Redskins vs. Lions – Five Keys to the Game

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Aug 13, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions running back Ameer Abdullah (21) evades a tackle from New York Jets free safety Calvin Pryor (25) during the first quarter of a preseason NFL football game at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Redskins take on the Detroit Lions in the second preseason game of 2015 on Thursday night.  They’ve already notched one win this preseason last week over the Browns.  So while it’s not imperative that they win this game, there are still some things that the Redskins need to work on.

1. Control Lions running game

The Detroit Lions were not one of the top running teams in the league last season.  In fact, they were ranked near the bottom of the league at 28th in rushing.  However, even though their passing game will remain the focus of their offense, I think they’ve taken steps to try to improve their run game.

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For one thing they used a high round draft pick on a running back.  They took Ameer Abdullah in the second round to add some quickness and play making ability out of the backfield.  Abdullah made his presence felt in week one of the preseason with a 67 yards rushing on seven carries, including a 45 yard run.

The Redskins know they need to improve against the run this season, so they’ll need to try to keep Ameer Abdullah in check.  Joique Bell is still coming back from an injury, so Abdullah will more than likely continue to get a good share of carries for the Lions.

Coming into this game we know the Lions will try to pass the football but they still want to try to establish the run and if the Redskins can keep Abdullah in check and win the battle of the trenches, then putting the Lions in second and third and longs will assist them in defending the pass.

Next: 2. Win the turnover Battle