- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 17, 2013

ANALYSIS/OPINION

PHILADELPHIA — So much felt familiar.

The same mistakes. The same excuses. The same cliches. The same result.

Any delusion the Redskins’ season of disappointment can be salvaged disappeared during Sunday afternoon’s 24-16 loss to the Eagles.

Six games remain on the schedule, but, in actuality, the season is finished.

Forget about the fourth-quarter rally that kept flickering hopes alive until Robert Griffin III’s ill-advised pass was intercepted in the end zone with 32 seconds remaining. That’s just one more tease in a season crammed with them.

The reality in the thick air of the visitor’s locker room’s at Lincoln Financial Field is a 3-7 football team with no answers. No longer could they hide behind hollow boasts about repeating the seven-game win streak to save last season or similar hot air that labelled each win this season a turning point.

Metal lockers slammed. A tray of oranges sat uneaten.

“I just don’t understand,” DeAngelo Hall said, “where it’s falling apart.”

That bafflement, too, is familiar.

Instead of answers, they talked about the team’s tight-knit atmosphere. How they kept fighting. How they didn’t give up. How they’re still confident. All the tired, empty phrases losing teams trot out that make for pleasant sound bytes and don’t mean anything.

Instead of answers, Trent Williams accused a game official of directing a stream of obscenities at him. After last week’s loss to the Vikings in Minneapolis, multiple players complained about the referees, too.

Never mind that the Redskins were flagged for only four penalties Sunday. Never mind, too, that Williams’ angry words sidestepped the festering issue of Griffin’s protection. The Eagles contacted the quarterback to the turf 13 times, including four sacks and repeated shots that hurt to watch.

Griffin’s frequent scrambles for his life helped to neuter any attempt to throw the ball in the first half against the NFL’s second-worst pass defense. The Redskins managed four net yards passing in the half. Yes, four.

Yet Williams complained about officiating.

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