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Shanahan: Redskins 'Right In Thick Of Things'


Riding one of the most exciting offenses in football, the Redskins have overcome a three-game losing streak that threatened to end the season at the team's bye week.

After a confidence-boosting 31-6 victory over the Eagles in Week 11, the Redskins broke through against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, riding a huge second quarter for a 38-31 win.

Tonight, the Redskins look to make it three in a row against NFC East opponents, hosting the New York Giants for Round 2 of a critical division rivalry. 

It's a position that most NFL pundits counted them out of two weeks ago, but a situation that head coach Mike Shanahan never doubted from his team.

"I think our football team gets excited because they know exactly where the Giants were last year when we beat them at their place and they went 7-7," Shanahan told KOA in Denver. "Everybody said they were out of it, and they ended up winning the Super Bowl.

"Our football team feels the same way."

The Redskins will need to shake the memories of Week 7, when the offense secured a lead in the final two minutes of the game, only to watch Eli Manning and Victor Cruz connect on a 77-yard touchdown pass to end the game.

Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall was not covering Cruz on the play, but broke from his route and trailed the receiver down the field.

Hall spoke to the media earlier this week about how much it means to put together a winning streak since the bye, and what the team needs to do to extend it.

"[The Giants] won the last one, and we just need to keep grinding, keep working and getting better," he said.  "We're still 5-6 and we've got a long way to go.

"To be 3-6 and to actually be playing for the division, it feels good. We're rising to the occasion. This is going to be a big game for us to go out there and see what we can do. It's going to be a big challenge."

With a win tonight, the Redskins will keep pace with the Dallas Cowboys for second place, a team that they currently hold the tie-breaker over in head-to-head matchups.

A victory over the Giants will also ensure that the Redskins stay one game back of the division leaders with four games to go.

"You take a look at our division, New York is 7-4, but they've got a some pretty tough competition down the road," Shanahan said.  "[Redskins are] only one game out [of first place] if we happen to win the rest of the games.

"You're right in the thick of things, but you have to be playing your best football."




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