The Bengals are about as familiar to playing a regular season game in FedEx Field as is RG3. It should be exciting to see what kind of show the second overall pick puts on after playing the best of a QB rich NFC East. This even though he has had to play in two road domes. Not an easy task for any quarterback, let alone a rookie. The big questions are more about the defensive side of the ball, since the offense seems to be clicking on all cylinders. So what are the three keys to this week’s victory?
1. Keep the Game on the Ground: RG3 continues to put up a great QB rating, but his best friend has been his rushing game. Along with Griffin’s athletic ability to get out of the pocket and make yards with his legs, the offensive line should be proud parents of the 4th best rushing attack in the NFL. As with last week, this keeps pressure off of the rookie and he can play within his game and not have to do too much.
2. The Secondary Needs to Step Up: It is no secret that the pass rush will take a hit for the remainder of the season with both Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker on IR. The Rams took advantage of this and carved up much of the secondary of the Redskins with Danny Amendola having a career day. DeAngelo Hall will have to come up with another big play this weekend, and Josh Wilson will need to continue to improve. Andy Dalton comes in with a talented receiving group that hasn’t looked great so far this year, but they can make a defense look silly if you let your guard down.
3. Positive Big Plays on Special Teams: Blocked punts are just as bad, if not worse than a typical turnover. Big plays on special teams put extra pressure on defenses and can change momentum faster than just about anything in a game where momentum and emotion ranks supreme. Last week a blocked punt lead to the game winning score by the Rams, and the Bengals anemic offense was bailed out by a punt return for a touchdown. The Redskins need to keep the special teams mental breakdowns behind them to make sure one doesn’t cost them a game this week.
What do you think? Did I miss a more important key to victory? Let us know what you think.