The Washington Times - December 12, 2013, 01:10PM

Another team is 3-10 with three games to play, yet 600 miles southeast of Northern Virginia, the Atlanta Falcons don’t seem to be experiencing as much chaos as the Washington Redskins.

“We have collectively contributed to the success that we’ve had and we’ve collectively contributed to the season that we’re having this year,” coach Mike Smith said. “We’re all responsible for it and we’re all accountable for it. I think when you have that type of communication between the different parts of the organization, and everybody takes accountability for it, it makes it a lot easier.”

Smith was hired prior to the 2008 season, and in the previous five years, the Falcons have made the playoffs in four of them.

This season has been an aberration. The Falcons have a minus-11 turnover ratio, their worst during Smith’s tenure, and allow a conversion on 45.7 percent of third downs, ranking last in the league. They’ve allowed 54 plays of more than 20 yards, which Smith pointed out as a weakness, and they’re also missing wide receiver Julio Jones, who broke his right foot after a Week 5 loss to the New York Jets.

Five of the Falcons’ defeats have been within a touchdown, including Sunday’s 22-21 road loss to the Green Bay Packers. They also beat the Buffalo Bills 34-31 in overtime on Dec. 1, snapping a five-game losing streak.

Like the Redskins, the Falcons figured to compete for a division title this season. Instead, they’ll face a longer offseason than they expected.

Quarterback Matt Ryan said the players are upset, but there’s no reason to turn on each other now.

“I think we’ve got a really good locker room of some veteran guys that have displayed really good leadership,” Ryan said. “Certainly, it’s a tough time. I think Coach Smith has done a great job of handling the different situations. Obviously, we’re disappointed. There’s no doubt about that – disappointed and frustrated with where we’re at. But at the same time, it comes down to as a player, you’ve got to look in the mirror and you’ve got to understand that what you’ve done up until this point is not good enough, and pointing the finger at other people is not going to help. I think guys have been really good about that.”

Ryan, asked about his impression of the Redskins’ situation, said he couldn’t accurately speak about it and didn’t want to do so. Smith, meanwhile, said it hasn’t been tough to keep the team together despite a losing season.

“We’ve got a great locker room, and we have for six years,” Smith said. “I think everyone respects everyone’s role on the team and they know their role can change very quickly. … I think you have to respect one another, and I think that when you respect one another and you have the team’s interests first, you’re going to have the message that you want as a team and as an organization.”