3 Keys to victory for Redskins Week 3 battle with Oakland Raiders
3. Generate a pass rush against Oakland’s tough offensive line
The Raiders have one of the better offensive lines in the league. Their one weak spot is at the right tackle position in Marshall Newhouse, but at all other positions they are close to elite. The interior of their line is particularly good, and the Redskins are going to have a tough time generating any pressure from within.
That said, the Redskins need to find a way to get their edge rushers to the quarterback. Ryan Kerrigan figures to have the better matchup if he faces off against Newhouse. Kerrigan has the unique combination of strength, motor, and athletic ability that can help him get into the backfield against any type of defender. Against the stout but less mobile Newhouse, he will have to use his strength to bounce off Newhouse early and then use his quickness to get around to Derek Carr.
On the other side, Preston Smith is going to see a good chunk of the snaps. Through two games, Smith has looked much better than he did early in 2016 and he has notched a couple of sacks. Smith’s game is based more off his lanky frame and athleticism, so he will need to use that to beat Donald Penn on the left. Penn may struggle if Smith can consistently get around him and wear him out, so that should be the gameplan for utilizing Smith.
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Elsewhere, Junior Galette and Ryan Anderson will be mixed in to spell the starters, but Galette will have a better chance of being a weapon. Anderson relies heavily on a relentless motor to succeed, which is great, but not against elite units. Galette is more athletic and has a more nuanced skill set from his years of experience in the NFL, so perhaps he will help find out a way to get to Carr when he is on the field.
If the Redskins can get this type of pressure on Carr early on, that will get him out of rhythm and really help their secondary out as they look to slow down the terrific passing offense.