Comedian Ray Stevens released a song in 1974 called “The Streak” that for some  miraculous reason went #1…and stayed there for three weeks.  While a hit single is often a calculated recipe…  novelty hit reaching #1 is often unexplainable.  Unlike late-season hits of recent Redskin vintage (2005 and 2007)…this is no novelty hit.  The Burgundy and gold have won 5 straight to go from worst to first in the NFC East– and the 38-21 victory over Cleveland put the team in the driver’s seat (“Drivers Seat”– a great track by Sniff’n’the Tears peaked at #15 years later).  They face a rapidly falling Philadelphia before the always imploding Dallas over the next two weeks.  Are you feeling lucky?

RG3ver– #10 sat out Sunday’s game with the sprained knee ligament…but he didn’t escape unscathed.  The rookie showed up for his postgame press conference wearing Adidas gear…and the NFL is a Nike league.  Griffin gets fined $10,000.  I can only imagine what wearing white pants after Labor Day gets you.

Cousins! Incredible Cousins, yes indeed…or The Backup Steps Up– the “other” other rookie (because Alfred Morris is technically the “other” rookie on this team) completed 26 of 37 passes (25-31 after starting 1-for-6) for 2 touchdowns to Leonard Hankerson.  One was a 54 yard bomb that flipped the script after the Skins had gained 2 yards on 12 plays from scrimmage…the other was a bootleg pass on 3rd and goal from the 2 that gave the team a double-digit lead they’d maintain for the rest of the game.

Triplets Deliver– the wide receiver trio shined Sunday with  Pierre Garcon leading the team with 6 catches for 65 yards… Josh Morgan adding 4 grabs for 60 yards and Santana Moss delivering from the slot (5-57).  Add in Hankerson’s heroics (2-58 with 2 TD’s) and there’s one

Mr. Morris– the rookie gains 87 yards on 27 carries while scoring two touchdowns…but was much more of a factor after halftime (18-69 with both scores coming after intermission).  I’m going to dial up Zac’s performance in “The Sprain” episode:  after spending half the show trying to compete for Kelly, our hero decides to go to the dance with Jessie as the “Powerhouse Preppies”– and although their dance is sharp, they get upstaged by an injury (Lisa Turtle’s sprained ankle equals RG3’s knee) and the solution (Cousins performance equals Screech and Lisa dancing “The Sprain”).

Third Down a Tale of Two Halves– After converting just  1 of 7 third downs in the first half, adjustments and momentum helped the Skins move the chains 6 of 8 times after intermission.  Cousins after getting sacked and picked off in the first half, completes 7 of 7 (an incompletion was nullified due to a penalty) to fuel a 28 point second half.  Distance breakdown:  3rd & 1-3 yards: 2-2 plus a first down by penalty…3rd & 4-6 yards: 3-5…3rd& 7+: 2-8 with an INT.

D grading better every week– serious lockdown mode after halftime:  interception, 3 & out, stop on 4th down, interception.  When not stopping the run (58 yards allowed on 15 carries) the pass rush sacked Brandon Weeden twice.  As this team is constructed, the defense doesn’t need to win games per se, they just can’t lose them.  And for the last five weeks they’ve done just enough in a league where sometimes just enough is just enough.

London Calling…with Jackson answering– the Fabulous Mr. Fletcher tallies ten tackles and an interception… while Rob Jackson’s INT on the Browns’ first possession set up the go-ahead TD.  Jackson also notched one of the Skins’ two sacks of the day.

Dissecting the Division– the Skins win puts them atop the NFC East as they own a better division record than the Cowboys and Giants.  Dallas  takes second place for the moment because of a better division record than the Giants.  And Philadelphia officially clinches last place with their loss to Cincinnati–ending the Redskins four-year reign in the division cellar.  

West is Best…and Worst– a 3-1 week puts the NFC West back atop the division scramble… 30-24-2 a replacement ref ruling better than the NFC North’s 30-26.  The Rams’ quest for history (no team has gone unbeaten inside its division yet miss the playoffs)  continues.  Meanwhile the AFC West ranks 8th at 22-30.  The closing gap in the conference contest?  The NFC went 8-1 over the last two weeks to lock things up… taking a 36-24 advantage with four games remaining.  The pendulum effectively swings back to the senior conference after a decade of domination by the upstarts.