HERNDON,VA. — HERNDON, Va. -- The next time Joe Gibbs visits an amusement park, he's likely to stay away from the roller coaster.
He'd like something more sedate, maybe along the lines of the merry-go-round.
That's because the Washington Redskins have experienced a roller coaster of a season.
In the past four games, they've had their two poorest games of the season -- against the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys -- sandwiched around impressive victories over the New Orleans Saints and the Miami Dolphins.
"We've got a roller coaster going," Gibbs said. "One week, we're dog meat, and the next week we're the greatest thing since sliced bread and then we go back and forth. It feeds on itself, I guess."
That helps explain why Gibbs wasn't celebrating much yesterday after the team routed the Miami Dolphins, 42-20.
Gibbs isn't looking past this Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears.
"I even saw some things written about the guys talking about the Super Bowl. That's absurd," Gibbs said. "We're fighting for our lives to get in the playoffs. That's all we're trying to do."
The worry is that the Redskins will have a letdown against Chicago because it appears that all the Redskins have to do is beat the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts to get the 9-7 record that is likely to be good enough to make the playoffs.
Looking at the four-game stretch run, the Redskins have one specific area of concern -- punting.
Punter Ralf Mojsiejenko was just about the only Redskin who had a poor game Sunday. He averaged only 33.5 yards in four punts.
His punting was no factor in the rout, but the problem is that he's been punting poorly all season. He's now ranked 12th in the National Football Conference with an average of 39.2 yards a punt. He's tied for 20th in the National Football League with John Kidd of the San Diego Chargers.
The Redskins aren't sure what has happened to Mojsiejenko, who averaged 43.0 yards a kick last year for the team's second best mark in the last 20 years.
Obtained in a trade with the Chargers in 1989, Mojsiejenko has a 42.9 career average.
The problem is that it's difficult to find an adequate punter at this late stage in the season, so it's still uncertain whether he'll survive to punt against the Bears next Sunday. He was the subject of much discussion in the team's front office yesterday.
One punter the Redskins are watching is Barry Helton of the San Francisco 49ers, who's doing even worse than Mojsiejenko with a 36.4 average. But the Redskins were interested in drafting him in 1988 and still like his potential. If the 49ers give up on him, the Redskins may try him.
NOTES: The status of guard Russ Grimm (sprained shoulder) is up in the air for the Chicago game. But center Jeff Bostic, who sprained a thumb, is expected to be ready. If Grimm can't go, Mark Schlereth, who was inactive last week, can take his place because he's recovered from an ankle injury.