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Need to Know: Five good things from the Shanahan era

Need to Know: Five good things from the Shanahan era

Here is what you need to know on this 2013 New Year’s Eve, 250 days before the opening Sunday of the 2014 NFL season.

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The Mike Shanahan era is over. This morning we look at some of the good things the team accomplished since 2010. Tomorrow we’ll turn our attention to the bad.

In chronological order, five good things accomplished under Shanahan:

1. In 2010, the much-hyped return of Donovan McNabb to Philadelphia ended with the Redskins escaping with a 17-12 win over the Eagles. The following week they took on the eventual Super Bowl champion Packers at FedEx Field and came out with an exciting 16-13 OT win.

2. In 2011 they beat the Super Bowl champion Giants twice. They won 28-14 in the season opener at FedEx Field and took at 23-10 victory in the Meadowlands in Week 15.

3. In the sixth round of the 2012 draft Shanahan drafted Alfred Morris, who set the franchise record for rushing yards in a season as a rookie.

4. Mike and Kyle Shanahan developed an offense that took read option and spread elements from the college game and mixed it in the zone blocking in the run scheme to help Robert Griffin III and the Redskins offense light up the league in 2012. The team led the league in yards per play and in rushing yards and Griffin won about every rookie of the year honor there was.

5. That offense helped propel the Redskins on a seven-game winning streak to end the season. That got them the NFC East title, the team’s first since 1999.

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Stat of the day

—Through eight games the Redskins defense was ranked 30th in the league in terms of yards allowed. It finished the season ranked 18th.

Timeline

—On this date in 1972, the Redskins beat the Dallas Cowboys 26-3 in the NFC title game to advance to Super Bowl VII.

—Days until: NFL free agency 70; 2014 NFL Draft 128; 2014 Opening Sunday 250

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Jay Gruden at Senior Bowl: Redskins 'totally anticipate' Kirk Cousins will return in 2017

Jay Gruden at Senior Bowl: Redskins 'totally anticipate' Kirk Cousins will return in 2017

MOBILE – Jay Gruden provided a glimmer of optimism for Redskins fans freaked out about Kirk Cousins' contract situation. 

"I totally anticipate him coming back to the Washington Redskins," Gruden said. 

The Redskins coach talked from the sidelines of the Senior Bowl where he and much of the team's staff were scouting college seniors. 

Gruden explained he had texted back and forth with Cousins a few times this offseason and looked forward to watching him play in the Pro Bowl. 

Since Gruden named Cousins starter in 2015, the quarterback had passed for more than 9,000 yards and twice broken Skins franchise passing records. 

Some indications of a long term deal for Cousins land in the $120 million range, but the Washington organization also has the flexibility to use the franchise tag this season at a cost of nearly $24 million. 

MORE REDSKINS: Who else might want to trade for Cousins?

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The Final Countdown: Redskins defense can't stop Matt Stafford for 5th worst play of 2016

The Final Countdown: Redskins defense can't stop Matt Stafford for 5th worst play of 2016

As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and, to present a more complete picture of the season, the 10 worst.

No. 5 worst play of 2016

Redskins at Lions Week 7

0:22 left in Q4, Lions ball at the Redskins 18, 3rd and 10, Redskins leading 17-13

Matthew Stafford pass short left to Anquan Boldin for 18 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

More Redskins: Podcast--All eyes now on Cousins

Tandler: The Redskins had just taken the lead on a nifty 19-yard option run by Kirk Cousins with 1:05 left to play. All they had to do was keep the Lions out of the end zone but the defense was not up to the task. In fact, it was laughably easy for Stafford. The first three times he dropped back he completed passes for 23, 14, and 20 yards and just like that the Lions were in the red zone. It looked for a minute like the Redskins might hang on as two passes went incomplete. But on third down Stafford found Boldin open inside the five and the defense couldn’t get there quickly enough to keep him out of the end zone.

Related: Gruden's fate hinges on Manusky

Finlay: 65 seconds was all the 'Skins defense needed to preserve a win by holding the Lions without a touchdown. 65 seconds away from a five-game win streak, and knowing what we do now, a playoff berth. The Redskins defense couldn't stop Stafford, or Boldin, and lost in Detroit. A gut wrenching loss as the momentum on the Washington sideline seemed incredibly high just minutes before when Cousins ran in what looked like the game-winning score. 

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown

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Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!