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Need to Know: With the Redskins on the brink of elimination, what’s next?

Dec 1, 2013, 5:25 AM EDT

Shanahan-on-sideline

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 1, the day the Redskins host the New York Giants.

Playing out the string in prime time

A loss to the Giants tonight would eliminate the Redskins from the playoffs. Even if they win tonight, Washington would have to win out, the Cowboys would have to lose their next three and Eagles would have to lose three out of their next four. And then Philly and Dallas would have to tie when they play in the season finale for Washington to defend its NFC East title. That leaves the Redskins where they have been in December for all but three of the 11 years prior to last year—playing out the string.

The disappointment over the Redskins being in this situation again is palpable, both at Redskins Park and in the fan base. The expectations for the team were for it to take the next step, not a step back.

There will be plenty of time starting late this month to perform an autopsy on 2013 and figure out how to proceed in 2014. In the meantime there are five games left to play starting tonight in a game against the 4-7 Giants, a game that for reasons known only to NBC network suits was not flexed out of its prime time spot

“I think the players are smart enough to understand that if you are 3-8, then everybody is playing for their jobs,” Mike Shanahan said. “That’s the nature of our business. I don’t care if it’s players, coaches, support staff. The nature of this game is to find a way to win, and if you don’t win, everybody is accountable.”

Sometimes talk like that is just lip service. This year, it’s dead serious.

Some 20 players on the roster will be free agents in March. Many other players could be released with either minimal cap consequences or none at all. The Redskins will have some $25 million in cap space to spend on free agents. These factors could lead to substantial roster turnover.

The future of the coach staff is up in the air as well. Shanahan is going into the last year of his contract. He is 24-36 since coming to the Redskins in 2010. None of the assistant coaches are on particularly strong ground either.

So it starts tonight in a winnable game against the Giants. The Redskins are slight underdogs even though they are at home. A win clears up a lot of the negativity that has been swirling around the team lately. If they lose, the talk could multiply exponentially.

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In case you missed it

Monday 11.25

Tuesday 11.26

Wednesday 11.27

Thursday 11.28

Friday 11.29

Saturday 11.30

  1. mjw9326mjw9326 - Dec 1, 2013 at 7:50 AM

    On behalf of all Buffalo Bills fans everywhere, I would personally like to thank Mike Shanahan for turning the Bills job down when he did. In all actuality, he did us a HUGE favor, it appears. If the Redskins are any indicator, the Bills would still be wallowing in the mire at the bottom of the league, instead of showing signs of a team that is close to at least getting into the playoffs again, for the first time this century. It may not be this year, but likely it will be next season.
    Go Bills and Redskins fans? I feel your pain. Maybe Dan Snider will kick the bucket like old Ralph Wilson will one of these days. You might get a REAL owner. Unfortunately, when Ralph dies, the worrying begins about who will buy the team and if it will stay put.

    • hitmeimopen - Dec 1, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      I have a friend who’s a Bills fan, and I see your point about certain similarities between the 2 franchises at this time. Ownership rules. And the Skins owner is a dud! We had a great owner in Jack Kent Cooke and when he died, everyone assumed that his son would take over. I don’t have any idea what happened but we now have a situation where only if he dies do we ever get a chance to become relevant again. And he’s young…making it fairly impossible in my lifetime. Sucks. I wish I could root for another team. But I can’t.

  2. grh752 - Dec 1, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    the team wants to win.the fans want the team to win. fact is we need a lot of work. to get this team in shape to be a contender in the NFL. you always want to put your best players on the field for every game. lets face it we are no way in hell going to the play offs let alone the Superbowl.lets start now to pull together the players that will help us turn it around next season. get the young guys some playing experience. make some moves in personal. go after players sitting at home that could compete for a spot for next year so when training camp starts you have ligament contenders competing not just a bunch of guys that you know will not make the team. and get some beef on that O line. if we start now and work hard all off season we might have a chance next year.

  3. Chuck Young - Dec 2, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    Sh@tcan Shanahan!

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