Redskins’ new identity is grounds for celebration

WASHINGTON – Yes; we are grounded by past disappointment. But there are grounds for optimism about the Redskins because of what is happening on the ground.

Against the Dolphins in Week 1, Washington gained 161 yards rushing; they were even better in Sunday’s 24-10 win over the Rams, with 182 yards on the ground. Rookie Matt Jones, who ran for 123 yards, has joined Alfred Morris in the category of reliable running backs.

The Redskins are obviously embracing a new identity. New general manager Scott McCloughan and head coach Jay Gruden have talked about wanting to be a more physical team, and, while it might be early in the season, the team is responding to their words with action.

Remember, we called last week’s loss to the Dolphins a “boring” loss. It wasn’t a “Redskins can’t get out of their own way” kind of loss, like we have seen before – the kind that forces you to laugh to keep from crying. It was a “one or two plays away from victory” kind of loss. There was excitement even in that loss because the Redskins were clearly trying to establish themselves as a power-running team.

It is not sexy, but the Redskins are winning us over in the trenches. They are winning battles on the offensive and defensive lines. For the second straight week, the Redskins had a decisive advantage in time of possession. The offensive is moving the chains and the defense is frustrating opponents.

We are staying grounded, but this Redskins team might be about to take off.

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