As the natural high of RG3 and the Redskins’ strong performance in their victory starts to wane, just a bit, it’s time to focus on the next opponent. As is natural, it’s easy to overreact over one week of play. Are the Redskins for real? Did the Rams really start to turn things around and almost upset Detroit on the road? Well this week we will find out if these two teams were one week wonders, or if the rest of the NFL should really take these two teams seriously.
So how can our heroes come back to D.C. 2-0? What should Shanahan focus on for his second road trip in as many weeks? Here are the three keys to victory for the Redskins.
First, keep Griffin alive. By that, I mean, Mike and Kyle Shanahan should keep to the same game plan for the road trip. Keep it balanced. Don’t fall in love in RG3 as much as the rest of us have. Looking at the play calling, the Redskins called 37 pass plays and 34 rushes. It is easy to fall in love with a talent like RG3 in a passing league, but the Shanahans need to rebember that Robert is still a rookie, and they can’t overburden him too soon. Keep the pass plays, quick and simple. Keep him moving behind a suspect pass blocking line. These will keep Rg3 upright, away from injury and the offense moving.
Second, the front seven keep playing a team defensive game. The Rams aren’t nearly as lethal through the air as the Saints are. The entire front seven played a great game against the Saints on the ground. The Rams have a better run game than the Saints, so it should be a better test on how the defense plays against the run. Against the air attack, the front seven batted balls down, harassed Brees, knocking him to the ground seven times, and pressured him into more INT’s than you’re accustomed to seeing Brees throw. Solid front seven play should lead to a lot less points scored against a lessor opponent. The Redskins don’t need any singular player to stand out. Continue playing team defense, and they should be fine this week.
Third, keep the ground game going. If RG3 hadn’t started his Griffin-ing trend (Doing the Griffin), the heroes of the game might just well have been the running game that came out of our nation’s capital. It doesn’t help that Mike Shanahan runs his rushing attack as if to spite Fantasy Football owners. I’m sure less than 5% of the population outside of Redskin fans knew who Alfred Morris was before Monday morning. Shanahan should keep it going. Besides Terrell Davis, Shanahan has a history of mixing up the running game, but being able to develop backs. Keeping the running game also fits in with the first key, since it will take pressure off of RG3 and let him relax and do what he needs to do.
So there you have it: a quick hitting mobile passing game, a unified front seven that doesn’t need a star to shine, and a solid rushing game with whoever gets the ball out of the backfield. Those three things, and we are 2-0. What do you think? Did I miss a more important key to victory? Let us know what you think.
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