The Redskins have now won as many games this year, seven, as they did in the last two seasons combined. Thanks in part to that and mostly to the fact that the NFC East is down this year, the Redskins are in first place in their division.
They have clearly improved from last year, their first under Jay Gruden. He came into the season on the hot seat after the Redskins were uncompetitive in many games and were outscored by 139 points. In other words, they were 4-12 and they were what their record said they were.
At 7-7 the Redskins have been outscored by just 16 points. In other words, they deserve to be about a .500 team.
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Do they have their franchise quarterback after the decline and eventual benching of Robert Griffin III? It’s too early to give Kirk Cousins that label after 14 games as a starter but his stock is clearly moving in the right direction. As the Redskins have had to heat up to stay in the playoff picture he has four straight games with a passer rating of over 100 including a perfect 158.3 against the Giants four weeks ago and a nearly perfect 153.7 today.
They can win some game with Cousins hitting Jordan Reed short and intermediate and DeSean Jackson long and by having their defense bend but not break, or at least not break too often.
They have a lot to work on. Their running game is not nearly where they want it to be. Despite getting five sacks today the pass rush still needs help. They still make some key mistakes that need to be cleaned up. Teams can run on them from time to time, often due to problems with tackling.
Because of all of that and more, the Redskins aren’t much of a threat to go much of anywhere if they do make the postseason. They are a couple of Scot McCloughan drafts away from that, at least. But you don’t get from where the Redskins were to where they want to be overnight.