Zorn looked in shock during his postgame news conference. He knows time is running out to make any kind of charge this year, and he'll have to do it with a flawed roster he didn't have much of a hand in constructing.

"And let me say this for the record, I know what Redskins fans are saying right now. They're angry, they're upset. Ok, DO something about it. DON'T go to the game Sunday. I'm serious about this. If you really want to send a message to the owner, stop calling radio talk shows, stop sending e-mails to this show, and DON'T GO on Sunday. Don't give the guy your money for parking, for concessions.

The team and its own management have become adversaries. That was the clear implication this week when Vinny Cerrato, the executive vice president of football operations, asserted that he built a playoff-quality roster. Given that the Redskins are 2-5, we're left with only one possible conclusion: Coach Jim Zorn must have screwed things up. It couldn't possibly be the fault of Cerrato, or the man for whom he serves as a lead suit, owner Daniel Snyder.

Six years ago, before Joe Gibbs returned to restore adult supervision, the Redskins were the joke of the NFL. Now, just 21 months after his retirement, the team is once again headed down football's greased slope toward mockery.

We're talking about a franchise that undermined its starting quarterback over the summer, a franchise that sued financially strapped ticket holders during a recession while swearing to the longest waiting list for season tickets in professional sports, a franchise whose fans resorted to booing during and after the very first home game of the season, even though it was a victory.