We've heard all of the back and forth from Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan about his plans for the rest of the 2012 season. At first, it was "When you lose a game like that, now you're playing to see who obviously is going to be on your football team for years to come," which was said after last Sunday's loss to Carolina.
Now, it's "To insinuate that I was giving up on the season is completely ridiculous." Everyone is still trying to decipher what his intentions are, despite the fact that he has claimed this season does not have a death certificate written up.
To say that the team should give up for the sake of auditioning practice squad players and other undrafted hopefuls is ridiculous. There is a time and a place for that, and it's the preseason. There is still a boatload of regular season left.
You've probably seen the standings in the NFC East. The Redskins are dead last right now with a record of 3-6, and with the way the NFC North is playing, in addition to the white hot Tampa Bay Buccaneers and a tough Seattle team, it would appear that the Wild Card is not an option.
Hopes for a division crown are not dead yet, though. On life support? Absolutely. But not dead.
The Giants are 6-3 and have a brutal schedule remaining, including a rematch with Washington on Monday Night Football. They also have to play Cincinnati, Green Bay, a resurgent New Orleans team, Atlanta, Baltimore, and Philadelphia (who always plays New York tough).
If push comes to shove, 9-7 could win the division. Now by no way am I guaranteeing the division crown will end up at Redskins Park, but crazier things have happened. Especially in the NFC East.
The Redskins certainly lack the consistent firepower that the Giants have, but up until the Pittsburgh game two weeks ago, Washington had one of the best offenses in the league. The loss of Pierre Garcon and Fred Davis has been brutal, and the roller coaster of an offensive line hasn't helped Robert Griffin III at all, but it hasn't exposed him as something that he isn't, which is what some people believe.
A nice bounce back from Robert Griffin III could propel the Redskins through Dallas, Philly, and ultimately, New York. Nobody looks unbeatable right now. Washington may be in last, but Dallas and Philadelphia have the same amount of wins as the Redskins (three).
So let's not give up on the season for 2013's sake. It's pointless. The Redskins are already auditioning players thanks to the fact that seemingly every starter (sans RGIII and Alfred Morris) is in the M.A.S.H. unit.
The starters that are set to come back next year, will certainly come back. These auditions are for pure depth and a couple of players have been worthy of sealing their spot for next season. Logan Paulsen and Lorenzo Alexander shown that they could be starters for future seasons. So it hasn't been all bad.
So I ask you, Redskins fans, please do not give up on this season. Remember in 2005 when the Redskins sunk to 5-6, and it seemed that another season in the cellar was a given?
That team went on to win their last five games, thrashing division rivals in their final three contests by a combined score of 101-47. It could happen again. Joe Gibbs may not be leading the charge, but this isn't Mike Shanahan's first rodeo. Keep the faith.
It's not like the Redskins can play for a high draft pick, anyway. They already traded that for some guy from Baylor.