Washington’s Mike Shanahan heads back to the place where his celebrated head coaching career began some 18 years ago.
The Redskins will take on Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos at Mile High on Sunday afternoon, and while Shanahan bears no grudge, he did tell NFL.com that he has wondered what if Denver hadn't fired himin 2008.
"At the end of the day, you go back, and if you're a head coach in one place for 14 years, you feel good about that, and you go back and look at the good things," he said. "I think that's what I did. Pat (Bowlen) had the right to go in that direction; he owns the team. And when he did go that way, he made the statement that he wanted to take back control of the organization and be the guy. And I said, 'Hey, if you're the owner, you can do whatever you want to do.' So who knows what would've happened."
Shanahan returns with top young quarterback Robert Griffin to counter Manning and the Broncos incredible offense averaging over 42 points and 400 yards a game.
Washington’s offense is no slouch either, ranking fourth overall on the rush with Griffin and running back Alfred Morris. The Redskins just put up 45 points in last week’s huge win over Chicago that kept them in the NFC East hunt.
Denver is coming off their first loss of the season, a total 39-33 let down at the hands of Manning’s former city Indianapolis. Manning will also have to reportedly play through two sprained ankles, including a high-sprain in the right ankle, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. Manning sat out Wednesday’s session, but practiced the two subsequent days, based on the club’s official site.
Unfortunately for Denver, their last place secondary (319.9 yards ppg) will once again miss Pro Bowler Champ Bailey to a foot injury. Bailey returned for the Jacksonville game, and even played last week, but he’s re-aggravated the foot that kept him out the first five games of the season.
Broncos tackle Orlando Franklin and guard Chris Kuper are listed as questionable with ankle injuries. Manning was sacked a season-high four-times against Indianapolis, a sign the offensive line hasn’t been in top form the last couple of weeks.
Most of Washington’s injury concerns come on the defensive side of the ball. End Stephen Bowen and nose tackle Chris Neild are questionable with a knee and calf injury respectively, and safety Reed Doughty is out due to a concussion.
Receiver Leonard Hankerson also has a foot ailment, and is listed as questionable, though he full participated in Friday’s practice.
Point Spread: Denver favored by 14 points.
Over-Under: 58 points
Kickoff Time: 4:25 PM Eastern Time
Where To Watch Online: NFL Game Access
TV Channel: FOX
Prediction: Denver 42, Washington 35