in the towel.

Five games later, the Redskins haven’t lost again, rocketing from 3-6 to 8-6.  The fifth straight win came via a 38-21 drubbing of the Browns in Cleveland.

Coupled with a loss by the Giants, the Redskins also are now in first place in the NFC East.  Technically, the Redskins are in the top spot, thanks to a 3-1 record in the division.  The Giants are 2-3.

The Redskins and Giants soon may have company; if the Cowboys beat the Steelers, all three teams will be 8-6, with two games left.

And so, like last year, the NFC East title likely will be decided on the last day of the season.  Last year, the Giants won a playoff play-in game by beating the Cowboys — and then went on to win the Super Bowl.

32 responses to ““Evaluation” period pulls Redskins into first place

  1. Skins are playing with a lot of confidence, don’t know how long it can last, but I am enjoying the ride, reminds me of 2007, when Todd Collins lead them into the playoffs.

    Defense will be exposed in the playoffs, but the offense should be good enough to get them there.

  2. Mike Shanahan will probably claim someday he just said it to motivate his players.

    Anyway, Kyle Shanahan has taken a ton of undue criticism the last two years but he called a phenomenal game today.

    Some people are in the NFL just because their riding daddy’s coattails (*cough* most scouts *cough*) but this guy isn’t. He knows football.

  3. Hell of an evaluation… Break off five wins straight, kind of hard to find anything to complain about with results like that. I don’t think this is a championship caliber team by any means, but I sure wouldn’t want to face them in the first round if they get in.

  4. Did it ever occur to anyone that by publicly telling his entire team that their jobs were on the line based upon their play the rest of the season, Shanahan was pushing motivational buttons? Why is he still getting flak for that statement? If he meant it to motivate, it worked.

  5. Six weeks ago I was ready for li’l Danny to show the Shanahans the door. Today’s game shows improvement overall both by the team and by Shanny Jr. For the first time ever I’m starting to think Shanny may not be as bad at spotting talent as I thought (used to think he was somewhere between Buddy Nix and Jerry Jones).

  6. Of course I want my ‘Skins in the playoffs and winning the SB. But considering where they have been the last few years, and all of the 4-12 to 6-10 predictions before the season, I will call this a successful year. To this fan of 45 yrs, it looks like a good start to Roberts’ career. They still have needs on both sides of the ball, but damn they are fun to watch !!

  7. Its been a real challenge being a Skins fan over the last 2+ years of the Shanahan era for me. Since Shanahan was hired I’ve felt Shanahan needed a long leash to rebuild the Skins into a proper NFL caliber franchise after the decade of futility that was the Vinny Cerrato/Daniel Snyder era in DC.

    Having to hear and read in the media that Shanahan should be fired after the first 2 losing seasons was tough. Just felt like local media and some fans couldn’t see the big picture. That Shanahan was actually using the draft and being responsible in FA to build a young team that would start competing for a playoff run in his 3rd year.

    Well here we are now in year 3 and the Skins are tied for the division lead with 2 games to go. Yes Griffin and Morris are huge parts of the success the Skins have enjoyed, but other young players chosen by Shanahan in the draft of in FA are also stepping up to the big boys table. Players like Trent Williams, Perry Riley, Leonard Hankerson, Kory Lichtenstieger, Chris Chester, Logan Paulsen, etc…

    Still 2 games to go against the hated Eagles and Crackboys, but it feels good to be a fan of a team in this position. And how great would it be to face the Crackboys at home with the Divison on the line? Its going to be one hell of a Merry Christmas in DC.

  8. skins officially have 2 better rookie qbs than weeden.. that makes make 5 rookie qbs better than him. mr mature cant hit water if it fell out of a boat

    yes im just angry giants got whooped but its the truth lol

  9. We don’t often hear coaches threaten their teams like that but more and more it’s looking like Shanahan knew exactly what he was doing.

    Guess some players have to be threatened with their jobs to light a fire under them. And congrats to the ‘Skins on their RGIIIless win.

  10. Crack on shanny all you want but when he got rid of the cancer Haynesworth the media scorned him for how he treated poor ol haynesworth.

    As soon as he benched Mcnabb he admitted it was a mistake and got rid of him as well. All the divas and complainers hit the bricks and what he has done through the draft despite losing cap space is construct depth, find a heck of a RB and solidify the back up QB position with Cousins.

    It takes time to dig out of the hole the skins have been in but it looks like he has created a cohesive unit that is plugging in players despite a rash of injuries to key starters,

    Haslett despite all his naysayers has been making half time adjustments with a unit that is flawed. The adjustments are Pettibone like from years past.

