I'm not an optimist. But, just for a minute, I want to put on the burgandy and gold-colored glasses and look at things.
In 2012, the Redskins came out of week 10 at 3-6, in a tie for last place and 2.5 games behind the leader (essentially 3 games because of a loss to the division leader in week 7 (a game the defense blew at the last minute.) The 9th game of the season was a disappointing loss to a team that had done nothing to that point in the season.
In 2013, the Redskins came out of week 10 at 3-6, in a tie for last place and 1.5 games behind the leader (essentially 2 games because of losses to both teams currently tied for the lead.) The 9th game of the season was a disappointing loss to a team that had done nothing to that point in the season (and, to boot, was a game in which the Redskins had done well on offense, more than can be said about that 6th loss in 2012.)
In 2012, the Redskins had 4 games left against teams with a better record than their 3-6, and 2 against a team with an identical record.
In 2013, the Redskins have 4 games left against teams with a better record, and 2 against a team with an identical record.
In 2012, despite gaining a lot of yards, the Redskins had been outgained in 5 of 9 games, lost the turnover battle in only 1 game. The offense had been inept in the previous two games, both losses, extending the losing streak to 3 games.
In 2013, the Redskins have been outgained in 4 games (but only once since the bye week.) They have lost the turnover battle in 4 games.
In 2012, the defense was allowing 27.5 points per game (after allowing over 30 points in the first 3 games) and 398 yards per game. Meanwhile, the offense was scoring 25.1 points per game (and had failed to score more than 13 in the previous 2 weeks) and gaining 382 yards per game.
In 2013, the defense is allowing 31.9 points per game and 388.5 yards per game. Meanwhile, the offense is scoring 25.6 points per game and gaining 410 yards per game.
What does all this mean? Probably nothing. But the optimistic take on it is to say that it means that the Redskins have just as good of a chance, if not a better chance, than they did last year. The offense has been better than last year at this point, the defense (if we take the special teams scores and turnovers for scores out of the points) has been doing better than last year. The schedule is not much harder than last year, and the distance to make up is smaller.
One further point: turnovers are as much a product of chance as of skill. Last year, the turnovers worked in the Redskins' favor all year, but this year has been different. That can change, and if it does, the Redskins should be able to take advantage.