Week 14 at Los Angeles Chargers
As surprising as this may have seemed just a few weeks ago, this appears to be the most difficult game remaining on the Washington schedule. The Chargers have gotten hot since starting the season with four straight losses. In their past seven games, they are 5-2 and their last two wins have been impressive. They shut down Prescott and the Cowboys on Thanksgiving and they intercepted Nate Peterman five times in the first half of their victory against Buffalo. They are a playoff dark horse and will be looking for a win in Week 14.
The real reason that the Chargers have improved is because of their defense. Their defensive front has looked absolutely terrific this year. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram have been a stellar pass rushing duo while Corey Liuget has played very well as an inside guy. Additionally, their secondary has seen great play from top corner Casey Hayward. He has four picks this year and has generally locked down top receivers.
To beat the Chargers defense, the Redskins are going to have to establish the running game early on. Samaje Perine will have to continue his recent success so that the strong pass rushers are rendered ineffective. Kirk Cousins is the best play action passer in the NFL, but he can’t take advantage of that if there is no running game. If they do have one, Bosa and Ingram won’t be able to be as aggressive off the snap and that could give Cousins just enough time to complete downfield passes.
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On the defensive side of the ball for the Redskins, the focus has to be on stopping Keenan Allen. Philip Rivers’ top weapon has been on fire lately which has allowed the passing offense to take off as well. Allen is definitely the key to the passing attack, so Washington may want to consider having Josh Norman shadow him to try and limit him.
Additionally, the Redskins need to be ready to slow down Melvin Gordon. The Chargers lead back is going through a tougher stretch right now, but the Skins still need to make sure that they plug gaps with their big defensive linemen. Stacy McGee is coming off a very strong game, so he would be the main guy to accomplish that.
At the end of the day, this is going to be a tough game. It’s a west coast trip to face a hot team on the road. This contest will most likely be a loss for the Redskins, just because they don’t matchup particularly well with the Chargers defense. Especially if their offensive line is still banged up come Week 14.