    Hey we have a glimmer of hope here in DC and the I say give credit where credit is due to the Shannahans. Lord knows they have taken their share of flak since they arrived in DC.

    We are on the upswing. HTTR

  11. How do you go from possible ROY to being benched and replaced by another rookie? If Cousins stays on this kind of roll and gets the Redskins to the playoffs will Shanahan stay with the hot hand or go back RG3? It is a complete “lose-lose” situation unless they win the Super Bowl. We will be a witness to the biggest debate since the question was Team Edward or Team Jacob. I love it.

  12. Years of disappointment, frustration, agony, heartache, misery, depression and utter disgust make this ride so sweet and regardless of what happens the rest of this year, the future even sweeter.

    We are back!


  13. Future, for once, is bright in Washington. Since Shanahan has taken over the team is getting better and younger. Yes, Shanny has made some mistakes (McNabb), but has hit some home runs as well. The team has already improved their win total by four games over last year. Looking good in DC

  14. I’ve said it once I’ll say it a thousand times, Shanahan needs to mail Mara and Coughlin two big fat plums and a bowl of nuts for Christmas. With a card that reads enjoy your “Unfair competitive advantage”.

  15. Since the Skins won and the Giants lost, does this mean Mara is going to order Goodell to take away our draft picks? Somehow, I think that keeping the Giants from getting a division crown might be breaking another one of those “unwritten rules.”

  16. Typical bonehead comment by ddogdaddy, Giants went from 1st to 3rd in the division today, HTTR being 1st place in the NFC East!!!

  17. @gauchopayne
    There is a line from Shakespere that goes something like this. ” He who doth protests the loudest”……. meaning you sure picked up on the Twilight comparison pretty quick. Don’t worry your secret is safe with me. Don’t be so sure about the non qb arguement. Coaches are very notorious about staying with the hot hand. I’m not saying there will or not. I am just waiting to see if there is and watching how the Team RG3 and Team Cousins folks line up. Pretty good drama wouldn’t you have to say? Irony at its finest. The Skins go 20 years with no qb and now they have 2 pretty good ones that could end up being a distraction. Even more so then the 49ers as both of their qb’s aren’t that good. I am making no predictions just enjoying the show.

  18. Fair enough. But this is no Shuler/Frerrote-type situation. And I believe there is another old Shakespeare line that goes something like he who smelt it……

  19. Anyone who knows “Shanny” knows that he takes the bye week and “evaluates” his team from top to bottom – looking at tendencies and looking at player performance. There have been subtle changes to the offense and defense that have created changes. The arrival of Pierre Garcon as a wide receiver has much to do with the change in offense. And what about that field goal kicker! 15 for 15 since joining the Redskins!

    Younger players have been inserted and choices made in this past draft have had great results – Cousins and Morris (running back).

    I still think Griffin is a fraud and is not much of a quarterback, but we can rest easy that his fragile frame has a great insurance policy in Kirk Cousins.

    The New York Football Giants proved you don’t have to be the best team to win a Super Bowl. You just have to be the hottest team that believes!

  20. ddogdaddy says: Dec 16, 2012 11:00 PM

    There is a line from Shakespere that goes something like this. ” He who doth protests the loudest”……. meaning you sure picked up on the Twilight comparison pretty quick.


    First, his name is spelled Shakespeare.

    Second the line from Hamlet you butchered is “the lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

    Lastly, your analogy is terrible. The line is used in reference to a person that objects so greatly to something that said person losses credibility.

    All that being said, I think the Mike/Kyle deserve a lot of credit for the way this season has unfolded. Furthermore, as bad as the defense has looked in the first half, Haslett has done a great job of adjusting. Had our defense not suffered the injuries it did early on, we could very well have locked up the NFC East already.

    Very much looking forward to December 30th.

  21. All that being said, I think the Mike/Kyle deserve a lot of credit for the way this season has unfolded. Furthermore, as bad as the defense has looked in the first half, Haslett has done a great job of adjusting. Had our defense not suffered the injuries it did early on, we could very well have locked up the NFC East already.
    Agree 110%. However, while Haslett has certainly done a great job of adjusting, I really think the change in the defense has a lot to do with DeJon Gomes. I can’t tell you what it is, because it doesn’t appear on the stat sheet and TV angles don’t allow fans to see what’s going on downfield. But point is that ever since he started to see more of the field, our defense has started to gel and has stopped looking like the Bad News Bears. DeAngelo Hall has also stepped up, mainly by no longer stepping in and jumping every single route thrown to his side of the field. He still probably needs to go in the offseason, but he’s definitely screwing up noticeably less than ever before.

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