When the Washington Redskins finished off their 24-17 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday night, it felt as if the organization had been given a death blow. The loss dropped the Redskins to 3-9 on the season, which places them last in the NFC East at four games behind the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys with only four games left to play. Suffice to say the team’s 2013 season is all but a wash, and it is time for some major changes within the organization.
The first and most decisive change that needs to be made by owner Dan Snyder is to show head coach Mike Shanahan the door.
Over the past four seasons Shanahan has had one season that has been a success — a 10-6 record and NFC East championship in 2012 and has compiled an eyesore of a record at 24-36. For a guy that is being paid $7 million per season, this is simply unacceptable. When one takes out the Redskins remarkable run in 2012 and consider that the coach has gone 14-30 in 2010, 2011 and 2013, it is easy to see that any coach not holding the impressive resume of Shanahan would have been fired long ago.
While some will want to give Shanahan a bit of relief for having to deal with the circus surrounding Robert Griffin III and his return from a torn ACL, this is no excuse for a veteran coach. Furthermore, the star quarterback has seemed to be more inconsistent than ever during his return and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan (Mike’s son) has not done enough to convince the player to stick around the pocket rather than run into dangerous situations.
This inability to mold Griffin has not only put the Redskins franchise pillar into imminent danger repeatedly, but lessened the impact that star assets such as running back Alfred Morris and tight end Jordan Reed can have. The result has been that the team has scored only 22.4 points per game, which ranks in the bottom half of the NFL.
On the defensive end of the ball, things have gone even worse for Shanahan in 2013, as the Redskins defense has been non-existent for long stretches of the 2013 season. They have only let up less than 24 points in one game — a Week 4 win over the Oakland Raiders — and have been completely outclassed nearly every week by opposing quarterbacks.
This incompetence defensively has been displayed by the fact the team has let up 267.7 passing yards per game and 30.2 points per game, which both rank near the bottom of the NFL. While Shanahan has never been known as a defensive mastermind of any team he has coached, this is simply not acceptable and ultimately the onus for any unit on a team falls on its head coach.
With the Redskins having compiled an unsightly record on the back of both their offensive and defensive units performing absolutely awful, it is time that the man in charge gets held responsible. That man is Mike Shanahan, who has never really found the right buttons to get Washington going during his four-year stint.