Well my first prediction for sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers is that you will not see anything that resembles the above photo. That’s because Chris Cooley is out with an injured finger. Now for a few less obvious predictions for Sunday . . .
I predict that Redskins running game will get back on track. After Ryan Torain ran all over the Rams in week 4 with 135 yards on 19 carries, I was a disappointed in the teams’ effort on the ground against Philadelphia last Sunday. I understand the team got in a hole early and felt the need to pass their way out of the deficit, but I predict this week that Kyle Shannahan eases John Beck into the game by establishing the running game early and calling a mixture of run plays for both Torain and Tim Hightower. Even with the shuffling across our offensive line, Carolina currently ranks 31st in the league against the run, and I predict the Redskins go after them early and expose the Panther’s biggest weakness on defense. With the ground and pound established early, I think John Beck becomes more comfortable as the game progresses and even throws for two scores, one to Fred Davis in the 1st half, and a 4th quarter touchdown pass to Terrance Austin to take the lead late in the game. Simply a gut feeling . . .
On the other side of the ball, I fully expect Jim Haslett to send a number of blitz packages at the Panther’s rookie quarterback Cam Newton, and I predict not 1 but 2 sacks on Sunday for rookie linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, yeah that’s right. Kerrigan goes up against an undrafted rookie Right Tackle for the Panthers, Bryon Bell out of New Mexico, who has replaced Pro-Bowl tackle Jeff Otah after Otah was placed on season ending IR this week with a knee injury. I’ll give Cam Newton his due, I’ll predict he has a decent game passing, perhaps hitting Steve Smith on a deep ball or two, and rushes for 1 touchdown as well, but like all other Panther’s games this season, Newton’s efforts and impressive stats will keep the game close but not produce a win. Game ends on a 4th and 8 on the Redskins 42 yard line, London Fletcher makes a tackle on Greg Olsen a yard short of the 1st down marker . . . Redskins win in Carolina 24-20.