The Washington Redskins face the Cleveland Browns today in Washington. The Redskins are 1-2 on the season coming up with a big 29-27 win over the NY Giants last week. They will look to keep that momentum going today.
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Battle to Watch: How the Redskins hand versatile Terrell Pryor. Will they have a shadow on Pryor? Who will it be? Pryor is one of the rare Browns’ offensive members that can produce chunks of yards.
Injury Watch: The Redskins are beat up in the secondary and on the offensive line. Redskins will be without Bashed Breeland and DeShaun Phillips in the secondary. Expect to see a lot of Quinton Dunbar. Dunbar made a critical interception last week. On the offensive line, starting LG Shawn Lauvao is out and 2015 draft pick Arie Kouandjio will make his first NFL start.
Keys to Watch: WR Jamison Crowder has become a top threat in the Redskins passing game. In the first three weeks of the season, Crowder has 16 receptions for 175 yards and 2 TD receptions. He is a deep threat and has great hands and speed. He certainly is showing no signs of a sophomore slump, after a solid rookie season last year. Another big watch for Redskins fans will be third round draft pick CB Kendall Fuller. Fuller will make his NFL debut today. After an excellent preseason, injuries tot he Redskins secondary have provided Fuller a huge opportunity to prove he is ready for a big load in the Redskins secondary.
Defensively Speaking: The Redskins run defense has been less than stellar. They have allowed 4.6 yards per carry. They have a big task today. Browns’ running back Isaiah Crowell has average 6.1 yards per carry this season, which will be a big test for the defensive front. As in years past, some of the run defense woes can be attributed to less than stellar tackling. The Redskins have to improve on wrapping up the run game on first contact.
Offensively Speaking: Isn’t it really about Kirk Cousins? Cousins has had three weeks. The Redskins need Cousins to get back to the accuracy he showed last season when he completed 70% of his passes. He also needs to eliminate forced throws that lead to turnovers. The Redskins running game must improve. Listen, many of us knew this was going to be an issue this season, after the departure of Alfred Morris. This is the week Matt Jones must excel. The Browns defense is allowing over 100 yards per game on the ground. Jones has 150 yards total on the ground through three weeks. That simply isn’t good enough. He has yet to rush for 100 yards. To take pressure off Cousins, the Redskins offensive line has to get push up front and allow Jones room to move.
Specially: Redskins’ kicker Dustin Hopkins earned accolades for a stellar performance last week. Last week, he was a perfect 5 for 5 in field goals. Ultimately, you do not want to see that, that just means the Redskins are having red zone issues, but at least they know they have a sure foot in Hopkins. He is a perfect 11 for 11 on the season and is the NFL’s leading scorer.
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