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Last Season’s Struggles No Consolation This Year

Even though several players pointed to last season’s seven-game winning streak as a source of confidence they can turn it around this year, that narrative is changing as frustrations mount.

BY ZAC BOYER

ASHBURN – When asked Sunday after the Redskins’ loss to the Lions about the most surprising aspect of his team’s start, Mike Shanahan didn’t need to elaborate.

“Being 0-3,” the head coach said.

Trailing in the standings is familiar to the Redskins, who lost six of their first nine games last season. And while it seems like lessons can be taken from the team’s ability to climb out of that hole, the two situations are vastly different.

Plenty of games remain in the season and the other teams in the division are also struggling, offering a glimmer of hope. The offense appears to be hitting its stride as Robert Griffin III grows more comfortable, and the defense was much more aggressive.

“Nobody could have told us that it was going to be like this,” cornerback Josh Wilson said. “But this is a test of our team, a test to see if we are who we say we are. Are we a team that’s going to never give up, a team of confidence, a team of always going to fight? Like I always say, we got tested last year. We saw what kind of team we have. Are we going to be the same team that we were last year and never give up?”

One problem with the parallels to last season lies in the outcomes of the games themselves. The Redskins were competitive in at least five of their six losses, each of which was decided by eight points of fewer, while the first two defeats this season were swift and thorough.

Early on, players were comfortable drawing parallels to their resolve from a year ago. That narrative has seemingly changed as frustration mounts.

“We can’t live on what we did last year,” cornerback DeAngelo Hall said after the game. “That means nothing right now. You know, we’ve got to look in the mirror. We’ve got to be tough on ourselves. We’ve got to go out there and we’ve just got to make more plays. We’ve got to make more plays and we’ve got to get off the field when we need to. We’ve got to tackle. You know, we’ve got to do a lot of things a hell of a lot better.”

“Nobody expects to be in this situation,” right tackle Tyler Polumbus said. “We’ve got a good football team. We’ve got the right guys in the room. We’ve got the right talent. We’ve got the right coaches. We’ve just got to put it all together.”

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