Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, November 1, three days before the Redskins take on the Panthers at FedEx Field.
Schedule eases up
When the Redskins’ schedule came out, the conventional wisdom was that they would need to make hay during the first half of the season if they were going to make some headway in the third year of Mike Shanahan’s rebuilding program.
As it turns out, the first half of the season has been quite challenging. The Redskins’ opponents so far have a cumulative record of 33-26, a .559 winning percentage. Of their eight opponents to date, only one, the Saints, has fewer than three wins.
The cumulative record of the teams the Redskins will play from here on out is 26-32, a winning percentage .448 (Eagles’ and Cowboys’ records counted twice since the Redskins play them twice). They play two teams with winning records in the Giants (6-2) and Ravens (5-2).
Five of their last eight games are at home. That hasn’t been much of an advantage lately but the Redskins did manage to beat the Vikings in their last home game so perhaps they can get on a little winning streak at home.
A dangerous cat
It would be a mistake to think that the 1-6 Panthers are an easy mark. Despite the apparent disarray after Cam Newton’s emotional postgame press conferences and the firing of general manager Marty Hurney, Carolina has not played horribly except for one game.
That was the Thursday night game in Week 3 when Newton threw three interceptions and, after scoring a one-yard run to make the score 23-7, did the routine where he mimes tearing off his shirt to reveal the Superman “S”.
Their other five losses have been by no more than six points. The 7-0 Falcons and 6-1 Bears, both playing at home, needed nearly miraculous finishes to beat the Panthers at the end.
It doesn’t appear that the Redskins are taking the Panthers lightly. At 3-5 they can’t afford to do that to anybody but especially not a Carolina team that would love to get better by coming into FedEx Field and pulling out a win over the Redskins.
Garçon after the bye?
This is not breaking news or anything but don’t look for Pierre Garçon this week. It seems that they won’t even test his injured toe until after the bye.
“He did not practice today,” said Mike Shanahan. “I’m sure it’s getting better with the time off, but my mindset is it will probably be after the Carolina game.”
Shanahan also said that safety Brandon Meriweather was “a longshot” to play until after the bye.
11:15—Open locker room
12:00—Jim Haslett news conference
1:00—Practice (closed to media after first 30 minutes)
After practice (approx. 3:00)—Kyle Shanahan and Mike Shanahan news conferences
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If the Redskins finish strong this year they will be defying their recent history.
Days until: RG3 vs. Cam @ FedEx Field 3; Eagles @ Redskins 17; Thanksgiving Redskins @ Cowboys 21; Ravens @ Redskins 38