3 and out: Sunday's score will be a secondary story line

3 and out: Sunday's score will be a secondary story line
December 26, 2013, 4:15 pm
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3 and Out: Shanahan's last stand?

A season that began with high expectations comes to its disappointing conclusion when the Redskins take on the Giants at the Meadowlands. And considering the teams have combined for only nine wins, the game itself will be just a small part of the storyline on Sunday afternoon.

Here’s what the team at CSNWashington.com will be monitoring:

1st down—‘Mike Shanahan Watch’ will officially begin the moment the game ends. It’s unclear what will happen. It's also when it will happen. But we know this much: It appears increasingly unlikely that Shanahan and his staff will return in 2014. Shanahan enters Sunday’s game with a 24-39 record in four seasons with the Redskins and he's already assured of his worst record in 20 seasons as a head coach. Asked about all the speculation, Shanahan said, in part, on Thursday: “Our job is to win and if you don’t win, good things don’t happen. We understand that.”

[RELATED: Milestone will elude Shanahan]

2nd down—The game is also expected to mark the end of London Fletcher’s distinguished career. He said last week that he’s 99-percent sure this season—his 16th in the NFL—will be his last. On Thursday, though, Fletcher left open the possibility of returning with a few games remaining in 2014 with a contending team. “It’s highly unlikely I’ll play another 16 games somewhere," Fletcher said. "That ain’t happening. But if there’s a team [with] eight ball games left, six ball games left, and it’s the right opportunity, maybe.”

3rd down—While this game could mark the end of one era, Kirk Cousins is hoping it could help launch his career. But for that to happen, he’ll need of a strong, turnover-free effort against the Giants’ 12th ranked defense. Cousins has, at times, looked good. But he’s also been intercepted three times and is 0-2 as a starter. “I just want to see him play the best he can,” offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said. Right now, it’s hard to say what the future holds for Cousins. But, then again, his future won’t be what everyone will be talking about Sunday night.