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'There's Always Something To Play For'

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Halfway through the Washington Redskins Week 10 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings, the struggles of the season's first half of slipups appeared lifted with a 24-14 halftime lead.

For the second time in three games, however, the Redskins succumbed to a second half onslaught and walked out of Minnesota with a loss, failing to capitalize on a double-digit lead and leaving more questions than answers.

In a revenge game against the Philadelphia Eagles, on 10 days of rest, they came out of the gate sputtering and the game ended on an interception in the back of the end zone, thwarting a valiant comeback attempt.

Last Monday Night, the offense failed to score a touchdown for the first time since a 20-9 loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 10 of the 2011 season and the defense couldn't rattle 49ers quarterback Colin Kapernick's cage. The third-year passer out of Nevada had one of his best performances of the season.

A string of bad losses have the Redskins reeling, with questions of mental makeup providing headlines throughout the week.

Veteran leadership, however, says there is no quit inside the Redskins' locker room. Starting Tuesday morning, the players shifted their focus to preparation for the New York Giants.

Now in his 16th NFL season, defensive captain London Fletcher said everyone must wipe last week's showing from their memory banks.

"I think the main thing you have to do — it's a short week for us, so we can't lick our wounds too long," Fletcher insisted. "It's just a situation where we're professionals, we've got a job to do, just not get caught up in the record, and not get caught up in the score or situations.

"No one is happy sitting here at 3-8, because this is unacceptable when you think about what we were able to accomplish last year winning our division. Now, to be where we're at, it's just not a good feeling at all and really, individually you've got to look at yourself."

While certain teams have provided brutal matchups with the Redskins' personnel, eight-year veteran defensive end Kedric Golston said the struggles are in-house responsibilities not being met.

"We had high hopes coming off of what we did last year," Golston explained to the media. "We understood that talk is cheap and I think that's been our message and we go out there and prepare and work hard but we've been coming up short and it's frustrating.

"It's on us and the people in this locker room and people in this organization and we can't blame anyone else for it."

Wide receiver Santana Moss, now in his ninth season with the Redskins, is the longest-tenured player on the roster.

Since his acquisition in 2005, the former All-Pro has been a part of three losing streaks of four games or more and four winning streaks of four games or more.

Regardless of which way the chips are falling, Moss said he and his teammates must block out the negativity in order to reclaim their spot as an upper-echelon squad. 

"If you keep your mind like I keep mine, then you know that there's going to be rough times. It's not always easy," Moss said. "Everybody expects you to come into the season and run through everybody, but we didn't do enough to do that.

"We won the [NFC] East last year – so what? Now we have to come back here and work for it again. You can't just line us up and say we're going to win it again. We have to go out there and work, and earn it… I feel like we have to go out there and work to be recognized again."

Reed Doughty, a 2006 sixth-round pick, echoed his longtime teammate's sentiment, knowing that there are still five opportunities remaining in the season.

"Unfortunately, I've been in this position before and there's always something to play for," Doughty said. "You play for pride, you play for the organization, you play for your family, you play for each other and you play [because] you're a professional.

"There's always a lot to play for.

"I've been on two amazing five-, seven-game win streak runs, but what I've learned in the past eight years is that those runs are few and far between. As a team we have to be more consistent."

Welcoming the Giants to town tonight, the Redskins have an opportunity to stop the bleeding with a victory over a divisional foe desperate for a victory to keep ahold of playoff aspirations.

Fletcher said each player must self-evaluate their performance, picking out problem areas and execute to their ability if they're going to get the fourth victory of the season.

"We've just got to go out and first of all win a game and then see what happens from there," Fletcher explained. "But we've got a short week.

"We've got a Giants team that's won four out of their last five, so they're playing good football. Each man has to look at themselves individually and say, 'What can I do better? How can I play better? What can I do to get this thing turned around?

"Now, to be where we're at, it's just not a good feeling at all and really, individually you've got to look at yourself."

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