For the first time since Sept. 9, 2012, the Washington Redskins walked out of Week 1 victorious.
Besides ending an openingweek win drought of five seasons, the 24-6 win over the Arizona Cardinals marks the first time a Jay Gruden-led team has started 1-0 since he took over as head coach in 2014.
In cliche terms, it’s a monkey off Gruden’s back.
“Yeah, you guys put that monkey on there,” Gruden said to the media after the game. “You guys kept reminding me all week about the dang 0-4 start.”
Though the media played as constant reminder to the Redskins recent struggles in Week 1, it was clear that it was something on their mind throughout the week. A win to start the season won’t make or break a team’s year, but it does play a factor in building momentum and confidence for the roster.
During the week of practices leading up to Arizona, the team stressed one thing in particular to overturn its recent early season woes: a fast start.
"You know, we started slow last year,” safety D.J. Swearinger Sr. said. “Jay [Gruden] been preaching it all week, you know, starting fast, and I think we got a fast start today.”
The team did get a fast start indeed. With both sides of the ball playing well, the Redskins dominated the Cardinals for a larger portion of Sunday’s game, and showed just how talented the roster can be when it’s fully healthy.
“It was great, just shows what kind of team they built with us,” tight end Jordan Reed said. “You know, we just gotta keep grinding and stay on top of our bodies and stay healthy this season.”
Now, it’s about taking the positives and continuing to improve each and every day. Though this was a strong start to the 2018 campaign, the Redskins understand that one game does not dictate how the entire season will shake out. Consistency will.
So, while the team will enjoy the victory, this week, all focus will be shifted to Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts.
"We just got to stay consistent, you know, stay on the grind, man,” Swearinger said. “Don’t get too high don’t get too low, but just keep grinding.”