Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, December 18, five days before the Redskins take on the Eagles in Philadelphia.
“We didn’t have a football team”
Mike Shanahan preached patience for his first two and a half years here. Many fans who had been waiting for years for a playoff team and decades for a consistent winner.
The Redskins haven’t made the playoffs yet and we won’t know if there is any consistency to their recent winning ways for a few years. But, for right now, it looks like the team is on the right track after not making the playoffs since 2007 and having posted double-digit losses in each of the last three seasons.
Shanahan has made his share of missteps since he has been in Washington but he has consistently maintained that had very little to work with when he arrived. He said the following at his Monday news conference:
Like I told you the first couple of years, I understood we were going to struggle the first couple of years. We didn’t have a football team. It was getting the right guys on the football team where we felt like we could make a run.
[That is] one of the reasons why I told our football team at the beginning of the year that, ‘You guys don’t know it, but you guys are a lot better than you think you are.’ They’ve obviously been proving that now.
They are better than most thought. Some preseason predictions had them winning four games or fewer while most reasonable prognosticators had them at six to eight wins. Almost nobody had them winning the NFC East. They haven’t done that yet but they have control of their destiny there and that is a solid accomplishment for Shanahan in and of itself.
Cowboys game flex nearly certain
Yesterday we discussed the possibility that the Redskins-Cowboys game on December 30 will be flexed into the NBC Sunday night football slot. The move now seems to be probable.
I have been told that NBC will flex the Redskins game following any combination of Week 16 wins and losses by the Redskins (@ Eagles), Giants (@ Ravens) and Cowboys (vs. Saints) with the exception of one. That would be the Giants winning and the Redskins and Cowboys both losing.
Even then, the game is likely to be moved to a 4:25 start. But the chances of those three results all taking place are quite slim, meaning that a move of Redskins-Cowboys to an 8:20 start is very likely.
The league and NBC are planning to announce the Week 17 Sunday night matchup and the rest of the day's schedule changes during halftime of this Sunday night's game between the 49ers and Seahawks.
Off day, no media availability
In case you missed it
Breaking down the multiple paths to the playoffs
Redskins Rewind: Offense rolls on
Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 5; Cowboys vs. Redskins @ FedEx Field 12; Wild card round of NFL playoffs 18; Super Bowl XLVII 47