3 Keys to victory for Redskins in Sunday’s Week 15 tilt with Cardinals
1. Find a way to contain Ricky Seals-Jones over the middle of the field
The Redskins are going to be down a couple of key players at safety and linebacker on Sunday afternoon. For the first time this season, Zach Brown is going to be missing a game due to a laundry list of injuries that have limited him in recent weeks. In addition to his absence, rookie safety Montae Nicholson will miss his fourth straight game due to a concussion.
Due to the absence of these two players and the injuries that have ravaged the depth at the linebacker position, there is reason for concern in regards to the middle of the field. Often, Nicholson and Brown have been tasked with covering tight ends working over the middle of the field while Kendall Fuller continues his stellar play out of the slot. While that trio hasn’t always worked perfectly, it has generally been effective.
With both Nicholson and Brown out, the Redskins are going to have to figure out a different way to cover Cardinals tight end Ricky Seals-Jones. The former college receiver has had a major impact on the Arizona offense in recent weeks and Blaine Gabbert loves throwing to him. The Redskins have to find a way to limit him, and that could involve shifting coverage responsibilities. Maybe even the aforementioned Swearinger will see more responsibility in helping patrol the middle of the field.
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At the end of the day, containing Seals-Jones will allow Washington to find some success on the defensive side of the ball. They have good matchups in many areas, but their major weakness is in the middle of the field. Expect Manusky to experiment with different coverages and if he can find something that works, he will employ it all day long.