Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, January 2, four days before the Redskins take on the Seahawks in the first round of the NFC playoffs.
Home field advantage
The Redskins have had enjoyed one of the best home field advantages in the league during the playoffs.
Since the 1970 merger they have lost just one home playoff game. That came at the hands of the Chicago Bears, who came into RFK Stadium and ended the Redskins’ reign as two-time NFC champs with a 23-19 win.
Prior to that they had won seven straight postseason games at RFK. Since then they have won five in a row, four of them at RFK and the last one, 4,743 days ago on Jan. 8, 2000, against the Lions.
As good as the Redskins have been at home, the Seahawks have been bad on the road in the postseason. They have not won a road playoff game since December 31, 1983.
Business as usual
One of the really instructive things I’ve observed around Redskins Park during the course of the seven-game winning streak has been the absence of a big-game atmosphere. Sure, the number of media members out there has increased, especially on Wednesdays, the day that Robert Griffin III gives his weekly news conference. But the team has been conducting business as usual.
There are 21 first- or second-year players on the 53-man roster. Certainly they must be getting some special instruction in how to handle the pressure of the postseason.
Not according to Mike Shanahan. Here's what he said when he was asked about that on Monday:
“Nothing really changes. You’re getting ready like you do every week. I think everybody on your football team understands at the beginning of the season what your first goal is and that’s to have a home field game. That’s what you’re shooting for. Winning the NFC East, we’ve been able to accomplish that. Everything now comes down to a four week season or five weeks depending if it’s one or two weeks with the Super Bowl. That’s the mindset from the beginning. You talk about it. You talk about the ability to get where we are right now. Now you take it one at a time.”
Business as usual has worked for this team so far. We will see if that approach continues to work in the playoffs.
11:30—Practice (closed to the media after first 30 minutes)
After practice (approx. 2:00)—Robert Griffin III and Mike Shanahan news conferences, open locker room
3:40—Seahawks QB Russell Wilson conference call
4:20—Seahawks coach Pete Carroll conference call
In case you missed it
- Grading the Redskins: Offense, defense, special teams
- Shanahan’s fingerprints on Black Monday firings
- Redskins considering extending Shanahan’s contract
Days until: Seahawks vs. Redskins first round of NFL playoffs @ FedEx Field 4; Divisional round of NFL playoffs 18; NFC Championship game 18