The Washington Times is a proud partner of the Washington Redskins. For more Washington Times coverage of the Redskins, visit WashingtonTimes.com.
A day after the Redskins' 20-17 victory over the Dallas Cowboys, Jonathan Allen still wasn't satisfied.
Their second-straight win put the Redskins a game-and-half ahead in the NFC East — and Washington did so with another impressive defensive performance and a solid rushing attack.
But, asked if the Redskins had gained confidence from recent performances, Allen answered, "yes and no."
"We feel as if these games should not be as close as they have been," Allen said. "I mean these are two great teams we've been playing, but we leave a lot of plays out there. That's what we really focus on: How can we take that next step to complete dominance that we want to get to?"
The Redskins are in a good position to maintain control of the NFC East — if they can sustain the type of defensive effort that fueled them to wins over the Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys.
And while Washington got off to a rocky start to the season, the schedule lightens up. Next Sunday, the Redskins face the New York Giants (1-5) and then go on to play the Atlanta Falcons (2-4) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3).
As of now, the Houston Texans (4-3) are the only team left on the Redskins' schedule with a record above .500.
That could change by the time Washington faces the Philadelphia Eagles, for instance, in December. But at the moment, the Redskins don't appear to have any Super Bowl contenders remaining the schedule.
"We definitely have the momentum, but we've got to continue it," Allen said. "Like I said [Sunday], it was a good steppingstone for where we want to go, but we have a lot of work to do as a defense and as a team."
The Redskins, too, have already found out what happens when there are lapses in preparation, or when they get too far ahead of themselves.
Their worst loss of the season — a 43-19 blowout to the New Orleans Saints in Week 5 — came after a bye week and a big win over the Green Bay Packers. The defeat even resulted in cornerback Josh Norman holding a player's only meeting with the rest of the secondary to sort through any issues.
Coach Jay Gruden, though, thinks his team has learned from its mistakes.
"The last couple of weeks they've been very good as far as the walk-throughs, the meeting time and then transferring [it] out to the practice field," Gruden said. "That's what it takes, week in and week out, because every week we're going to have a couple different play concepts, run concepts, coverages or blitzes, so you've got to be in tune. You've got to be sharp with your communication."
The Redskins say they're taking the Giants seriously.
"The moment you start, you start taking teams like the Giants for granted," Allen said. "What's their record, 1-5? Everyone assumes it's a trap game. … They have a lot of weapons. They just weren't able to close out games. That could have easily been us."
"You can't take any team for granted or look forward or look past any team."