DALLAS—The Redskins checked another box on the list of the things that good teams do—win a meaningless game on the road against a bad team. It wasn’t the most impressive win but considering that many key offensive players were pulled midway through the second quarter and much of the defense was populated by second-line players by the middle of the third quarter it wasn’t anything to be ashamed of.
In the course of the last 10 games the Redskins have gone from being a team that was struggling to find itself to one that seemed to be improved from last year to one that was in playoff contention to a team that more than doubled its win total from a year ago and was in position to rest its starters in Week 17 in preparation for a home playoff game. That’s quite a journey in the space of a few months.
Can they make any noise in the playoffs? You should never say never in the NFL but their ceiling is probably one win. They don’t have much of a running game and their defense is reliant on takeaways.
But that’s getting ahead of ourselves. When the season started, the Redskins were ranked somewhere between 30th and 32nd in most media power rankings. Jay Gruden was Las Vegas favorite to be the first coach fired this year. The quarterback switch that benched Robert Griffin III and put Kirk Cousins in as the starter was widely viewed as a sign of internal turmoil in the organization and a recipe for disaster.
At this point the Redskins can say, to paraphrase the song, “How do you like us now?”
They are not an NFL powerhouse and there is no guarantee that they are turning into one. That is why in the NFL it is important to enjoy the moment and try to get as much as you can out of each season.
Clearly, the Redskins are enjoying the ride.
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