Redskins need Thanksgiving win to keep momentum

Associated Press Modified: November 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm •  Published: November 20, 2012
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ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Robert Griffin III felt it was time for the Washington Redskins to dominate an opponent, so that's what he told his teammates.

Sure enough, they went out and beat the Philadelphia Eagles by 25 points, the Redskins' largest margin of victory in more than five years.

"There were a few things that I think I needed to say," Griffin said Tuesday. "And it wasn't because they voted me captain, it was just there's things as a quarterback you have to say to your team. And I just tried and echoed those throughout the locker room— and we went out and dominated."

He's not changing the message for Thursday's Thanksgiving game against the Dallas Cowboys.

"It's the same message," Griffin said Tuesday. "I haven't seen this team play as physical as they did this past Sunday, both offense and defense. It wasn't perfect by any means, but there was a certain tenacity, a certain attitude that was brought to the game, and you could feel it."

If the Redskins (4-6) are truly serious about making a playoff push, they can't rest after a runaway victory over an Eagles team in disarray. They need to put together a streak, and a victory over the Cowboys (5-5) followed by another against the New York Giants (6-4) would get Washington to .500 and truly make the team a legitimate contender for the NFC East title.

And it has to be worked around a tight schedule. While it's a thrill to be a part of the NFL's Thanksgiving tradition, it's a busy week for everyone involved. The Redskins caught a bit of a break because they recently had a bye, giving the coaching stuff two full days to start putting together a game plan for the Cowboys before turning their attention to the Eagles.

"Physically you're not meant to do it," defensive tackle Barry Cofield said, "so it's just got to be a mental thing. We've just got to think about everything that we're playing for, trying to build on the momentum of last week."

The Redskins held a special teams walkthrough Monday and a regular practice Tuesday. They'll be back on the field Wednesday before flying to Dallas.

"These last 30 hours have been a grind," offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said. "Just trying to get a full game plan in. Four days of work in one day. But you're excited to play on Thanksgiving, this is my first time doing it. I think it'll be fun."