Here is how the Redskins stand after 13 games:
Record: 7-6, second in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 3-1
vs. NFC: 6-4
Opposition cumulative record (games played): 89-79-1 (.530 winning percentage)
Cumulative of teams beaten: 46-45 (.505)
Cumulative of teams lost to: 43-34-1 (.558)
Record of teams remaining on schedule: 16-23 (.412)
Offensive MVP Yes, it’s still Robert Griffin III for all of the reasons that we’ve been talking about all year. But it’s nice to have a high-caliber backup if your MVP can’t go. Kirk Cousins came into the Ravens game facing second and 20 and needing a touchdown plus two against the NFL’s best red zone defense.
Defensive MVP: Rob Jackson has gone from hardly playing to playing on running downs to being almost an every-down linebacker. He has made key defensive plays in the second half of each of the Redskins’ last two wins.
Top three storylines:
The knee of III—It will be a day to day, perhaps hour to hour, story as Griffin tries to come back from Sunday’s knee injury, which was not as bad as it looked but still quite serious. As you follow the news, take some sound advice and go on what happens and not on what is said. There will be plenty of optimism expressed that Robert can tough it out but if he doesn’t practice it will be hard for him to play.
Second half adjustments—The Redskins defense was on the run in the first half of both the Giants and Ravens game. New York had 13 points and it could have been worse if not for a missed field goal. The Ravens put up 21 in the fist half. But Jim Haslett and company made the necessary adjustments and gave up three second-half points to the Giants and seven to Baltimore. In both cases, the defense gave the offense the opportunity to turn a halftime deficit into a win at the end. Now, how about making those adjustments earlier.
Still needing help—The Redskins had a great win on Sunday but they didn’t get much help from the teams in front of them in the playoff race. If they win on Sunday, however, a Giants loss to the Falcons will put them in control of their destiny for winning the division and/or a Chicago loss would give them control of a wild card spot.
Next three games
Dec 16 @ Browns (5-8, fourth in AFC North)—Even though it came at the hands of the Leftwich-led Steelers, who turned the ball over eight times, and the pathetic Raiders and Chiefs, a three-game winning streak is what it is. They will be no easy “W” for the Redskins, especially of RG3 has to sit out.
Dec 23 @ Eagles (4-9, fourth in NFC East)—Their last-second rally to beat the Bucs shows that they still have some fight in them. It’s too late to save Andy Reid’s job and they’re still not very good but they should be considerably more competitive than they were last month at FedEx Field.
Dec 30 vs. Cowboys (7-6, third in NFC East)—Don’t make any plans for the night before New Years Eve. There is a very good chance that the winner of this game, now scheduled for 1:00, will be in the playoffs and the loser will be out. That makes it a strong candidate to be flexed into prime time on Sunday night. Don’t get caught with firm plans for a social event when the biggest game in years is on.