Quick Links

Shanahan: Redskins are 'all in'

mike-shanahan-skins.jpg

Shanahan: Redskins are 'all in'

Since returning from the bye week, there’s been an increased sense of urgency around the Redskins' Ashburn, Va., headquarters, Coach Mike Shanahan said Friday.

And that urgency has translated into more focused efforts in practice, the classroom and, most improtant, on game day.

“There’s definitely a sense of urgency when you know that you cannot stumble,” Shanahan said, 24 hours after his team prevailed 38-31 at Cowboys Stadium. “You got to go out and win each week and it starts with the present game. That mindset has been there. There’s a good sense of urgency that everybody’s got to play their best game, that everybody has got to do what they’re capable of doing, for all 46 guys that are out there playing.”

When the players left Redskins Park for a five-day hiatus following a season-threatening 21-13 loss to the Panthers earlier this month, the team's record had plummeted to 3-6 and a second half run looked unlikely. Since returning, however, they've posted back-to-back victories over the Eagles and Cowboys and vaulted into a second place tie in the NFC East with Dallas. And if the Giants lose at home to the Packers on Sunday, Washington and New York will meet on Dec. 3 with first place in the division on the line.

“I think we’re ‘all in’ as a football team, and that’s given us a chance to play well on Sunday,” Shanahan said. “When your backs are against the wall and there’s no room for error, guys have to step up.”

He added: “That is what’s happened the last couple of weeks; guys have played at a very high level and played for a full 60 minutes. Not saying each [game] was perfect. But you can see guys playing extremely hard and fighting for each other and giving it everything they’ve got. That’s what we have to keep on doing. We have to play at that level. We have to have everybody all in. We know what’s at stake. Nobody can let up and have a bad game.”

The turnaround, Shanahan pointed out, started at the top.

Following the loss to the Panthers on Nov. 4, quarterback Robert Griffin III vowed in the postgame news conference to emerge from the bye a better player. He urged his teammates to do the same.

So far, Griffin has delivered on his promise. In the past two games, Griffin has passed for eight touchdowns and one interception. He’s also starting to be mentioned in conversations about this season's league MVP.

“When he came back from the bye week, he said, ‘Hey, our backs are against the wall. We know what we’ve got to get done and I’m going to be playing my best football,” Shanahan said. “That’s what leaders do. That’s what captains do. They say, ‘Hey, I’m going to play my best football and I expect the guys around me to play their best football.’” 

Quick Links

Quinton Dunbar did something Redskins haven't done since before Facebook existed

Quinton Dunbar did something Redskins haven't done since before Facebook existed

Quinton Dunbar had one heck of a day in New York on Sunday in the Redskins 29-27 win over the Giants. 

Dunbar grabbed an interception and made a catch in the same game, something no Redskins player has done since Champ Bailey on Christmas Eve in 2000. That was the last days of Bill Clinton's presidency, and four years prior to the invention of Facebook. 

Dunbar's impressive feat was not done in vain either. Both the catch and interception were huge plays for Washington, one bigger than the next, in a game that swung back and forth for four quarters. 

In the third quarter, Dunbar lined up as the gunner as the Redskins went to punt. Only the Redskins faked the punt, and Tress Way fired a pass down the left sideline to Dunbar. It was no easy catch either; Dunbar had to jump for the ball and had a defender right on him. 

Later, as the Giants were driving to extend their fourth quarter lead and deep in 'Skins territory, Dunbar made an excellent one-handed leaping interception. It was a very athletic play and gave Kirk Cousins and the Washington offense the ball on what would prove to be a scoring drive. 

In 2015 Dunbar proved his versatility to be a real asset for the Redskins. A receiver in college at the University of Florida, Washington flipped Dunbar to the other side of the ball to be a cornerback. As the 'Skins took off in the second half of last season, Dunbar came to be a integral part of the teams secondary. 

That same versatility showed Sunday in New  York, and now it has Dunbar's name next to Champ Bailey in the Redskins history books. 

MORE REDSKINS: Beckham gets yards, but Norman gets win

Quick Links

Odell Beckham gets yards, but Josh Norman's Redskins get the win

Odell Beckham gets yards, but Josh Norman's Redskins get the win

Hype doesn't even begin to describe the attention put on Sunday's matchup between Josh Norman and Odell Beckham. The pairing of star cornerback and star receiver overshadowed the Redskins-Giants game, even though Washington came in desperate for a win.

Beckham versus Norman didn't disappoint either. It's overly simplifying the chess match between the two to declare a victor, but one side definitely left Giants Stadium smiling. 

Make no mistake, Beckham got his. He recorded seven catches on 11 targets for more than 100 yards.  But it's what Beckham didn't do - score a touchdown - that stands out.

Norman's play was solid throughout. He almost snagged a first half interception of Eli Manning and delivered a big hit on rookie Sterling Shepard in the second half that resulted in a personal foul penalty.

In the end though, Norman's team won. And that's what matters.  

"It's an awesome day. Straight awesome day," Norman said after the game.

As the players took the field before the game, the Giants Stadium crowd shouted a lot of ugly comments Norman's direction. Then throughout the game Norman was repeatedly booed by the crowd.

"Towards the end I was just celebrating with my teammates, victoriously, you can't ask for nothing better than that."

Much too much was made of the Beckham/Norman pairing, and perhaps for the next NFC East game between the 'Skins and Giants the focus will be different. But on Sunday, Norman and Beckham were the story.

"He made some plays and I made my plays," Norman said of Beckham.

"We got a team win. That's what it was – the Washington Redskins versus the New York Giants."

MORE REDSKINS: Beckham Jr. gets into fight with kicking net