ASHBURN, Va. (AP) - Informed that one calculation gives his Washington Redskins a 1 percent chance of making the playoffs, cornerback Bashaud Breeland opted to take a rose-colored view of the situation.
“So we still have something we can play for,” Breeland said after an abbreviated practice Monday. “It’s not all the way out of our grasp.”
Well, yes, that’s one way to look at it.
A more realistic way is this: At 5-7 heading into next Sunday’s trip to the Los Angeles Chargers , and with five losses in their past seven games, the Redskins have reached the portion of their season that is about ruing what set this one awry and assessing where to go from here to get better for the next one.
“Initially, we plan - and our goal is - to make it to the playoffs and show up in the Super Bowl. That’s what you want to do, ideally. That’s the plan, that’s the goal, and we all had that in mind. But then there’s the speed bumps that come into play,” tight end Vernon Davis said. “The picture is not going to be perfect all the time. We put ourselves in this spot.”
The ever-growing list of injuries certainly did not help matters, of course, but that is what happens in the NFL, to team upon team, year after year.
Still, facing a largely winnable stretch to close out the season, the Redskins did not even give themselves a chance, looking anything but competent or competitive in their most recent game, a 38-14 loss at the NFC East rival Dallas Cowboys last Thursday night.
There were turnovers on offense and special teams, plus a continuation of a recent trend of poor defensive showings.
And now, only four teams in the entire 16-club NFC have a worse record than the Redskins.
“Without a doubt, everybody’s disappointed. There’s no question,” coach Jay Gruden said Monday. “You know, we didn’t play very well against Dallas. That’s disappointing. … We have the fourth quarter of our season left, and I have a bunch of guys out here that are going to compete and they’re going to play hard, no matter what the situation is.
“There’s a reason why they’re here. It’s because I know they’re great competitors. They’re going to work hard, and they’re going to get themselves ready to play.”
That was what Breeland contended, too, no matter how bleak things are for a club that is nearly assured of missing out on the postseason for the third time in Gruden’s four seasons as a head coach.
The lack of success stretches back much further, of course: Even if Washington goes 4-0 the rest of the way - which is not exactly a major accomplishment against a slate comprised of the Chargers (6-6), Cardinals (5-7), Broncos (3-9) and Giants (2-10; who fired GM Jerry Reese and coach Ben McAdoo on Monday) - it is guaranteed to fall short of 10 victories.
That is a modest win total that the Redskins have managed to reach only three times, and never exceeded, over the past quarter-century.
But don’t tell Breeland the season is done.
“I don’t feel like it’s over,” he said. “Anything’s possible. You can’t put it past us. I feel like we’ve still got a chance.”
NOTES: Gruden said the team doesn’t “have any plans to shut anybody down unless it is a season-ending injury.” … The Redskins made a series of minor roster moves, claiming G Kyle Kalis off waivers from the Indianapolis Colts, signing WR Robert Davis off the practice squad and adding him to the active roster, and waiving DL Caraun Reid and LB Pete Robertson.
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