A Sports Commentary
As the Washington Redskins head into their bye week on Sunday, they seem to be a team on the decline. Although Coach Mike Shanahan said the Redskins faced a "must win" game against the Carolina Panthers last week, they failed to score a touchdown until the waning moments of a 21-13 loss. It was a poor performance and there is little reason to believe that things will improve.
The Redskins (3-6) have dropped three straight and will face the most difficult part of their schedule when they return on November 18 against the Philadelphia Eagles. That contest will be followed by a Thanksgiving game in Dallas and home games against the New York Giants on Monday night and the Baltimore Ravens.
Washington is now a team that's desperate for wins. However, given the upcoming schedule, the Redskins could be looking at their fifth consecutive 2-6 second half.
Shanahan is well-known for sidestepping questions, but was quite candid in his postgame press conference. In essence, he said forget the playoffs. Instead, it's time to evaluate players for the 2013 season.
"Now you're playing to see who obviously is going to be on your football team for years to come," Shanahan said. "Now we get a chance to evaluate players and see where we're at."
Unbelievable! There are still seven games remaining, and the coach is closing the door on this season. I've never heard of such. Shanahan's not even willing to pretend that there's a chance for a turnaround.
"Obviously, we're not out of it statistically," he said. "But now we find out what type of character we've got and how guys keep on fighting through the rest of the season."
Many players are talking about using the last seven games to showcase their talent. They want their game film to attract other teams. However, this is what you typically hear from players in mid-December, not early November.
Coming into the 2012 season the Redskins were not expected to make the postseason. During the month of December we should be monitoring Robert Griffin III's development. But, we may find ourselves getting a heavy dose of backup quarterback Kirk Cousins, if Shanahan truly wants to see where his players are.
So let's hope that Redskins fans don't follow the lead of coach Shanahan and start focusing on next season. Redskins' players need our support this season. As long as they're willing to take the field, it'd be nice if we were willing to support them.