UPDATED 5:53 p.m.
Their free-fall from first place to the NFC East cellar complete (it only took three weeks), the Redskins gathered Monday to review the 23-0 loss to Buffalo Bills knowing full well it would be ugly.
Very, very lackluster effort, receiver Anthony Armstrong said. Its definitely not who we are and who were going to be.
What the Redskins are is a reeling team whose record is 3-4 after three consecutive losses and without an all-around good performance since the season opener.
What the Redskins are going to be: In deep trouble if they lose at home Sunday to 6-1 San Francisco (a 3.5-point favorite).
If last month and part of this month featured coach Mike Shanahan agreeing things were boring around Redskin Park because there wasnt anything to panic about, the new month starts Tuesday with the losing skid, the still-present injury problems and struggles on both offense and defense.
The first you try to do is go back to the basics and thats good practices and well continue to try and do that day by day, Shanahan said. Its the only way you have a chance.
So has there been a correlation between bad practices and bad performances recently?
Sometimes they dont match up but anytime you have a few guys at new positions, you try to get in sequence and sometimes it works out, other times it doesnt, Shanahan said. Our guys have been working extremely hard so hopefully it pays dividends down the line.
Whether a team is working hard or hardly working, all that matters is the on-field results and right now, the Redskins are a mess.
They cant run it (26th) and cant stop the run (162.7 yards allowed per game during skid). They cant prevent the big play (seven of 40 or more yards the last three weeks) and cant score (26th in points).
Shanahan experienced his first shutout as an NFL head coach and only the second in his 512-game pro and college career (dating back to 1975).
Besides the losses, a hot topic has been the lack of identity on offense. Sure, the injuries have robbed the Redskins of plenty, but is offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan calling the right plays?
Yeah, Im pretty comfortable with the play calling, Mike Shanahan said. Im heavily involved with the offense.
Players on defense, meanwhile, voiced support for Jim Haslett and his staff.
I know were getting a good play in the defensive room, nose tackle Barry Cofield said. Nothing caught us off guard Sunday. We thought we had a plan to stop it, but didnt do a good job.
To that end, several players were interested in watching the tape, even it meant re-living the loss.
Yeah, absolutely, inside linebacker London Fletcher said. You want to see what you need to do to play better football. Anytime you lose a football game, there are so many things you have to get corrected and once we look at the film, well see what the issues are and try to work to improve.
Said defensive end Stephen Bowen: We have to see whats going on. We have to get it fixed. Have to.
As for what specifically needs tightening up, Bowen said: I dont know what it is, but somethings not going right. Its always hard to have a loss and three losses in a row, but were still not out of it. If we start winning, everything starts getting better.
Fletcher agreed, saying a win over a team like San Francisco would simmer down the legions of doubters who justifiably the Redskins are cooked, done, finished, kaput even though nine games remain.
The NFL is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately type of business, he said. We understand weve lost three consecutive games, but a win this Sunday would change everybodys feelings about this football team and give us some confidence that we need.
Realistically, though, there may not be enough tourniquets available to fix everything, leading the teams veterans to rely on themes like character, focus and accountability..
We have the right character in this locker room but its going to take a concerted effort by everybody, Fletcher said.
Said Cofield: Everybody has to have personal pride. Its being responsible, taking care of your job. Were all professionals and all have a certain job were expected to do.
And doing it better they have the last three games.
Contact OHalloran at firstname.lastname@example.org