LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — The Washington Redskins had nothing to lose when Mike Shanahan decided to roll the dice and go for two and the win Sunday in Atlanta. Like much of the season, the decision didn’t work out.
Still, it’s a gamble that has to be respected. It would have built confidence for Kirk Cousins and helped to bolster the spirits of a team that has been dampened by turmoil and speculation.
And again, the Redskins had nothing to lose.
“We had a timeout and I was down there by the official on the sideline. I thought if we [didn’t have] the right defense then I could call the timeout and kick it,” Shanahan explained about the decision. “I thought we had the right defense so we went for it, unfortunately it didn’t work out.”
Cousins, in his first of three starts in place of a benched Robert Griffin III, took blame for the failed conversion.
“I love the call to go for two at the end there,” he said. “I felt like we had them on the ropes and I, we, just didn’t do enough to execute. But I think it starts right here with me.”
Cousins says the result may have been different if he would have thrown to another receiver.
“My initial reaction is that I had both Josh Morgan open on an off-scheduled play and if I had set my feet, I may have been able to drill it into Pierre [Garcon],” said Cousins. “That’s a play that I clearly didn’t have a good enough feel for and I need to go back and get better at it. I would like to think that I had a chance there.”
The decision to go for the win rather than play for overtime was backed by Redskins players. Shanahan reportedly told the team during the final offensive drive that they would attempt a two-point conversion if they scored.