I have watched the Redskins improve over a five-week period even though only two wins came out of it. The most positive result in that stretch was their win in East Rutherford over the Giants. In Week 16, I thought it was safe to say that a struggling Vikings team, with a rookie quarterback and starting running back not at 100 percent, would give this vastly improving Redskins team a real chance to pick up a sixth win.
Which raises the topic of this post: How can a team handle it's business against a pretty good team the week before and then come back the following week and lose to a not so good team? It's because of inconsistencies, with coaches and players.
I watched the Vikings lose Adrian Peterson and Christian Ponder to injuries at the beginning of the second half. Then a third string quarterback, if you count when Donovan McNabb was with the team, and a backup running back come into the game and produce more than enough offense to secure a win for the Minnesota.
This was the same defense that stifled Eli Manning and the Giants, so how does that happen? Inconsistencies. That's how. Until the Redskins find that elusive identity and continuity, they will only be average at best.
Now the question is who fits on this team? Who will stay? Who will go? This will be two seasons under Mike Shanahan where the team hasn't played well enough to win more than six games. This offseason will have to be Shanahan's best or it may be his last. I don't know how a coach making the money that he makes can justify another season like his first two. It will be interesting to see how he navigates this offseason.
There were some positives. There was a Brandon Banks sighting. Evan Royster had an impressive day, which means the offensive line did as well, and they have continued to improve.
I'm not sure Shanahan can turn things around before he loses his job but it's not impossible. There will be pressure to deliver next season, so this offseason will be critical to his and this team’s future.
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