Maybe a four-game losing streak should have been enough of an indicator, but for those who were holding out hope for the Redskins to undergo a midseason resurgence, it’s time to wave the white flag.
Effort, heart, poise -- the Redskins didn’t really display any of those qualities Sunday in Miami. The 1-7 Dolphins came in with every reason to lose (see: Andrew Luck), but instead they outplayed a team who spent all summer trying to convince us things were different.
And though there is a difference in Washington, it’s not a good one. An offense averaging less than two points per quarter in their last three games; a five-game losing streak for the first time since 2001 and very few bright spots in yet another humbling loss.
Jabar Gaffney, who expressed his frustration after last week’s loss to the 49ers, paused before offering his thoughts on his struggling team after a 20-9 loss in South Beach.
“It’s just…It’s not a good feeling,” he said.
It wasn’t as ugly as one of the cold, systematic takedowns we’ve witnessed over the past month against San Francisco and Buffalo, but Rex Grossman couldn’t change the outcome and ultimately cost the Redskins a chance to win.
Grossman made a less than triumphant return to the starting lineup, but sadly he still outshone John Beck. In his six starts, Grossman has proven to be more capable than Beck when it comes to moving an offense, but it’s his decision-making in the red zone that negates that edge.
“I felt like we moved the ball well. We just didn’t finish,” he said. “We just didn’t get it done and it’s frustrating because I think we should have.”
Timing is everything, and with Grossman tossing two picks in Dolphins territory, it’s clear he’s unable to minimize his mistakes in key moments. Down by four, the Redskins had something going in the fourth quarter after he connected with Leonard Hankerson for 22 yards on a key third-down conversion.
However on the ensuing play from the Miami 10, Grossman threw an interception, sending a weary defense back on the field to bail them out again.
They couldn’t, allowing the Dolphins to march 81 yards in 10 plays for a decisive touchdown. Trailing 20-9 with 6:07 remaining, the Redskins -- who have scored 20 points in the last 12 quarters -- were finished.
Again, bad timing, this time on the part of the defense. Also, a reminder that though the quarterback position has been under the most scrutiny, this losing streak is the result of poor team play.
“Both sides need to be better,” said Brian Orakpo. “[The defense is] not pointing fingers, we’re not going to sit here and blame anybody because we play a part in it as well.
“It just feels like every team that we play, it’s like they already know that they got a W against us the way we're playing,” Orakpo continued. “It’s just ridiculous, man. We got to do something to turn this [team] around.”
Orakpo believes there is talent on the roster and is convinced the team is better than what we’ve seen over the past month. But with a few notable exceptions, that just doesn’t seem to be the case.
From all appearances, it’s the same old Redskins.