Joe Gibbs turned the Washington Redskins into an NFL dynasty during his first stint with the franchise.
Now, he’s just looking to avoid the longest losing streak of his Hall of Fame career.
The struggling Redskins will try to end a four-game slide when they visit the Chicago Bears.
Gibbs led the Redskins to four Super Bowl appearances, and won three championships from 1981-92. He returned to Washington in January, hoping to rejuvenate the once-proud franchise.
Things looked up immediately as the Redskins opened with a 16-10 victory over Tampa Bay in Week 1. But Gibbs’ second tenure hasn’t gone nearly as smooth since.
Last Sunday’s 17-10 home loss to Baltimore put Gibbs on the verge of his longest losing streak since he began his first season in Washington with five straight defeats.
“The biggest focus for me right now is that, as a team, we have to hang tough,” Gibbs said.
“I believe we’re a good football team. I told our guys that and I think we’re going to find a way to work our way through this. The natural thing is, when this happens, we have to make sure we stay together.”
The Redskins haven’t scored more than 18 points in a game since Gibbs came out of retirement. They didn’t have a drive longer than 26 yards against the Ravens. Quarterback Mark Brunell completed 13 of 29 passes for just 83 yards and was sacked three times.
“It’s a miserable situation,” said Gibbs after his team blew a 10-point lead to the Ravens. “And it seems like when you make a mistake, it bounces right into somebody else’s hands. We’ve got to find a way to make some of those things go our way.”
Though the offense has struggled, the Redskins’ defense has allowed 78.8 rushing yards per game, second-best in the NFL.
LaVar Arrington, who missed the last three games after having knee surgery on Sept. 24, is eager to return. But the Pro Bowl linebacker, who had a light workout during Wednesday’s practice, was officially ruled out of Sunday’s game on Friday.
Making matters worse, kicker John Hall will also sit out after straining his groin during practice on Thursday. It was his third leg injury of the year, following hamstring injuries in the first two games of the season.
The Redskins are expected to sign kicker Ola Kimrin on Saturday. Kimrin was with the Redskins during training camp and was on the practice squad briefly.
The Bears, who are also seeking their second win of the season, are coming off their second straight defeat in last Sunday’s 19-9 home loss to Philadelphia. Chicago has lost consecutive games at Soldier Field for the first time since Oct. 8-15, 2000.
Filling in for injured quarterback Rex Grossman, Jonathan Quinn was 26-of-43 for 215 yards. He threw three straight incompletions from the Eagles’ 7 to kill a key drive.
“We didn’t play the game the way we’re capable of playing,” said Bears running back Thomas Jones, who was held to 32 yards on 13 carries after coming into the game as the NFL’s third- leading rusher. “We didn’t move the ball that well, we didn’t execute all the plays we normally do in practice.”
Bryan Johnson, who scored the Bears’ lone touchdown Sunday, will be facing his former team for the first time. Johnson was a restricted free agent, who was traded to Chicago in March after the Redskins matched an offer sheet he had signed with New Orleans.
Johnson had 33 career receptions for 314 yards with the Redskins but didn’t score his first NFL touchdown before this year.
“I don’t have any resentment,” Johnson said. “That’s where I started. I was an undrafted free agent to begin with. “That’s where I got my first shot.”
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