xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Redskins: 'We haven't done anything yet'

ASHBURN, Va. - Give this much credit to the Washington Redskins: They realize their win over the Oakland Raiders didn't accomplish very much.
All it means is that the Redskins are no longer a candidate for worst team in the NFL. It means they're 1-3 instead of 0-4 going into their bye - a long way from the consensus predictions of 3-1 when the schedule came out. They're one game out of first place only because the entire NFC East went sour at the same time.
"Even though we won the football game, we know we didn't play one of our better games, especially offensively," coach Mike Shanahan said Monday.
Here are the only two words you need to know about Sunday's 24-14 victory: Tony Pashos.
Pashos was in training camp with the Redskins, signed as a veteran who might push for a starting job. It turned out he couldn't even land a backup spot and was cut at the end of preseason.
But the Raiders picked up Pashos and are so depleted that they are starting him at right tackle. It was a flashback to camp watching him get beat by linebacker Ryan Kerrigan on Sunday. Oakland gave up seven sacks to a defense that had been historically bad through the first three weeks of the season.
"We know we still have a lot of work to improve," said linebacker Brian Orakpo, who had two sacks. "We haven't done anything yet. We've got to obviously be happy about this win, but we've got to come back focused and fix all of the mistakes."
Seasons can often turn on one play. In 2001, the Redskins were 0-5 and trailing 14-0 to Carolina when LaVar Arrington returned an interception 67 yards for a touchdown, sparking a victory that started a five-game winning streak.
The circumstances were curiously similar on Sunday. The Redskins were staring at a psychologically devastating 0-4 when they fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter. They got on the board with a field goal, but it was rookie David Amerson's 45-yard pick-six that swing the momentum for the game - and perhaps beyond.
"We're down 14 and 'Here we go - same thing, same story.' Nobody could really get going," Orakpo said. "But that pick-six was huge."
Stunningly, the Redskins' win doubled the number of victories by NFC East teams vs. outside opponents. The division is 2-10 when not playing against itself, and the Dallas Cowboys - who host Washington in two weeks - hold sole possession of first place at 2-2.
"Nobody wants to be 1-3 four weeks into the season, don't get me wrong," quarterback Robert Griffin III said. "But we have to make the best of our situation, and it's a good situation for us right now, seeing the way our division's played out. If we come back after the bye and get a win, we're right back in first place, second place in the division. It's a great scenario."
But more wins aren't a given without more improvements. Griffin and the offense still aren't in full sync, and it took a rare no-huddle series to shake things enough to produce a second-quarter field goal Sunday. The Redskins have only one offensive touchdown in the first half all season.
Specials teams units continue to struggle. A missed assignment led to a blocked punt by the Raiders, and rookie Chris Thompson has yet to look comfortable as a punt returner.
"You always feel good when you win," Shanahan said. "That's the objective. But our football team is pretty realistic, they know what type of effort we have to have to get to the next level, what type of play we have to do consistently to win a division."
Notes: The bye comes at a good time for RB Alfred Morris, who left Sunday's game with bruised ribs. X-rays were negative. "Different people recover at different rates, so it could be a fast recovery, it could be a slow recovery," Morris said. ... Shanahan didn't have an update on TE Logan Paulsen, who injured his left knee.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement