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Posted at 01:03 PM ET, 08/26/2011

It’s only the preseason, but so far, so good for the Redskins

(John McDonnell - The Washington Post)
Last night’s game against the Ravens marked the true test of this early year of football for the Redskins. All the bells and whistles that go along with a regular-season game are attached to the third preseason game.

So for the Redskins to have landed Baltimore, one of the most balanced teams in the league, the game gave us a true sense of where Washington stands. I was shocked at the results.

Imagine a successful running game against the Ravens defense. It's unheard of, but it happened last night. What about stopping the running game and slowing Joe Flacco and Ray Rice down? It happened.

Baltimore eventually settled in and made a game of it to steal a late win, but I would not have expected to be writing about how the mighty Ravens were getting punched in the mouth and had to battle back.

I can't imagine that the Ravens are just behind in getting ready for the season — not in the third preseason game — and I don't think we can say that that the Ravens are a team on the decline. So I'm left to believe that this year’s Redskins may be the real deal.

Washington’s first units didn’t just do well, they dominated the Ravens last night.

Again, it is still the preseason and the true story will be told once the games count. But I have to admit, this is as impressive a preseason campaign as I've seen in the Dan Snyder era. I can't believe I'm saying this, but the Redskins could be a legitimate contender this year.

Pats on the back for this team for believing in each other; that's the only way things change. I started off cold on Coach Mike Shanahan's decisions, but he is slowly thawing me out.

Now the Redskins have the challenge of staying healthy, being consistent and figuring out who will be on the 53-man roster.

You can leave your comments here and chat with me on Twitter @LaVarArrington

By  |  01:03 PM ET, 08/26/2011

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