So what's wrong with the Redskins? Everything, if you listened to some disgruntled players both before and after the Thanksgiving Day Massacre in Dallas.
Nothing that a big victory (or even a little one) over anybody in general and Miami in particular here next weekend wouldn't cure, according to Coach Jack Pardee.
"I've had more joyous Thanksgivings," Pardee said yesterday, while at the same time trying to pooh-pooh the spreading talk of dissension among his players.
He insisted, for example, there is nothing to Coy Bacon's contention that some players have lost respect for him, that too many have been questioning his decisions and not following their leaders.
"If we had won the game by a point, we'd still have the same problems and nothing would be said," Pardee said. "I know it (the reported dissension) is no worse here than on any other team.
"When you get this many people working together you'll find some unhappy people. But it's no problem. If it was, you would know by my reactions. I'd tell you.
"When you win and get the breaks, nobody says anything. We just have to stop beating ourselves with penalties and getting behind early. We're too short on big plays and making too many bad ones."
Pardee said there may be some lineup changes befort the Dolphin game on Dec. 3, but added that the quarterback probably will not be among them.
"Under the circumstances", he said, "we're lucky to have Joe (Theismann) as healthy as he is.
"We're just going to have to look at it closely and maybe we can turn it around with a change, or without a change. I still believe we can get into the playoffs and that was our goal when we started."
Elsewhere within the Redskin organization, all manner of theories for the team's collapse - five losses in the last seven games after a 6-0 start - were being offered in a series of interviews conducted before and after the Dallas game.
Several players say the war between the cliques, as in old veterans versus some young folks, has been simmering all season. The graybreads always have been unhappy over the cuts of Len Hauss and Rusty Tillman, the trades of Frank Grant and Eddie Brown, the benching of Ron McDole and Pardee's infrequent was of Billy Kilmer.
They also were unhappy with the way Pardee handled the Mike Thomas affair. Pardee just hasn't been tough enough, they say, always adding. "Just don't quote me."
There also is a feeling among coaches and players that the Redskins got off to a false start, that the team was lucky to win games against New England and Detroit and that the roster simply did not contain the talent necessary to maintain that effort.
Pardee said yesterday he was "a little surprised that we won the first six, but looking at the schedule I sure thought it was possible. I'm even more surprised that we've only won two since."
Seventeen men on the current roster were not with the team a year ago. With many of them acquired off the free-agent list, the Redskins did not significantly strengthen themselves with top-flight talent with several obvious exceptions. That has created problems with depth, particularly in both lines, and that has been a significant factor over this 16-game season.
The jury still is out on Theismann, although the Redskins' shabby showings of recent weeks hardly can be pinned on a man who gets little protection from his line, not much help from receivers afflicted with drapsy, and who looks like one large black and blue mark. Nevertheless, there is still a question as to whether Theissmann really is the quarterback of the future.
There is no question that more major changes in personnel will be made next season as Pardee continues to mold the team in his image, not George Allen's.
Thomas is playing out his option, and the Redskins are likely to let him go. Tight end Jean Fugett is not a favorite of the coaching staff - he is considered the consummate clubhouse lawyer - and also may be gone.
The last remains of the Over-the-Hill group also is being phased out, with the exception of Kilmer. He only has to show up to collect $280,000 guaranteed by the two-year contract he signed last summer. So far this year, it's been easy money.
McDole believes he has been treated poorly and will retire. Diron Talbert may have to quit because of a serious knee injury. Jake Scott also may be gone.
Some folks in the organization believe that attrition of old timers is the best thing that could happen, that part of the team's problem this season can be attributed to too much freelancing and improving that Allen let his veterans get away with.
And yet, there is grumbling among those same veterans that there has been a lot of confusion and indecision from the coaching staff lately, particularly concerning the use of the 3-4 defense.
Injuries, of course, have played a significant role, but then that is true of all teams. Still, the Redskins have lost three key starters during their slump.
It is no coincidence that opposition touchdown passes have doubled since Lemar Parrish went down and that sacks have been coming at an alarming rate since tackle George Starke was injured. And while Talbert was no tackling terror when he was healthy, his leadership may be missed down the stretch.
Parrish will return to action against Miami, Pardee said yesterday. "And I think that will help. It will give us a little more confidence, and we need that. He's a vocal player. He generates confidence around him, and he's a great player, too."
So, despite all the problems real or imagined, the Redskins still find themselves very much in contention for one of two wild-card playoff berths, a feat few in Washington thought possible at the start of the season.
Victories in two of the last three games probably would assure a playoff spot, and that is what Pardee will emphasize to his team when it returns to work Tuesday.
"My message?" he said. "We have three weeks left to make the playoffs and we sure don't have to wait a year for it. We've got to start now and we can still get it done. In three short weeks, we can achieve what we set out to do when we started."