1. The Reality Is, Ron Rivera needs to get back to Riverboating.
Ron Rivera earned the nickname Riverboat Ron for the way he aggressively handled game-management in his time in Carolina. Early last season in Washington, he was whatever the opposite of a riverboat gambler is. He was conservative to a fault. He was slow and hesitant in a variety of ways in decision-making. He got a bit more aggressive later in the season, but still wasn’t living up to the Riverboat moniker.
Sunday’s game sets up an opportunity for Rivera to get back to his roots. Washington should take the action to Los Angeles in their play calling and game management. Brandon Staley is a new head coach, but he comes from the Sean McVay tree and will likely be a very aggressive decision-maker on the other sideline, and if Rivera is overly cautious, he may allow Washington to find themselves in an early hole.
Prediction: Look for Riverboat Ron to make limited appearances this week. The offense will likely take their fair share of shots, but the defense may tend more toward “bend don’t break” than I’d prefer.
In the end, I do expect Washington to do just enough to start their season off with a win. We’ll see more Fitzmagic than Fitztragic on Sunday, Antonio Gibson will have a big day, and the defense will do just enough. Hopkins wins the game on a 47-yarder late in the 4th quarter to finish off the scoring and Washington wins 24-19.