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Posted at 10:59 AM ET, 10/03/2011

Redskins-Rams: Five observations

The Washington Redskins enter the bye week in first place in their division, with a 3-1 record, thanks to a 17-10 victory over the St. Louis Rams Sunday.

The team’s performance was far from perfect, and had it not been for a strong defensive stand, the Rams very well could’ve come back to win.

But, the Redskins pulled out the victory, and are off to their best start since 2008.

Here are five observations on the Redskins after Week 4.

1) Record’s deceiving - The Redskins’ record suggests that they’re a good team, and the argument could be made that Washington should be 4-0 right now. But in reality, the Redskins just as easily could be 1-3 or 0-4. They have caught teams at the right time -- battered Giants and Cowboys -- and had mixed results. On Sunday they faced a terrible Rams team and still couldn’t slam the door until the final two minutes of play. Good teams find ways to win, but good teams don’t hurt themselves the way the Redskins do. This team has a long way to go.

2) Grossman roller coaster - You hear all the “Good Rex, Bad Rex” talk and it’s totally true: Grossman is a split-personality quarterback, and you never know which one you’re going to get. On Sunday he played great at times -- he threw a fine touchdown pass to Moss, and some clutch third down throws -- but also was terrible at times.

For the second straight week he threw a silly INT deep in his own territory and again said he didn’t see the middle linebacker, who picked him off. Through four games, Grossman has thrown six touchdowns and has turned the ball over eight times. Combined with last season’s three starts, he has 16 turnovers and 13 touchdowns as the Redskins’ starter. This team can only go so far with quarterback play like that.

3) Still not Beck time - Yes, some of you have already started calling for No. 12, but in reality, there isn’t likely to be a switch any time soon. If Beck was legitimately better, Mike Shanahan would have gone with him out of the gate. He and Kyle Shanahan know what Grossman is. He has been this way his whole career. And still, they didn’t roll the dice and go with Beck. If Grossman continues at this rate - touchdown here, interception there - and Washington remains competitive, the hook isn’t likely to come.

4) Good problem at RB - Forgot how good a runner Ryan Torain is. Hightower is a talented back, but Torain runs with more of a burst and with more power. It was impressive to see his production after contact, and the body control Torain has. Hard to believe that he wasn’t able to get onto the field until now. It’ll be interesting to see how the depth chart shakes out from here. It’s clear Hightower remains the third down back, and Helu is that change of pace guy. Will Torain take over as the lead guy, or will Shanahan continue to rotate them, going with a different feature back from week to week? All three can be productive, which is great for the Redskins. Doesn’t make it easy for the fantasy owners though!

5) Big game following the bye - Who would’ve guessed the Philadelphia Eagles would struggle as they have? The Redskins face them at home on Oct. 16, and that game would’ve carried great importance because it’s in the division. But now, the Eagles’ season very well could be on the line when that game rolls around. Philadelphia plays Buffalo next, and this year that’s certainly no gimme. Regardless of the outcome of that game, you can bet a desperate Eagles team rolls into Washington in two weeks, so the Redskins had better be ready.

By  |  10:59 AM ET, 10/03/2011

 
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