Here is how the Redskins stand after 11 games (after Week 12 of the NFL season):
Record: 3-8, fourth place in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 0-3
vs. NFC: 1-7
vs. AFC: 2-1
Opposition cumulative record (all games played): 62-57-2 (.512 winning %)
Cumulative of teams beaten: 15-18 (.455)
Cumulative of teams lost to: 47-39-2 (.534)
Record of teams remaining on schedule: 25-41 (.379)
Offensive MVP: In an offense that has been up and down all year, Pierre Garçon has been a consistent bright spot. He has five or more receptions in every game this season. His “angry” style of play has not changed one iota. The team record for receptions in a season is well within his grasp.
Defensive MVP: Barry Cofield has been a key to a defense that has done a pretty good job of containing Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy, and Frank Gore, allowing none of those star backs to go over 100 yards rushing. He gets the nod here for that and for hustling downfield on a pass play to force a Vernon Davis fumble.
[Related:First look at Redskins vs. Giants]
Top three storylines:
Not eliminated but . . .—At the rate the NFC East is going, the Redskins might not be formally eliminated from playoff contention until sometime around Christmas. Still, they are very much a long shot to repeat as NFC East champs. It remains to be seen if the dysfunction that was apparent over the last couple of weeks dissipates or if things will deteriorate into a full-blown dumpster fire.
Mike Shanahan’s job security—He says he won’t talk about it until after the season is over but that won’t prevent fans and the media from speculating about Shanahan’s future. Extension? Lame duck season? Out of a job? The level of dysfunction as discussed above may determine his fate.
Can Griffin work through his issues—The up and down season of Robert Griffin III has taken a dive. He averaged a career low of 4.7 yards per pass attempt against the 49ers and his team failed to score an offensive touchdown for the first time in his college and NFL career. It would be good for him to finish 2013 on a positive note to have some more to build on in 2013.
Next three games
Sunday vs. Giants (4-7)—Even though both teams are out of any realistic hopes of making the playoffs, NBC decided not to flex this game out of its prime time spot. The two teams played two exciting and close games last year, perhaps there will be some entertainment value.
Dec. 8 vs. Chiefs (9-2)—The Chiefs have lost two in a row and it appears that the formula for beating them is to have your quarterback get rid of the ball quickly before the pass rush can get to him. Unfortunately for the Redskins, that’s not something that Griffin has done particularly well.
Dec. 15 @ Falcons (2-9)—Atlanta hosted the NFC title game last January and now there are some calling for coach Mike Smith to lose his job. That’s ridiculous, of course, but the Redskins should thank the Falcons for keeping them from being the most disappointing team in the NFC this year.