The Washington Redskins bounced back nicely from their 43-19 Monday night loss to the New Orleans Saints to pick up a big win Sunday, a 23-17 victory over the Carolina Panthers.
Now comes the hard part.
The Redskins have been unable to perform well the week after a victory. In their past eight games following a win, the Redskins are 1-7.
Washington has not had losing streaks, but it hasn’t had winning streaks either.
The Redskins are 1-1 in their last two games, 2-2 in their last four and 3-3 in their last six, 5-5 in their last 10, and so on. It leads to a .500 team. Over their last 37 games, the Redskins are 18-18-1.
Head coach Jay Gruden is aware of the trend and realizes the team needs to play better in games following a win.
“Well, that’s what we’re trying to do,” he said. “We’ve been hovering around .500 the last three, four years here. That’s something we have to do. We have to be able to handle success equally as well as we handle adversity.
“Even after a big win, you have to work harder the next week. The better you are, the harder you got to work.”
The Redskins should not have trouble getting emotionally ready to play this weekend’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, which has been a rivalry game for some time. The Redskins were swept by the Cowboys last year.
“We know how important the Cowboys game is to fans in this area,” Gruden said,
Nonetheless, Gruden is aware of the trend of being unable to follow a win with a solid performance.
“Hopefully it doesn’t take us to get our teeth kicked in like it did on Monday (against the Saints) for us to pick up our tempo in our focus and preparation,” Gruden said. “For whatever reason we tend to have a flat game after a big win. That’s something we have to talk about.”
One thing that might help in the Redskins’ preparation is the similarity between Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.
“I think it’s very similar in what they do,” Gruden said. “They can hit you in the pocket, and they can get outside the pocket, and they have all the zone reads. It’s good we had some experience with that (on Sunday against Carolina).”
Newton was 27 of 40 for 275 yards, two touchdowns and one interception against Washington, and he also rushed for 43 yards.
–TE Vernon Davis had a season-high three receptions for 48 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. Despite his age, the 34-year-old Davis continues to be productive.
“He doesn’t slow down,” coach Jay Gruden said. “I think it’s his diet and work ethic. He takes great care of his body.”
–Cornerback Danny Johnson suffered a broken forearm in Sunday’s game, but coach Jay Gruden has not ruled him out for the next game against Dallas. Gruden said Johnson might be wear a cast and be ready to go.
–Guard Brandon Scherff aggravated an MCL in his knee on Sunday, but he returned to the game.
–Wide receiver Jamison Crowder suffered an ankle injury Sunday, and it is not clear whether he will play against Dallas. Coach Jay Gruden said Crowder won’t participate in practice Wednesday or Thursday, and he will be evaluated again on Friday.
–Wide receiver Paul Richardson continues to be bothered by shoulder and knee injuries, and it is the knee problems that is more of a concern. He has played in all five games and had three receptions for 31 yards on Sunday. Coach Jay Gruden said the team will need to monitor Richardson’s playing time and keep an eye on his health.