Can 1-3 ever look good? It can if your division foes are 0-4, 1-3 and 2-2. Only a game out of first, and heading into a bye week; say it ain't so. Well, that's exactly where the Redskins sit after four games. The abysmal 0-3 start a thing of the past. A victory going into a much needed bye week, and the return of two suspended players(Rob Jackson and Jarvis Jenkins)on the horizon, the Redskins have parlayed their early season woes with a timely victory to ignite a fire in the Nations Capital.
No, it wasn't pretty, but the Redskins' 24-14 victory over the Raiders in Oakland marks the first win of this young season, and a possible turning point for the team who many picked to repeat as NFC East champions.
Robert Griffin is rounding into form. He still looked a bit rusty early on, but he hung in there, settled down, and led his team on time consuming drives to seal the deal in a hostile environment. Even without the threat of Morris late in the game, the Redskins didnt panic. In came Roy Helu, who provided Mike Shanahan with a go-to back, and became a reliable target out of the backfield for Robert Griffin III.
It was the much maligned defense however, who stepped it up on Sunday afternoon. Orakpo, Kerrigan and company harassed Matt Flynn all afternoon tallying seven sacks, a pick-six by rookie David Amerson, and a key sack-fumble recovery by Coefield after a strip by the Pro Bowler Ryan Kerrigan. There were still many issues on defense including missed tackles, blown coverages, and open running lanes, and against a better opponent, the Redskins may have had a different result, but the Raiders, who lost Darren McFadden to a hamstring injury, and watched starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor roam the sideline in street clothes, had little-to-no fire power to throw at one of the NFL's worst defenses.
A loss could have very well spelled the end of the season in just week four, but instead, the Redskins enter the bye week with renewed hope, and just a game out of first place in their division.
Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Clause................and he paid a visit to the West Coast about three months early, and handed the Redskins a gift-wrapped box that contained a lone win. Sometimes a little good fortune is just what a team needs to turn their season around, and the Redskins may have just been handed a much needed gift today. Whether or not they can return that gift to their diehard fans in the form of some more W's is yet to be seen.