Mike Shanahan‘s future in Washington remains an open question. If this is it for his coaching career, he’s going down swinging. The Washington Redskins fell 27-26 Sunday in Atlanta to the Falcons after a failed two-point try with 18 seconds left.
Kirk Cousins had his moments in his first start of the season, but he couldn’t change Washington’s self-destructive tendencies.
Here’s what else we learned:
1. Cousins showed why Shanahan wanted to get him into the lineup. He made a number of terrific throws. Washington attempted and completed more vertical plays from the pocket than they did with Robert Griffin; Cousins finished with 381 yards.
2. Then again, Griffin would have found success against this ragged Falcons defense too. While Cousins threw a number of impressive passes, his decision-making and accuracy crumbled for most of the second half until a late touchdown that could have sent the game to overtime. (If Shanahan was at all interested in overtime.)
3. It’s hard to kill Shanahan for going for the two-point conversion to win the game. They were on the road, and no one wants overtime between two 3-10 teams. Washington was moving the ball and the Falcons defense was gassed. The play just didn’t work.
4. The Redskins almost won despite seven turnovers. Seven! Their special teams is the possibly the worst in NFL history. They lost five fumbles. Cousins played well overall, but his three turnovers were killers.
5. The Falcons helped out an old friend with this win. There’s a chance that the St. Louis general manager Les Snead will be holding the No. 1 overall pick in April. The Rams hold Washington’s first round pick because of the Robert Griffin III trade. The Falcons‘ chances of getting the No. 1 seed are slim now.