*The Redskins have gotten away with alternating wins and losses this season. But with three games left, they'll need to put together a win streak for the first time to win the division. *
If the Redskins want to win the NFC East, they're going to need to do something they haven't all season: put a win streak together.
Because Washington shares first place, as they have for the last three weeks, and because the teams in direct competition with them haven't pulled away in the race, the need to accomplish such a task hasn't been as demanding. In other words, alternating wins and losses has had no dire punishment just yet.
But with three games left in the season -- and two divisional opponents waiting for them on the road -- that will inevitably change.
"It's one thing that we haven't done this year. We are real critical of ourselves in that sense. We can't just keep putting it off to the next time or such and such," left tackle Trent Williams said. "We basically are in do or die season right now."
"The back-to-back thing is obviously something that we're going to eventually do to get to the division championship," head coach Jay Gruden said. "I think everybody knows what's at stake and knows we've had trouble putting back-to-back wins together. Hopefully, they'll be ready and understand that."
This season, the Redskins are 0-5 after a victory. Since 2013, they're 1-11 following a win. Consequently, the Bills, their opponent this Sunday, are 4-2 after a loss, a stat that will be challenged this weekend since the Eagles defeated them last week.
What's kept the Redskins in the playoff race, and what's made fans equally hopeful and frustrated, is that they have responded to adversity well, going 6-1 after losses in 2015.
Why would that be? Has anything changed in the locker room the week succeeding a win?
"I don't see the difference," defensive end Ricky Jean Francois said. "Might be for the fans, but I don't see the difference. I know everybody was eager to get inside this locker room this week, and try to put together another win so we can get closer and closer."
Considering the Redskins' hadn't won on the road this season before their victory in Chicago, these statistics are not entirely shocking. Their best chance for win streak came two weeks ago on Monday night versus the Cowboys, playing a rare home game in back to back weeks.
Check out these photos of the Redskins' offense preparing for their Week 15 match up against the Buffalo Bills Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015, at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.
Had they won, fans might be clamoring for a fourth consecutive victory this Sunday, an example of how one quarter can continue making certain milestones appear out of reach.
"I do think that it's unfortunate that we haven't been able to win two games in a row, and part of the reason why we're 6-7 and not better than that is because we haven't been able to consistently win," quarterback Kirk Cousins. "I'll be the first one to tell you that that's got to change. Much like winning on the road, we've got to be more consistent putting a string of games together. I think we can all look at ourselves and say, 'What can each of us do better? As a group, how can we be a more mature football team to find ways to win consistently?'"
In three of their losses, the Redskins have had a lead or tie at halftime, another indication of how Washington has been close, in multiple tries, to breaking through an up and down season.
"If you pull out a couple now, you're sitting in a really good place and feel really good about not only this year but the organization, the team we have going forward," Cousins said. "I think we're close but it's still a process and we're working towards where we want to be."