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Redskins Aim to Finish Strong


There's always something to play for.

Even for a 5-10 team facing off against a 7-8 team on New Year's Day.

The Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles are both out of playoff contention heading into Sunday's season finale at Lincoln Financial Field.

Call it a meaningless game, if you must, but Redskins players don't view it that way.

For one, the Redskins have a chance to finish 3-3 in the NFC East with a win against the Eagles on Sunday. That would be a step up – albeit a small one – from the 2-4 mark of last season and the 0-6 mark of 2009.

"I think finishing the season on a high note is important for us," London Fletcher said. "It's a division game against an extremely talented Eagles team, in their place on New Year's Day. Going into the offseason with a win would do a lot for our psyche. We would be able to finish .500 in our division. Those things are big factors for us."

Several players said they are striving to win simply because they are frustrated with losing.

Last week's 33-26 loss to the Minnesota Vikings was particularly disappointing because it came on the heels of a 23-10 victory over the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.

"We want to finish this thing off right, especially against a good Eagles team on a three-game winning streak," Brian Orakpo said. "Michael Vick is leading the charge and we have to do a good job corralling him. Hopefully we can get this win so we can get past this [season] and have a good year next year."

Added Santana Moss: "You always want to finish strong. Winning is everything. People who tell you it isn't, it is. We know because we've lost a lot. We just want to go out there and give our all."

A season-ending win could lead to positive momentum heading into yet another pivotal offseason for the franchise.

Coaches continue to evaluate players on the roster with an eye toward next season, but winning remains a priority.

"You always want your best players to step up and play at a certain level, whether it's young players or older players," head coach Mike Shanahan said. "You're talking about either you get better or you get worse. You're always hoping your football team is improving even though you might not have anything to play for except for pride.

"We get a chance to evaluate players on a day-to-day basis and obviously see who gives us the best chance to win next year. So the game is still important to evaluate those guys and hopefully they play at a high level.

"I think some of that does carry over to the following year."

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