Redskins Challenge: It’s time for the entire team to “Put up its Dukes”

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 24: The Washington Redskins defense celebrates after wide receiver Michael Crabtree
LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 24: The Washington Redskins defense celebrates after wide receiver Michael Crabtree /

If the Redskins are to upset the Seahawks on Sunday they’ll need a good overall team game, a few lucky breaks, and a dominating defensive effort.

Injuries are a part of the NFL. Perhaps no team in the league has dealt with them more than the Redskins this year. 21 of the 53 players on Washington’s roster are dealing with injuries. They’ve adopted the ‘next man up’ mantra, and despite inconsistent play, they had a chance to beat the Cowboys and even the Eagles.

There’s a chance they could upset Seattle on Sunday. Notice I only said ‘chance’. Albeit very slim, there’s a chance for the Redskins to win, nonetheless. When the schedule was released, the game in Seattle seemed as if it would be a definite loss. With the amount of injuries sustained by Washington, it’s fair to say that assessment won’t have changed in many minds. Nevertheless, there’s still a chance.

Although the Seahawks aren’t the same dominant team that they once were, they’re 5-2 and are favorites to win the NFC West. They recently acquired disgruntled Pro Bowl left tackle Duane Brown from Houston to shore up a patchwork offensive line that is still a glaring weakness, to a certain extant.

If the Redskins are to upset the Seahawks, I believe they’ll need to rely on the same formula that has made Seattle a perennial playoff contender. Defense, a strong running game, and solid play at quarterback. Jay Gruden should also have one of the best game plans of his career set up for today.

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The Redskins defense has been decimated at every level by injuries. Matt Ioannidis had surgery on a fractured hand and will miss the game, although he could return next week against the Vikings. Inside linebacker Mason Foster is on IR with a shoulder injury. The Redskins missed Foster’s play against the run last week as they were gashed by Cowboys on the ground.

Starting corners Bashaud Breeland and Josh Norman have both missed time due to injuries. With Norman missing games against the Eagles and 49ers and Breeland missed last week’s game against the Cowboys. It’s safe to say injuries have hit the team hard.

Fortunately for the Redskins the secondary is nearing full strength. Washington expects to have both their starting defensive backs against the Seahawks. The defense also hopes to get a boost with the return of veteran DeAngelo Hall. He should factor heavily into the rotation at safety and he could possibly start.

The running game for the Redskins has been wildly inconsistent. What’s even more frustrating is that they’ve had to abandon the run completely the past two weeks in order to catch up. With Jamison Crowder and Jordan Reed also out with injuries, running the ball should be a priority for Kirk Cousins and the offense. Right guard Brandon Scherff is on track to play against Seattle and he’ll have a big impact up front. The Seahawks are allowing 130 rushing yards per game at home and 4.6 yards per carry on the season. There’s an opportunity there.

Next: How the Redskins can win against the Seattle Seahawks

These are the games where the Redskins need their leaders to emerge. Whether it’s Kirk Cousins on offense or Josh Norman on defense, they need their best available players to up their game. So I challenge the entire team to put it’s best effort forward. It could be the difference between a 16-13 win or 45-10 loss.