In falling to the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday, the Washington Redskins fell to 5-10 and guaranteed themselves of a third consecutive double-digit loss season for only the second time in franchise history.
At the same time, the Redskins squandered any hope of building on their Week 15 victory over the Giants and closing out the season with an encouraging three-game win streak.
Washington looked impressive against New York, but then put on an error-filled performance while regressing against Minnesota. It provoked feelings of déjà vu for one of the longest-tenured Redskins.
“It’s been the same old story around here for the years I’ve been here,” said linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, who was signed to Washington’s practice squad in 2006, made the 53-man roster the following year and has since served as a cornerstone of the team’s special teams units. “Playing up and down depending on who you’re playing, and the good teams don’t do that. They dominate whoever’s in front of them. For us to turn that corner, we’ve got to do that. For us to do that, we’ve got to put three, four, five wins together over a period of 16 games, and we just for whatever reason, we’re not doing that right now.
“At some point we’ve got to change that and start getting wins,” added Alexander, who has played under three different head coaches and experienced only one winning season in Washington – a 9-7 campaign in 2007.
Alexander said the talent on the Redskins’ roster rivals that of a much better team, and he believes that Mike Shanahan and his staff do a good job of preparing the players each week. But for some reason, the results haven’t come.
“It’s not talent or coaching, it’s all about consistency from the players and playing a complete game in all three phases,” Alexander said, shaking his head. “I don’t know what it is. We can’t have one guy make a mistake on this play and a couple plays later, it’s a different guy. Everybody has to try, and they are, but trying is not good enough. You have to go out and compete at a high level no matter who you’re facing. You can’t come back and say ‘I’ll get them next time,’ because you don’t get a next time in the NFL.”