Now, if you say that Shanahan’s son Kyle might be the Redskins head coach someday, that is if he hasn’t been hired away by some other team, you’re not crazy. You’re just paying attention. Griffin and Cousins have won with two very different versions of the same offense in consecutive weeks.
Of course a five-game winning streak will temporarily distort all conclusions. The Redskins have beaten “just” four winning teams. But they’ve barely had a gift victory all year. The Eagles (4-10) are the only team they’ve played that has less than five wins.
The Redskins’ pass defense, 30th in yardage allowed, is enough to lose any game or, in the playoffs, end a season all by itself. But, that (big) weakness aside, they have some key pieces. Ryan Kerrigan is a disruptive outside linebacker. Brian Orakpo presumably will be back next year on the other edge. Isolate on Trent Williams, or watch any game of his on video: He has, apparently, matured and is now a formidable left tackle. Fred Davis should be back at tight end next year. And the offensive line can boast that it leads the NFL in rushing yardage.
Bad news bangs on the front door. Good news only taps on the back window. How many anticipated the swiftness with which the losing Capitals and Nationals would gain the best regular season records in their sports? But the Caps made the jump in a span of two seasons and the Nats did it in one.
These are the good days. No, nobody said, “Great days are here.” But, finally, we can wonder if they might be arriving. It’s a shock, but the best kind. Exactly a month ago, the Redskins coach himself said he would use the rest of the season to “evaluate” players. He meant . . . whatever he meant.
But he didn’t mean, “We’re going to win the next five games, 155-113.”
The Redskins are back — atop the NFC East, in a three-way tie, but with control of their destiny by the tiniest of tiebreaker margins. More important, their future looks better than Philadelphia or Dallas and roughly as good as the Giants. Silly nicknames such as RGIII and Captain Kirk are in the air.
That’s ridiculous. That’s exhilarating. That’s sports, where a bitter 20-year wait can be rewarded in one sweet month.
For previous columns by Thomas Boswell, visit washingtonpost.com/