Sound familiar? The Redskins suddenly have the No. 5 total offense and No. 3 scoring offense in the NFL. Their multi-threat, 22-year-old quarterback has one fewer rushing touchdown than the league leader, Arian Foster.
It’s why an early season matchup against the Giants looms so large. If the Redskins find a way to beat New York for the third straight time, expectations would grow almost exponentially. And they should.
“I thought they’d be a better football team this year, around .500,” Casserly said by telephone Friday. “I saw Robert Griffin III giving them a real chance at quarterback. I saw the schedule.
“Looking at where they were, and who they were playing, now I’m not surprised if they’re better than 8-8 at the end of the year.”
As much praise as Casserly heaped on RGIII, he doubled for the Shanahans.
“As good as he has played, Mike Shanahan and Kyle Shanahan have been better,” he said. “I think the Shanahans have been brilliant, especially the game plans.
“Every throw last week he had was a simple throw. The scheme was perfect. They used the option. That’s coaching. That’s schematic. Shanahan said he was going to do this when he got Griffin and he has.”
The notion of climbing out of the NFC East cellar for the first time in four years is not a given. But Sunday, against a Giants team already 0-2 in the division, could go a long way toward bigger and better things.
“Philadelphia and Dallas can’t get out of their own way the first six games,” Casserly said. “I still say the Giants are the class of the division. It’s a very tough matchup for them, especially with their secondary.”
Just six games into his career, Griffin hasn’t had the time to compile a body of work like Michael Vick or, for that matter, Eli Manning, his counterpart Sunday. But he has put the Redskins in the conversation of NFL teams with incredible upside — perhaps 2012 postseason upside.
If he and the Redskins want to keep their names there, they find a way Sunday against the Giants — not merely a divisional rival, but a defending Super Bowl champion that took the if-you’re-in-it-you-can-win-it mantra to heart.
For Mike Wise’s previous columns, please visit washingtonpost.com/wise.