The Redskins are exactly where I thought they would be at this point in the season, it just so happens the games the won and lost were reversed. As they gear up for the Green Bay Packers, I feel they have a definite shot at taking this game. I am not guaranteeing anything, but the Packers are a team that can be beat. This game represents the kind of game that the Redskins tend to end up as underdog victors. Why do I feel like the Redskins have a shot? For starters the season is no longer in its “honeymoon phase” and teams are settling in to what they may look like down the stretch. Surprise teams may come back down to earth (i.e. Kansas City Chiefs) and teams that have struggled may be awakened from their sloth-like slumber (i.e. Dallas Cowboys). However the Redskins have resembled merely a mediocre team that has yet to reveal its true identity. I wrote a piece on NFL.com depicting the Redskins and their lack of identity, but how I believe it will manifest itself soon. They will show us one of three things: a.) that they can be a good team that competes b.) that they suck c.) that they are no more than mediocre and what we have seen all season just be just that – mediocre. Donovan McNabb said it best yesterday, he feels this team is lacking an identity, but will eventually be the team that they know it can be, from an offensive aspect.
“We, as an offense, are not comfortable with everything yet,” Moss said, per Mike Jones of TBD.com. “People look at it as, ‘OK, you got Donovan [McNabb], you got this new offense, but why aren’t we seeing more from the offense?’ Because we’re still learning. We’re still trying to get in that zone where we know everything from A to Z without having to think about it, and it takes time and the only way you can learn it is by playing. . . . Every week is a work in progress, like on the job training type of thing.” The Redskins will show themselves this weekend, and in one way or another it will be a strong effort. Statistically through four weeks of play the, here is how the
Redskins rank in the follow aspects of the game:
- Pass offense — 13th (230 yards/game)
- Rush offense — 19th (98 yards/game)
- Pass Defense — 31(305 yards/game)
- Rush Defense – 14th (101 yards/game)
The Redskins have scored three touchdowns through the air, three on the ground, and one via a turnover. Clearly they haven’t put any clinics on anyone, but in order to compete they must score. Last week the Redskins were 50% in red zone efficiency, whereas the Packers were 66% last week versus the Lions. The best defense the Redskins can play is a position point-output. Keep Aaron Rodgers off the field as much as possible is the key ingredient. On offense the Packers have scored eight touchdowns through the air and four on the ground.
The Packers, meanwhile, statistically stand:
- Pass offense — 14th (226 yards/game)
- Rush offense — 22th (94.5 yards/game)
- Pass Defense — 7(185 yards/game)
- Rush Defense – 24th (118.3 yards/game)
The Redskins will have a good team on their hands, but not one that completely out-classes them at this point in the season. Portis is out and Ryan Torain gets his first start. I expect the Redskins to use quick passes and runs to keep pressure off Donovan McNabb. Linebacker Clay Matthews is having a stellar season, but fellow linebacker Nick Barnett will miss the game and season to injury. This will be a big lift to the Redskins who are expecting their top pick, Trent Williams, to make his return. Ryan Torain will be put to the test in pass blocking as he is replacing Portis who was second to none in that category.
I think that if the defense can play physical on the Packer stud receivers, Donald Driver and Greg Jennings, and keep the passing game honest the Redskins have a great shot if they offense is clicking in all phases.
Like I said, they have a shot – let’s hope the take it.