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Mike Shanahan will now register a third losing season out of four in D.C.
Questionable play-calling and a group of players lacking discipline led to a disappointing surrender in prime time. It has all become par for the course with Mike Shanahan in charge of the Redskins.
The coaching staff that has been given an inordinate amount of time and excuses for consistent failure has to be running out of time after a ninth loss of the season.
It condemns Washington to three losing campaigns out of four under Shanahan's stewardship. Those who still believe in the man who won two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos in the late-90s will point to extenuating circumstances.
Yes, Griffin's offseason knee surgery didn't help the team's preparation. Nor did the league-imposed salary cap penalty Shanahan seems to think excuses every wrong turn he has made.
But neither of those things or the late officiating gaffe explain the consistent lack of discipline shown by the players. It is something The Washington Times' Nathan Fenno believes is symptomatic of a franchise in "free-fall:"
The shoddy discipline that’s dogged the Redskins all season returned as they had opportunity to put away the Giants and begin the long process of making this season something less than a unadulterated debacle.
Four meaningless games remain. Soon, answers will emerge. Do the Redskins extend Mike Shanahan’s regime that hasn’t shaken off the franchise’s rich tradition of mediocrity in almost four seasons? Or do they commit to rebuilding with another coach, another personnel czar and further draw out the unending search for a cohesive on-field product?
There isn’t a painless, pretty answer.
But one thing was clear Sunday night: This isn’t working.
Things aren't working, and Shanahan can't keep blaming it all on outside factors. The Redskins need a change, and the time for that change, the end of this harrowing season, can't come soon enough.