Redskins Humbled By Loss, But Still In It

It was a day for the record books for the Washington Redskins. Most first downs allowed in franchise history, 34. Worst defeat in 46 years. Worst loss, obviously, in Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs' 16 seasons.

And yet, the 52-7 trouncing by the superb New England Patriots shouldn't be fatal to the Redskins' playoff hopes. Especially in the weak NFC.

Washington veterans like offensive tackle Chris Samuels remember getting pounded by at least 30 points in each of the first three games of the 0-5 start of 2001 before bouncing back to win eight of the final 11 games and finish 8-8.

Many of the Redskins played on the 2005 team that was wasted 36-0 by the New York Giants to fall to 4-3 -- the same record Washington has now -- but recovering to go 10-6 and end a six-year playoff drought.

Will history repeat? Defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin believes that it can.

"It's not about them, it's about us," Griffin said after acknowledging the Patriots' excellence. "We can't dwell on it. We got nine games left. We still got a chance to do something. A real man stands up. It ain't about being down. It's how you come back. That's what important. We gotta come back."

At 4-3, Washington is just a game behind Detroit -- a team it crushed three weeks ago -- for the NFC's second and final wild card spot. The Redskins have the same record as division leaders Carolina and Seattle.

What's more, after already having played New England (8-0), Green Bay (5-1), the New York Giants (6-2) and Detroit, Washington has just three more games against winning teams: two with Dallas (6-1) and the rematch with the Giants.

The rest of the schedule includes the New York Jets (1-7), Minnesota (2-5), Chicago (3-5), Buffalo (3-4), Philadelphia (3-4) and Tampa Bay (4-4).

"We have to get what we can get from the tape ... get this one behind us and move on," said center Casey Rabach. "The good thing is we got a game Sunday (at Giants Stadium against the Jets). That game doesn't mean any more than this game means. We just got to get back on the field and get a win. That's where you go from here, get this bad taste out of your mouth."

Samuels knows that the Redskins have some serious issues after averaging fewer than 3.5 yards a carry for the fifth straight game since losing right guard Randy Thomas and right tackle Jon Jansen to injuries and after scoring just one meaningless touchdown (with 3:00 left Sunday) during the past six quarters. This, while the suddenly vulnerable defense has allowed 741 yards and 65 points during that span (admittedly while playing without Carlos Rogers and Fred Smoot for most of that time).

"We can't say our season's over from getting this butt-whipping that we got today," Samuels said. "We will show up next week."

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