The Redskins are officially streaking after back-to-back wins over the Rams and Raiders.
With a third straight game against a team from the West on Monday night, here is where the Redskins stand in Week 4 of the NFL season.
Welcome to State of the Redskins: Week 4
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Top Three Storylines:
The defense was dominant and the offense was efficient against a quality opponent. Was the big win over the Raiders a one-time fluke or was it a sign that the team has improved and that game could be duplicated? That is a question everyone wants to have answered but it will remain in the “to be determined” category for several more weeks, at least.
— A top defense
The Washington defense was excellent against the Raiders and solid in the team’s first two games. Have the five new starters, defensive coordinator Greg Manusky and defensive line coach Jim Tomsula transformed the unit from one that would bend and often break to what could be a legitimate top-10 defense? This element of the team’s success seems to be sustainable but, as noted above, time will tell.
— Running wild
The running game was conspicuously missing in Week 1 but it has recovered to the point where the Redskins are in the top 10 in the league in rushing. Like the defense, we don’t know for sure if this is sustainable. But the Redskins are taking advantage of it while it’s working.
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Redskins record through Week 3:
— Overall: 2-1, T-1st in NFC East
— vs. NFC East: 0-1
— vs. NFC: 1-1
— vs. AFC: 1-0
— Home: 1-1
— Away: 1-0
Redskins' NFL Rankings
— Offense (yards/game): 273.7 (8th)
— Defense (yards/game): 272.0 (5th)
— Points for: 71 (13th)
— Points against: 60 (9th)
— Passer rating offense: 105.3 (6th)
— Opp passer rating: 81.2 (8th)
— Yards/rush attempt: 4.5 (7)
— Opp. yards/rush attempt: 3.2 (7th)
— Weighted DVOA (Football Outsiders): 27.6%% (6th)
— Playoff chances per FO: 52.1%, +17.8 percentage points from last week
— In the right direction: To pick just one piece of the defense, you have to be impressed with the opposing passer rating, a number the statheads say is a pretty good measure of a pass defense. Last year they were a mediocre 20th.
— In the wrong direction: They’re down just one notch in points scored; they were 12th last year. But they have too much talent on offense to be outside of the top 10.
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Redskins' Next Three Games
— Monday @ Chiefs—The Redskins’ numbers and rankings above look good but the Chiefs are ahead of them in virtually every category. This game is a big opportunity for Washington to make a big statement on a national stage for a second straight game.
— October 15 vs. 49ers (0-3)—Kyle Shanahan will want to put up a good showing against his former employer but he won’t be bringing a very good team to Washington after the bye.
— October 23 @ Eagles (2-1)—It’s kind of an odd scheduling format here that the Redskins finished with the Eagles before they play either of their other NFC East rivals. Philly got a solid win in Washington in Week 1 and the Redskins won’t want to fall to 0-2 in the division.