For the first 52 minutes of Sunday's game against the New York Jets, the Redskins defense played as well as it had all season. They had limiting the Jets to 13 points on 181 total yards of offense.
Over the last eight minutes, however, the Redskins defense came unglued, yielding 21 points on 85 yards of offense.
After the game, defensive players were extremely disappointed in the locker room.
"I think it's extra disappointing, especially defensively, because we played well for three-and-a-half quarters,"said nose tackle Barry Cofield. "We have a lot to learn from, and we need to get ready for next week. Nobody is going to feel sorry for us. We've got to get better."
The Redskins' defense was put in a tough spot, to be sure. The Jets had short fields to work with on their three fourth quarter touchdown drives.
The field position was the result of a short kickoff that was returned to the Jets' 49-yard line, a Rex Grossman fumble on the Redskins' 9-yard line, and the Jets' recovery of an onsides kick returned to the Redskins' 25-yard line.
The average starting field position for the Jets' offense was the Redskins' 28-yard line, giving them a very short porch.
After the game though, the Redskins' defenders weren't looking for excuses.
"You could give them the ball on the 2-yard line, and we expect to only give up three points, at the most," said safety Reed Doughty. "We need to do better than that."
One concern for the Redskins this season has been time of possession. When they have been able to control the clock, they're 4-0 on the season and 0-8 when they can't.
During Sunday's third quarter, the Redskins' offense failed to pick up any first downs, forcing the defense to spend more than 10 minutes on the field.
The workload may have sapped their energy in the fourth quarter.
Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan would not use that as an excuse.
"I don't think that was the case, I think it was just one guy out of his gap here or there," Kerrigan said. "We have to be more gap-sound and we can't let this kind of thing happen. We played well for 50 minutes and then the last 10 -- that wasn't us."