Cumberland Times-News

Local Sports

December 5, 2012

Win streak has passionate Skins in hunt

ASHBURN, Va. — No one is surprised that Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder hates the New York Giants, or that Mike Shanahan hates the debilitating salary cap penalty imposed on his team by the NFL.

And, by now, no one should be surprised that the Redskins are playoff contenders with Robert Griffin III, who not only has his first Monday night win but also managed to reference “Gumby” during the postgame news conference.

There was all sorts of passion on display before, during and after the Redskins’ 17-16 win over the Giants. Snyder was heard using a profane word, as first reported by USA Today, to describe the NFC East rivals while congratulating players and staff in the locker room. Washington’s coaching staff used the cap penalties to motivate the players in the days before the game.

“Win one for the cap” doesn’t quite have the same ring as “Win one for the Gipper,” but players were made aware — through a notice posted on an assistant coach’s door — that New York owner John Mara supported the $36 million penalty assessed to the Redskins over two seasons for excessive spending during the uncapped 2010 year.

Shanahan said he didn’t know if the ploy had an effect on the players, but the coach certainly had an extra edge because of it.

“Yeah, it fires me up,” Shanahan said. “Yeah, sure it does.”

What matters is who won the game, of course, and the Redskins (6-6) are now closing in on first place, tied with the Dallas Cowboys (6-6) and one game behind the Giants (7-5). Washington hosts the Baltimore Ravens (9-3) on Sunday, then finishes with a favorable stretch against the Cleveland Browns (4-8) and Philadelphia Eagles (3-9) before a home season finale against the Cowboys.

“We can’t be complacent,” Shanahan said, “because we don’t have the opportunity to be complacent.”

A month ago, when the record was 3-6, Shanahan was talking about evaluating players for future seasons. Now he sees a winning attitude that perhaps best showed itself when the Redskins were able to put the Giants away by holding the ball for the game’s final four minutes.

“They knew we had to run it. We knew we had to run it,” Shanahan said. “And we were able to get a first down. Those type of things build a lot of confidence.”

The Redskins now lead the NFL in rushing with 167.2 yards per game, and Griffin has a 140 passer rating and nine touchdown passes during the three-game winning streak. He ran for 72 yards Monday night but took another solid hit — because he didn’t want to go out of bounds and stop the clock during the final drive.

“I could feel the typewriters writing when I took that hit,” Griffin said. “People are saying I run too much. ... I was bee-lining toward the sideline and at the last second realized I needed to stay in. Coach called it the ‘Gumby hit,’ because my legs bent like Gumby.”

While Griffin was smiling, Snyder was pumped. His exuberance after victories has been well documented by television cameras in previous seasons, and the sentiment behind the words he expressed about the Giants on Monday night — “I hate those (expletive)” — are echoed regularly in both Philadelphia and Dallas.

But it’s been a while since Snyder has had a chance to celebrate a big win. The Redskins are within reach of their first playoff berth since 2007 and are all but certain to end their four-year stranglehold on last place in the division.

“I think that guys are studying harder, making sure they’re playing harder,” said Griffin, when asked what has made the difference over the last three weeks. “I see it in practice, and it makes a big difference on game day.”

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • NASCAR suspends Hamlin crew chief Grubb 6 races NASCAR suspends Hamlin crew chief Grubb 6 races

    NASCAR suspended Denny Hamlin’s crew chief and car chief on Tuesday for six races because the Joe Gibbs Racing entry failed inspection following his third-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules

    The NCAA agreed on Tuesday to help athletes with head injuries in a proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit that college sports’ governing body touted as a major step forward but that critics say doesn’t go nearly far enough.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rory McIlroy ready to get back to work Rory McIlroy ready to get back to work

    The claret jug is not out of sight. Rory McIlroy is just trying to get it out of his mind.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Colaw, Keller hits in 11th send Potomac Valley past Romney

    Ryan Colaw hit an RBI single in the top of the 11th inning to put Potomac Valley up 9-8 and Garrett Keller’s hit made it 10-8 as Potomac Valley won the championship game of the West Virginia Area American Legion Tournament, 10-8, in 11 innings over Romney Sunday at Petersburg High School.

    July 29, 2014

  • Maryland state tournament begins today at Memorial Field

    The Maryland American Legion Baseball State Tournament returns to Cumberland today with six teams competing for the state title at Memorial Field at the Hammersmith Hot Stove Complex.

    July 29, 2014

  • Lakeview, Ridgeley capture series openers

    Bryce Jones had three hits and knocked in four runs and Logan Yommer hurled six strong relief innings as Lakeview Auto Parts rolled past Cork’s Cars, 10-1, in the opening game of the Hot Stove League’s American League Championship Series Monday at Holler Field.

    July 29, 2014

  • Oakland sweeps weekend twinbills; Taylor tosses no-hitter

    Oakland scored two runs in the top of the ninth to get by Potomac in the first game 5-3, then erupted for 17 hits to cruise to a 14-5 win in the second, sweeping the Pirates in Pen-Mar-WV League baseball action Sunday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014

  • Junior Striders event today at Broadford

    Event No. 5 of the Queen City Striders Junior Striders Summer Running series will be held today at Broadford Lake Park in Mountain Lake Park. Registration will begin at 6 p.m. For more information call 301-463-6231 or 301-697-8704.

    July 29, 2014

  • Sports Calendar - 07/29/2014

    July 29, 2014

  • 'The Drive for 5' back on again for Gordon 'The Drive for 5' back on again for Gordon

    Long before Jimmie Johnson arrived on the NASCAR scene, Jeff Gordon was the fastest thing on wheels.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo