3. WR Josh Doctson vs. CB Xavier Rhodes
This matchup is going to be one of the biggest tests of Josh Doctson’s young career. In recent weeks, Doctson’s chemistry with Cousins has been improving. Slowly but steadily, he is developing into the top wide-out on this team, and he may soon live up to his potential.
However, for Doctson to be able to be a bona fide No. 1 receiver at the NFL level, he’s going to have to beat top cornerbacks across the league. On Sunday, he is going to take on one of the league’s best. That is Vikings corner Xavier Rhodes.
Rhodes, a first round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, has developed into one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. He routinely shuts down opposing receivers and against the Redskins, he figures to matchup against Doctson a good deal of the time. Terrelle Pryor hasn’t become a strong outside threat yet while Jamison Crowder can be contained by Trae Waynes and Terence Newman. Because of this, Rhodes will have a chance to lock down Doctson.
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However, Doctson may look to have a big, breakout game that could establish himself as the top receiving option for the Skins. He started the year slowly and made many mistakes, including some key drops, but he does have the talent. And the Redskins will desperately need him to perform well this week. With Jordan Reed questionable and dealing with a hamstring injury, the Redskins need their receivers to show up. Vernon Davis can produce, but he too is a bit banged up.
If Doctson can beat Rhodes on a couple of occasions, then the Redskins will stand a chance of staying alive on offense. That’s all they need from him. But if Rhodes shuts him down, then the team’s passing game could struggle to move the ball against the strong Vikings defense.