- Associated Press - Saturday, December 12, 2015

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) - Never mind the losing record, the Washington Redskins are in the playoff chase - and that’s all that matters to defensive back DeAngelo Hall.

It’s also something the Chicago Bears can’t say.

Washington and Chicago come into Sunday’s game at Soldier Field with identical 5-7 records, and that’s about where the similarities end as far as their postseason hopes are concerned.

“Would I prefer to be 9-3 in a different (and more difficult) division?” Hall said. “Not at all. I would prefer being 5-7 and being able to fight for a playoff shot.”

The Redskins are still swinging, tied with the Eagles and the Giants for the NFC East lead despite a losing record and a loss to Dallas on Monday night that was not for the faint of heart. DeSean Jackson fumbled a punt after reversing course at the 20 and running back to the 1 with the Cowboys in pursuit. He started moving forward again, fumbled, and punter Chris Jones made the recovery at the 15. Dallas scored its lone touchdown two plays later, helping it to an ugly 19-16 win.

As brutal as that defeat was for the Redskins, at least they’re still in contention.

The Bears never really were in the running in the NFC North, and their wild-card hopes got all but wiped out last week when San Francisco escaped Chicago with a 26-20 overtime victory.

“There’s no envy toward any other team or any other division,” said Bears cornerback Tracy Porter, who played for Washington last season. “If we took care of business the way we should have, we wouldn’t even be having this type of conversation.”

Here are some things to look for Sunday:

ROAD WOES, HOME WOES: While Washington can’t seem to win on the road, Chicago isn’t faring well at home.

The Redskins are the only team without a road win this season at 0-5, and have dropped nine in a row dating to last year. They are 1-12 on the road under second-year coach Jay Gruden.

It certainly didn’t help that they had to visit unbeaten Carolina and defending Super Bowl champion New England. The Falcons were also playing well and unbeaten when Washington went to Atlanta in early October.

The Bears aren’t exactly racking up wins at Soldier Field with a 1-5 record and eight losses in their past nine home games going back to last year. Four of those losses are to teams currently in sole possession of or tied for division leads: Green Bay, Arizona, Minnesota and Denver. But like Washington, San Francisco came to Chicago with an 0-5 road record.

DEANGELO’S DAY: The last time the Redskins visited Soldier Field, in October 2010, Hall tied an NFL record with four interceptions. He even ran one of his picks against Jay Cutler back 92 yards for a TD in the Redskins’ 17-14 victory. “It’s definitely one of my most memorable games,” said Hall, who has shifted from cornerback to safety in his 12th season. “But I’m not thinking (that) because I had four picks that game, I’m going to go get four picks this game.”

NOT GOOD AS GOULD: One of the most accurate kickers in NFL history, Chicago’s Robbie Gould insisted his recent struggles are not a sign of decline.

“Look at my track record,” he said. “I started off the season on a pretty good streak.”

Gould was 15 of 15 on field goals through the first six games. In the last six, he is 11 of 16. He missed two of four attempts last week on his 34th birthday, including a potential winning 36-yarder at the end of regulation.

STUNTS: In Washington’s loss to Dallas last week, the Cowboys disrupted the Redskins’ offense by running stunts that got pressure up the middle. Redskins QB Kirk Cousins got sacked on two of the game’s first three plays from scrimmage, and later tried to get rid of the football quickly, occasionally skipping chances to throw deep. Trent Williams, Washington’s Pro Bowl left tackle, figures the Bears might try the same type of defensive strategy.

“Even if we blocked it once or twice, (the Cowboys) still came back to it,” Williams said. “It’s one of those things we just have to clean up and be ready for next week. I’m pretty sure (Chicago is) going to take a page out of that book.”

MAKING MARK: Bears rookie nose tackle Eddie Goldman has been coming on strong in recent weeks. A second-round pick out of Florida State, he was particularly good against San Francisco, with two sacks. That gave him 4½ this season.


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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