It looks like the Raiders will be going with back-up Matt Flynn this week (not fully confirmed yet), which should have the Redskins pass rush salivating. The Raiders offensive line is soft, and they made up for it given Terrelle Pryor’s size and speed. Now with Matt Flynn the Redskins should be able to generate more pressure and make some big plays in the backfield. Not only is it about getting sacks, but hopefully increased pressure will lead to a turnover or two. The Redskins should prepare for a short quick passing game to counteract the pass rush, but if they can cover that they should be fine.
It has been tough going for the Redskins rushing attack so far but that could change this week as the Raiders run defense is average at best, and could actually be much worse than expected. So far the Raiders have allowed just 4.1 yards per carry which is 18th in the league, and 325 rushing yards which is 17th best in the league.
The problem with that is the fact that it is so low do to the Jaguars gaining just 34 rushing yards on 19 carries. The Colts and the Broncos both went well over 100 yards on this defense, and neither of those teams has a running back as talented as Alfred Morris. Morris could be in line for a big day, and the team will hopefully be able to pile up the carries and get this ground game going.
Now Oakland does have a good pass rush to worry about, but if the Redskins can slow that down they should have a strong advantage in the secondary. This is a real stopgap unit for the Raiders made up of a mix of veteran guys or players on “prove it” contracts. Charles Woodson is still dangerous, but beyond that there isn’t much to worry about this week in the secondary.
The Skins receivers should be able to gain more separation which should allow for some bigger gains as the Redskins get back to hitting more of those intermediate routes that can lead to big yards after the catch. This could really help jump start their passing game, so they can get back to the things that worked for them last year, and they can get 300 yards without putting the ball in the air 50 times a game.
The Redskins offensive line has struggled both running the football and with the pass rush in the middle of their offensive line. Center Will Montgomery has struggled versus some big defensive tackles/nose tackles, while guards Kory Lichtensteiger and Chris Chester have each had their share of miscues. This should be the week where it all changes as the Raiders defensive tackles are one of the biggest weakness of this team (which is saying a lot).
The Raiders rotate the interior quite a bit, but the real threats on this line are Lamarr Houston and Jason Hunter, who typically are at end. The Raiders four man tackle rotation should be easily handled by the Redskins interior linemen, and if the Redskins can’t get the job done they have bigger issues. Another thing that has plagued the Redskins are inside linebacker blitzes, that is likely not to be a big threat as MLB Nick Roach isn’t much of a blitzer.
The Raiders in general haven’t blitzed their linebackers much this season, so this likely won’t be a big part of their game plan. If the Redskins interior line can hold up it will go a long way to making RGIII’s life that much easier.