After a stirring win, there’s reason for the Redskins — and fans — to hope

WASHINGTON — It was almost goodbye to the season for the Redskins, but heading into the bye week there are now reasons for anxiety and optimism.

The Redskins erased a 24-point deficit in a 31-30 win over the Buccaneers. It was the largest comeback in Redskins history and it was also a relief to learn that I was not wrong about this team.

After the loss to the Jets last week, including a bad game from Kirk Cousins, I preached patience and understanding. I believed the Redskins, and specifically Cousins, had already demonstrated they had the talent and resolve to be better.

In the first half on Sunday, I had egg on my face. At home in what was billed as their “code red” game, the Redskins were losing in the first half to the Buccaneers, 24-0. Could I have missed the mark that badly? At the very least, I was under the impression that this Redskins team was worth watching.

Fortunately my faith was restored in the second half. The Redskins came through with a successful onside kick, a goal-line defensive stand that prevented a touchdown and a masterfully engineered game-winning drive, punctuated by Cousins’ six-yard scoring strike to Jordan Reed.

As head coach Jay Gruden said, the Redskins didn’t blink while dealing with adversity. But they’d better keep their eyes open: After the bye week, the New England Patriots are the opposition. The improving Saints, undefeated Panthers and division-leading Giants follow on the schedule for the Redskins.

Like the team, we won’t blink, and we’ll keep our eyes open. The next four games will shape whether or not the Redskins can become a playoff team. For now, they are clearly worth watching, and that by itself is a sign of progress.

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