In Redskins Nation–the regime change is a refined art. Excessive optimism surrounds each hire: Marty’s going to bring discipline! Spurrier’s going to change offensive football as we know it! Gibbs will bring back the glory days! Zorn’s the next diamond in the rough! Shanahan’s going to have total control! Whatever misgivings there may be are ignored: Marty’s already gone on record he won’t work Snyder…Spurrier can’t schedule Ball State and Louisiana-Monroe…Gibbs hasn’t coached in over a decade…Zorn is only a position coach…Shanahan’s going to have total control. Occasional flashes of brilliance follow: Marty coaching the Skins to a 5-3 finish…Spurrier’s offensive fireworks in Osaka…Gibbs leading the team to a pair of fantastic finishing kicks into the playoffs…Zorn had this team 6-2…and Shanahan led the team to their first division title in 13 years. But eventually the story ends with a coach departing:  sometimes by fire…sometimes by retirement…sometimes via fax machine.

The Redskins freefall from the NFC East penthouse to the outhouse saw the team’s longest losing streak since 1961 (the year the future RFK Stadium opened as “DC Stadium”) and worst finish since 1994 (Norv Turner’s first season).  The 20-6 loss at the NY Giants almost ignored because of the winds swirling around Ashburn over the last month:  Coach Mike Shanahan meeting with owner Dan Snyder Monday morning puts the area on pause…as they wait to see if what’s already been reported (by ESPN and the Washington Post) happens.

Where do they go from here?  How much of a shakeup will there be on the staff and in the front office?  After dipping into the college ranks, the pro assistant ranks and time machine–where will the Redskins hire wheel stop this time?  If nothing else, this is an extremely intriguing team in the offseason…and 2014 looks to be no different.

Now to the 20-6 loss at the NY Giants… if we must:

Cousins Diminishing Returns– from 381 yards passing against Atlanta to 197 yards against Dallas to 169 yards against the Giants… Kirk at the controls saw the Skins tie for their second lowest offensive output of the season.  So much for the first round pick he’d fetch.

Morris Season Finale not a very special episode–  instead of Jessie dealing with caffeine pills or the Johnny Dakota marijuana PSA…the season-ender saw Alfred carry the ball 16 times for 62 yards.  Last season Morris notched 20+ carries in 10 games… this year he got the ball 20+ carries just four times.  And it wasn’t as though he was hurt like RG3.

Peerless Pierre– Monsieur Garcon wraps up the season with 6 catches for 56 yards… concluding the campaign with 113 catches for 1,346 yards.  Unfortunately #88 was the only receiver doing much damage this fall:  Jordan Reed despite missing the final seven games still finished second on the team with 45 catches…and Leonard Hankerson finished 3rd on the club in receiving yards while missing the same amount of time.  Tough to be a good #1 option when there’s no #2 of note.

Third and long gone– the Skins went 5-20 in moving the chains…including 0-9 in the first half.  Playcalling breakdown:  17 passes and 3 runs.  Kirk Cousins completed 6 of 16 passes on third down for 3 conversions with one interception…while scrambling for 3 yards on 3rd and 8.  Yardage breakdown:  1-5 on short yardage (1-3 needed), 0-5 on midrange (4-6 yards needed), and 4-10 on long yardage (7+).

Flying Flags– only three penalties, two on special teams:  an illegal kick (?!) on Jose Gumbs and an ineligible man downfield against Perry Riley.  One defensive flag:  a horsecollar tackle call on Chris Baker.  Only Riley’s penalty aided a scoring drive by the Giants.  A season finale with nothing at stake is prime breeding ground for sloppy play…nice to see the penalties come at a minimum.

Cobra Kai– no mercy from the leg-sweeper…as Mr. Forbath connects on 31 and 49 yarders.  This concludes a stretch where the Johnny Lawrence of NFL kickers made his last 14 attempts…and didn’t miss once during the 8-game losing streak.  Hold on, maybe that was the problem…

Dissecting the Division– Philadelphia captures the NFC East with their win over Dallas on Sunday Night Football…claiming the 3rd seed (and a wildcard date with New Orleans).  Dallas drops to 9th in the conference…while the NY Giants finish the year 7-3 and claim the 10th spot.  The Redskins?  Last in the NFC for the first time since 1994 (Norv’s first).

Which West is Best– While the NFC West boasts a 42-22 mark and three 10-win teams, the AFC West features three playoff teams and a 37-27 mark.  The SEC of the league finishes 28-36…good enough for 7th.  But take out the Skins’ 0-8 finish, the division went 16-8 in the second half of the season…of course, we’d all prefer to take out the Redskins descent into oblivion. 

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