With two games in five days beginning Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan said the coaching staff is already peeking at film on the Dallas Cowboys in preparation for Week 12.
"We have a short week with Dallas, so you’re getting ready for Dallas," Shanahan explained on Monday. "We took a couple days and just looked at Dallas. Obviously we talked about personnel, so that incorporates the rest of the week.
In terms of bye week placement, the Redskins hold an advantage over both the Eagles and Cowboys, who had their bye in Weeks 7 and 5, respectively.
Theoretically, the Week 10 bye gives the Redskins more time to rest prepare, although the team has yet to win after the bye week under Shanahan, losing to the Eagles at home in each of the last two season.
"On a short week, you have the opportunity to [look ahead] if you have the bye before," Shanahan said. "If not, it makes it pretty tough."
With three division games in a row and five of the final seven against the NFC East, the Redskins are far from eliminated from playoff contention.
Shanahan said the battle for the postseason begins against the Eagles (3-6), and continues through to hosting the Cowboys in Week 17.
"You’re exactly right; it’s a great opportunity," he said. "We’re going to look at one game and that’s Philly, take care of business there. I was pleased with how we worked today."
Complicating the preparation process is the uncertainty at quarterback for the Eagles.
Eagles head coach Andy Reid described Michael Vick's concussion in Week 10 as "significant," leading the Redskins to prepare equally for rookie backup Nick Foles.
"Obviously, we have to get ready for both," Shanahan said. "We’re not sure what the situation is, so we’ll kind of wait and see there. With the concussion that he had, I don’t think they’re really sure."
While the coaching staff got an early jump on both games, Shanahan is keeping the players focused on Philadelphia, a game the team has tabbed as a must-win.
"You have to get ready for your second half of the season," he told the media. "You have to play your best football. We’ve had some opportunities in the first half and we haven’t closed a couple of those games.
"Now, there’s no [room for] error. You have to play your best. You have to play from Philly on. That was the message."