Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan, at the podium after the team’s 27-20 victory in Philadelphia:
“We’ve been working for this opportunity to win the division. Any time you win the division, everybody knows you have a home-field game in the playoffs and we talked about that from Day 1. They knew what we had to do to get there. I told them we haven’t accomplished anything yet. We’ve got to win the division and, obviously, get it done next week.”
The Redskins have had to fight all season, whether it was from a 3-6 start or for a victory over the Eagles to set up Sunday’s big game against the Cowboys.
“It takes a lot of character from your football team to fight through what we’ve done. We did some good things in the first half of the season, but we couldn’t put teams away. I thought from an offensive perspective, we had our running game going, but we didn’t take it to the next level with our receivers. I thought that’s probably been the biggest difference in our offense, how our receivers have performed over the last six games. As we’ve talked about, you’ve got to get sacks and you’ve got to get turnovers and we’ve been able to do that on defense. Guys [have been] fighting for a full 60 minutes and finding a way to get it done. That’s what I told them today. I’m really proud the way they finish. You’ve got to find a way to win those tight games and it’s not easy unless everybody is on the same page.”
Quarterback Robert Griffin III was making his first start since hurting his lateral collateral ligament two weeks ago and Shanahan said he was “impressed” with his performance. He admitted that the game plan didn’t call for RGIII, who was wearing a knee brace, to do everything he can do.
“I thought he did an excellent job coming back and not having the reps last week and being able to do what he did today. … We didn’t do everything that we would normally do. Didn’t want to put that pressure on that LCL.”
So now the Redskins are 9-6 and found a way to win their sixth in a row.
“As we’ve talked about in the past, winning those tight games is hard. You’ve got to get used to winning those tight games and you expect to win. I think that’s where our football team is right now. They expect to win. That’s where you feel very good about the character of our guys.”
Shanahan said he wasn’t concerned with whether Sunday’s game would be flexed into prime time and joked that he didn’t expect the league to call and ask his opinion. He’s got bigger things on his mind.
“Everything we’ve been working for boils down to next Sunday.”