WOW! Now these were the Redskins we had been thinking we’d be seeing all offseason! At least on offense. It’s one thing to beat a rudderless Raiders team–and the fact that the Bears were minus Jay Cutler for the bulk of the game isn’t lost on us–but to outscore Chicago 45-41 brought Burgundy and Gold Nation back from the depths a loss to Dallas can only create. We’re back, Babydoll! At least until the Redskins visit a Denver team that averages over 40 points a game…

RG3VER– Yes, you got that right. ALL CAPS. The face of the franchise threw for 298 yards and 2 touchdowns while rolling up 84 yards on the ground. I like how he’s stretching the field (over 16 yards per completion). Despite the fumble (recovered by the Skins’ Chris Chester) and interception…this is the closest Griffin’s been to his rookie year.

Morris has a Co-Star, and it’s not a Fantasy– Just like Bell was at its best when both Zak and Slater had major roles in episodes…the Redskins running game is at its high point when Alfred the Underused has help from Roy Helu Jr. providing the perfect change-up pitch for Morris’ fastball. And just as Morris rumbled for 95 yards on 19 carries…Helu added 41 yards and 3 touchdowns while notching a 5-yard reception. So does this make RG3 the Screech of this ground game? Hell no– he’s Mr. Belding.

Jordan Rules…with a Freddy Farewell– rookie tight end Jordan Reed took another huge step forward with 9 catches (on 9 targets) for 134 yards and a touchdown…with 4 of those catches coming on third down. Reed now has 26 receptions for the season while making Fred Davis all the more obsolete. Pro Football Talk tweeted as early as Monday afternoon that Davis was being shopped around by the team. Reed is a less-expensive version of Davis with fewer headaches.

Third and manageable– the Skins went 7 of 13 in moving the chains… and more importantly 5 of 6 inside Chicago territory. RG3 completed 6 of 11 passes, 5 of which resulted in a first down while getting sacked once. Alfred Morris gained 9 yards on a 3rd & 1 on the gamewinning drive on the other pivotal down. Yardage breakdown: 2-4 on short yardage, 3-3 on 3rd & 4-6 yards needed, and 2-6 on 3rd & 7+ yards needed. Just as important was the Skins defense getting off the field on 6 of 8 third down opportunities.

D Starts Strong Before Slipping– the much-maligned unit looked sharp in the first half: holding the Bears to 46 net yards on 17 plays. After intermission, the Bears had 6 possessions: 3 resulted in touchdowns, 2 resulted in field goal attempts (converting 1 for 2) while the other ended as the game expired. The Skins D coughed up 313 yards in the second half– and despite the pick six by Bryan Orakpo and two sacks there’s plenty of work ahead for this unit. Especially with safety Brandon Merriweather suspended two games and Reed Doughty a question mark for Denver with a concussion.

Focusing on the Flags– only five penalties were called against the Skins for 47 yards…a huge improvement over the Dallas game (12-104). Two were personal foul penalties against Brandon Merriweather–and the oft-injured safety now has to sit the next two weeks against the likes of Peyton Manning (career high 123.3 passer rating) and a rejuvenated Philip Rivers (career high 111.1 passer rating).

A Very Special Episode of Blossom– sadly this episode of special teams had another thorn in the form of an 81-yard punt return by Devin Hester. Granted, Hester is a likely future Hall of Famer…but after last week’s long returns and other issues–the longer this aspect of the game remains a scab other teams can pick on, the longer it’s going to take for the season to become truly healthy. I never got into “Blossom”, but always remember it being pitched as “comedy blended with drama”…and found it both unintentionally funny and filled with unwanted drama. Kind of like the Skins’ kicking game this fall.

Cobra Kai– Mr. Forbath connected on a 38-yard attempt to begin the game while making each of his 6 extra point attempts…NO MERCY!…but only 2 of his 8 kickoffs reached the endzone. While Zabka’s recent appearance on “How I Met Your Mother” connects as a kicker (the Bachelor Party Clown) yet doesn’t work in longer stretches (why he’s at Barney and Robin’s wedding playing poker is beyond me), Forbath’s accuracy is tempered by his lack of length on kickoffs. Sweep the leg…

Dissecting the Division– Dallas takes over first place with their win over Philadelphia and holds down the #4 seed in the NFC. The Eagles are in 9th in the NFC thanks to a better conference record than St. Louis. The Redskins remain in 13th while the NY Giants move into 15th after their Monday night win over Minnesota. Sadly, nobody’s technically eliminated yet–although Jacksonville and Tampa Bay are both making Detroit fans nervous in their respective pursuits of 0-16.

NFC Least– the Giants win improves the bunch to 10-17…one half game ahead of the AFC South (thank you Jacksonville). They’re a long ways away from catching the AFC West (19-8) though (let the record show as a division they’re 1-8 against the AFC West this fall with the only win belonging to the Skins). As far as conferences go, the AFC has a 20-15 edge after 7 weeks…