Tim Hightower is excited about the Redskins’ 3-1 start. Yesterday, he predicted the Redskins would be playing in February. I know the team has exceeded many of the low expectations nationally by winning 3 of the first 4, but they may want to focus on making Rex Grossman’s prediction that the Redskins would win the division actually come true first.
Washington got the important home win over the Giants when Grossman played well against a Giants’ defense that came in with numerous injuries. Since then, the Redskins beat the Cardinals at home in a close game that came down to the final minutes, lost to Dallas in a close one where they had a chance to win, and just beat one of the worst teams in the league, the Rams, when they dominated but couldn’t put the Rams away, and ended up winning by a touchdown. Their opponents are a combined 6-10 this year, thanks to the wins over the NFC West.
Before the season, I thought the Redskins were a wildcard this year because the rest of the roster looked improved, but there were obvious questions concerning the quarterback position. So far, Grossman has played okay, but is largely who he has been for most of his career, someone who can make plays and have a good game from time to time, but who is also prone to inconsistency and making errors. He hasn’t really had a meltdown game yet (Rex has thrown 3 or more interceptions in 6 of 34 career starts), but I’m not convinced he has turned the corner. Since that opener, he is pretty much in line with his career numbers, completing 56.9% of his passes for 6.2 yards per attempt, with 4 td’s and 5 int’s over the last three games. His uneven play kept an inferior opponent in the game on Sunday, and against a better team that would have cost them. Just as I think they were a candidate for improvement because of the rest of the roster, I don’t see the quarterback position being good enough to suddenly contend for a Super Bowl.
The Redskins’ defensive improvement is real, and Ryan Kerrigan has been a good addition to the front 7 to complement Brian Orakpo. This team isn’t going to fall apart defensively. But the schedule gets harder and games against the AFC East and in the division will replace the NFC West games. They might want to try to stay off the radar and just play, and try to get to 9 wins, hardly a guarantee and still maybe not good enough to get in the postseason, first.