Washington didn't have 17 winning seasons and make the playoffs 13 times in 19 years for those Hall of Fame coaches by not getting it done when it mattered the most.
The return of the sainted Gibbs last year was supposed to restore the Redskins to glory. After a rough 6-10 return in 2004, Gibbs seemed to have Washington in good shape after holding off defending NFC champion Philadelphia to improve to 5-3 at midseason.
Instead, three weeks later, the Redskins are reeling from three straight heartbreaking, Turneresque losses -- 36-35 on a controversial two-point conversion with 58 seconds left at Tampa Bay, a blown 10-point halftime lead which turned into a sweet 16-13 comeback triumph for Turner and Oakland, and Sunday's lost 17-7 fourth-quarter advantage over Schottenheimer and San Diego that became a 23-17 overtime defeat after a missed Redskins field goal in the last minute of regulation.
So, three-time Super Bowl champion Gibbs has the same 11-16 record after 27 games of his second tenure as the clueless Spurrier did at the same point.
With five games left, the once 3-0 Redskins are 5-6 and trailing eight teams in the NFC playoff race. All the remaining games are against conference rivals, the last three in the division, but for what?
"I just don't know how we continue to let these things happen," sixth-year linebacker LaVar Arrington said Sunday. "We did a lot of good things today, but it seems to always go to no avail. You get so tired of going through this."
The Redskins were supposed to get killed. San Diego had laid waste to Buffalo the previous week while Washington was losing a late lead and the game yet again, this time to the Raiders and Norv Turner. And the Redskins were beat up mentally and physically.
But the reeling Redskins summoned up the will to take a 17-7 edge over the defending AFC West champion Chargers into the fourth quarter.
Even after blowing that lead, Washington had the game seemingly won with a first down at the San Diego 31 with 1:04 left. But a an unnecessary holding penalty on center Casey Rabach pushed John Hall into a 52-yard field-goal attempt, which went wide. And LaDainian Tomlinson ran 41 yards to pay dirt on the second snap of overtime to give the Chargers the 23-17 victory.
Player Personnel Notes
--DT Joe Salave'a re-injured his left foot in the third quarter. Salave'a didn't return and will have another MRI on Monday. He has been limited by the ailing foot since he first hurt it on Oct. 16 at Kansas City.
--After saying on Friday that he would miss a fourth straight game with a strained hip flexor, DT Cornelius Griffin not only played -- and ended an early San Diego series by batting down Drew Brees' third-down throw -- but he played most of the second half after DT Joe Salave'a was hurt.
--RB Rock Cartwright ran for a 13-yard TD on his only carry against San Diego. It was the backup's second score in 15 attempts this year.--WR Jimmy Farris, cut after training camp and re-signed on Monday to replace the injured David Patten, had an early 18-yard grab against San Diego for his first catch since 2003 when he was with Atlanta.