Worst Week in Washington
A weekly award honoring inhabitants of Planet Beltway

Who had the worst week in Washington? Redskins coach Mike Shanahan.

Didn’t we almost have it all, Shanny?

After enduring two years of criticism over his inability to turn the Washington Redskins into a competitive team, head coach Mike Shanahan had reason to smile last Sunday at FedEx Field.

Worst Week in Washington

Chris Cillizza grants the award to the Democrat, Republican, West Wing dweller, Capitol Hill insider, K Street dealer, business guru, sports hero, think tank scribblers or other inhabitant of Planet Beltway who experienced the absolute worst week.

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The Skins had won seven straight games, captured the NFC East title and were hosting a playoff game for the first time since 1999. And when quarterback Robert Griffin III led the Redskins to a quick 14-0 lead over the Seattle Seahawks in the first quarter, the Shanahan self-satisfaction meter — always high — probably went off the charts.

Then everything went wrong. It became apparent to anyone watching — except Shanahan, it seems — that there was a serious problem with RGIII’s knee. And it also became apparent that the field at FedEx resembled nothing so much as a gravelly parking lot painted green. Players slipped, slid and fell.

Still, Griffin remained in the game even as the Seahawks came from behind to tie and then take the lead. By the time the quarterback’s knee buckled in stomach-churning fashion in the fourth quarter, the game wasn’t in doubt anymore, and the only thing at risk was next season.

The happy talk that Griffin’s reconstructed knee — he had his LCL and ACL repaired Wednesday — could be ready for the start of the 2013 season did little to quell the fury directed at Shanahan for his decision to risk the franchise on a single game. Reports of an apparent dispute between the coach and renowned surgeon James Andrews over whether Griffin had been cleared to return to an earlier game in which the initial injury occurred added to the “What is Shanahan doing?” story line.

Mike Shanahan, for knee-ding to win at all costs, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.

Who had the worst week last week?

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