Aug 19, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jonathan Dwyer (27) runs with the ball as Washington Redskins safety Bacarri Rambo (29) defends in the second quarter at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
The third preseason game is upon us today, as the Buffalo Bills come to town to face off against what should be the Rex Grossman led Washington Redskins.
While Kirk Cousins is still questionable, odds are he will not play in the game today, as he is still dealing with a Lisfranc injury. It’s unknown how long Cousins will be out, but if it’s anything like Le’Veon Ball’s Lisfranc injury, which he also sustained during the Redskins Steelers game, he could be out anywhere up to six weeks.
Hopefully with the progress Robert Griffin III reportedly has had so far, Kirk Cousins missing time (if any) will not hurt the Redskins as the schedule this season is not as forgiving as last years.
Even though Kirk Cousins and Robert Griffin III will not play, there are a lot of things to watch during the preseason game against the Buffalo Bills, as this is the last game starters will see time (minus a few who will need extra work).
Rex Grossman is more important than most might think right now. With Robert Griffin III still not cleared for week one, and Kirk Cousins return uncertain, Rex Grossman could be the starter week one, or even at some point in the season if Griffin gets injured and Cousins is still out.
Aug 19, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman (8) throws a pass during the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FedEX Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
While Rex hasn’t looked terrible this preseason, he still has made his typical “bad Rex” showings and will need to get away with that. As a starter in Washington, Grossman is 6-14, if he is asked to lead to start, he will need to show more than that, and it starts today.
There’s a huge battle brewing at Running Back, for the starter Alfred Morris, he doesn’t have much to show, but the others, such as Roy Helu and Evan Royster, they’ll need to prove they can perform against starting defense. The rookies Chris Thompson and Jawan Jamison will have to make the best out of their time on the field, but that might have to wait until next week against Tampa Bay.
The wide receivers have done well, but Leonard Hankerson needs to prove he can be consistent, until then, he might have a hard time arguing why he deserves more playing time, allowing a guy like Aldrick Robinson to see more time on the field.
Younger players like Briscoe and Williams will need to come out of their shell, as they’ve shown spurts of talent, yet have been unable to achieve it on the field.
Aug 19, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman (8) prepares to hand the ball off against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third quarter at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 24-13. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
The offensive line was rated as one of the best last season, but how much of that was due to a mobile Robert Griffin III? They showed signs of weakness against Pittsburgh last week. With an even slower less mobile quarterback in Grossman, will they be able to protect? Or show their true colors?
Defensively the team must work on their tackling, as that has been their major weakness all preseason. The failure to wrap up has been an issue, as players seem eager to make the highlight reel one-armed tackles.
Barry Cofield will be out, and as we saw against the Tennessee Titans, the defense was run all over. With Stephen Bowen’s presence that might not be exactly the same, but it’s time for someone to step up in Cofields absence.
The secondary is ideally the next major issue, as Brandon Meriweather is still unable to play and might not be seen this entire preseason. Theoretically the secondary hasn’t been terrible, but they haven’t been great either. Hopefully there will be some continuity formed as this is the last time they will be together as a unit on the field.
Today might prove to the Redskins whether they need to hope the NFL reinstate’s Tanard Jackson or not, as Meriweather’s knee doesn’t appear to be too promising so far.
Just about everything else will fall into place, but those are the major things to watch today, as these will be the positions that could define how the 2013 season plays out.
As always, no injuries are the true meaning of a win or loss during preseason, but it’d be nice to see the Redskins finish 2-0 at home during their preseason campaign.