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After Lopsided Loss, Redskins Turn Page


Move forward.

That's essentially Joe Gibbs' message to his team this week. Put the lopsided loss to the New England Patriots in the past, and move on to the New York Jets.

One day after the Redskins' lost 52-7 to the Patriots, Gibbs met with different groups of players to emphasize his message and get a feel for the state of the team after the demoralizing loss in New England.

"You can see in some individual meetings how much our guys care about it," Gibbs said. "Some of them met in groups. I think it shows their attitudes and the way they care about things. I really appreciate that as a coach. We have guys that care.

"I also talked to them along the lines of the game against the Pats being no more important than next week's game against the Jets. We have to go on the road and find a way to win the game. Our players' attitude was excellent and I appreciate them and the way they went about it. That encourages me."

Optimism was in short supply in the moments after the New England game. The Patriots dominated in every facet of the game: total yards (486 to 224), time of possession (38-to-22 minute margin) and first downs (34 to 13), to name a few.

Gibbs admitted he was surprised that the Redskins were beaten so decisively. He thought that, based on the consistent play of the team as a whole this season, it would be a closer game.

"There had been a consistent way we played this season, but [the Patriots game] was so far off the scale that I think that's what surprised me," he said.

Each of the last two years, the Redskins have experienced midseason losses similar to the Patriots game.

In 2005, the Redskins lost 36-0 to the New York Giants in Week 7. Last year, the Redskins lost 36-22 to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 7 and 27-3 to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 10.

After each of those losses, Gibbs made sure to put an emphasis on the team's identity on both sides of the ball.

It worked in 2005, when the Redskins rebounded to make the playoffs. It didn't work last year, as the Redskins finished with a 5-11 record.

On Monday, Gibbs once again emphasized the team's identity.

He pointed to the Redskins' 34-3 win over the Detroit Lions in Week 5 as an example of the team's formula for success.

In that game, Jason Campbell was 23-of-29 for 248 yards and two touchdowns and the ground game had 118 rushing yards, while the defense forced five turnovers and limited the Lions to 144 offensive yards and 11 first downs.

"That is the formula we would like to have here and that is how we would like to look," Gibbs said.

The Redskins' next opponent, the New York Jets are 1-7, but they have lost five games by 10 points or less.

In Week 1, though, the Jets lost to the Patriots 38-14. It appears that loss set a tone for the Jets difficult season.

Gibbs wants to make sure the same thing doesn't happen to the Redskins.

"What I always say to the players is this, 'Every week when you go out there, if you don't bring your best game and you're not ready to play, then [a blowout loss] can happen to you,'" Gibbs said. "I think now the question is, 'What are we going to do about it?'

"I've been looking forward to the Jets, and when you look at them and how they played Baltimore (a 20-13 loss) and Philly (a 16-9 loss), you see that every team up here is capable winning. So you have to go out there every week and go after it as hard as you can.

"If you don't, then there's a good chance that you're going to get beat, and you could have a game like we had [against the Patriots]. So that's probably the lesson in it."

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