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Redskins Seeking Elusive Road Victory In Chicago

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Still right in the thick of a competitive NFC East, the Redskins on Sunday hope to accomplish something they've had yet to do so this season: win on the road.

There's really only one way the Washington Redskins can put to bed all of the talk about their Jekyll and Hyde performances between FedExField and the road this season, and that's win away from their home turf.

The team gets its next attempt at winning its first game on the road this season tomorrow against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.

"It needs to get to the point, it needs to get on our nerves," defensive end Ricky Jean Francois said this week. "Nothing against you guys [media], but we've got you guys coming up to us every week telling us, 'We don't have a road win, we don't have a road win, we don't have a road win.' It should start clicking in guys' heads around here. We've got to change that. We've got to win these next three road games."

Washington is the only team in the NFL this season not to win in an opponent's stadium.

Chicago, meanwhile, is just 1-5 in front of its home fans this season.

"I think we understand the task at hand," defensive back DeAngelo Hall said. "We had a chance last week to put ourselves in a great position, we didn't take advantage of that. The sense of urgency needs to rise a little bit more. I feel confident in these guys and our coaching staff that they're going to put us in position to win the game. We're going to Chicago with a purpose and that's to get a win."

Three of the Redskins last four games come on the road, as they play the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys in their stadiums in Week 16 and Week 17.

Securing road victories against both could be what puts them at the top of a wide-open NFC East.

"I'm not going to be that drastic and say 'make or break' but it's obviously, you know, all these games are important," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said. "We're 5-7. Giants are 5-7. Eagles are 5-7. So, obviously, the importance of this game is big for all teams involved in this race. We understand our struggles on the road and we have to address them. We have to address them head on and go compete against Chicago."

Perhaps no unit has more to deal with from away crowds than the offensive line.

The center must be aware of when the quarterback wants to the ball. If it's hiked too early, it may leave the group a step behind as they try to stop an oncoming rush.

"We've got to make confident loud calls," guard Spencer Long said. "Coach [Bill] Callahan always says when you know, you know. What he means is be confident in your call and say it loud and don't hesitate because the half second of hesitation can screw things up. We got to be poised in the noise and just be on the same page and get off on the ball. Work on our silent counts and loud calls and being able to communicate in the noise."

For quarterback Kirk Cousins, who has a road record of 1-9 with that one win coming his rookie season in 2012, the pressure may be on as he tries to lead the Redskins to a division championship, but if the team executes and limits mistakes, they should ride home with a victory.

"It's always a challenge but we have confidence in our teams and our offense's ability to go out there and have success," Cousins said. "We had halftime leads in two of the games that we ended up losing on the road. We just have got to come out, play our brand of football, play as mistake-free as we possibly can and, if you do that, you give yourself a great chance." 

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