Washington Redskins - 0-3
Oakland Raiders - 1-2
Redskins vs. Raiders. At this point of the season I doubt anyone would have guessed the Oakland Raiders would have a better record than the Washington Redskins, but that in fact is the reality. The Raiders 1-2 record is about what they may have expected, but the Redskins 0-3 record has this Sunday’s matchup with the Raiders considered a must win.
After struggling to gain some consistency on offense the first few weeks, the Redskins finally showed some signs of life against the Lions. Despite two turnovers, quarterback Robert Griffin III had his most consistent game of the season, and the offense began to look more like it did last season.
Although Griffin still appeared to be reluctant to run as much as he did last season, running back Alfred Morris picked up the slack with 73 yards rushing and a touchdown on 15 carries. The Raiders have been equally adept against run as well as the pass. So the Redskins will need to keep them off-balance with a good mixture of both.
Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor has been solid so far this season, and unlike RGIII he hasn’t hesitated to use his ability as a runner to attack defenses. However, the Raiders offense is not an up-tempo passing attack like what the Redskins have seen through the first three games.
The Raiders offense will look more like the Redskins, in that they will try to establish the running game first with Darren McFadden. They will mix in some designed runs for Pryor and some play-action to attack intermediate and deep a Redskins secondary that has been shaky to say the least.
Turnovers will be a determining factor too as they were costly in the Redskins tough lost to the Lions. I think they will apply the turnover lesson learned from last week, this week. Also, the Redskins will make it a priority to get off to a good start so they can get Alfred Morris going, and not have to abandon the run to come from behind passing.
Pryor may not play against the Redskins due to a consussion, so Matt Flynn may have to step in. Either way it won’t be as easy as some think it will, but the Redskins will win what should be a tough, close contest to notch their first win of the season heading into a bye week.
Score prediction: 24-20 Redskins
Points spread: Redskins - 3.5
Over/under: 43.5 – Over