Here is a break down of the Redskins vs Raiders to see what team has an advantage at each position group:
-There are two things that will determine how big of an advantage this is for the Redskins. The first thing is; what Raiders quarterback will actually be taking the field. It it ends up being back-up Matt Flynn it definitely increases the advantage for the Redskins, but if Terrelle Pryor plays, his dual threat ability makes him a bigger weapon. Regardless of what quarterback suits up for the Raiders, the big determining factor is what Robert Griffin the III shows up for the Redskins. If it is the dynamic playmaker from last year, who rarely makes mistakes this is a huge advantage, but if it’s the quarterback from the past three weeks still getting comfortable the advantage is much smaller. Regardless though the Redskins have an advantage here.
-This actually may be closer than people think as running back Darren McFadden and fullback Marcel Resse are a pretty strong pair. McFadden hasn’t bust out yet, but he’s got the potential to be a big time play maker, both as a runner and receiver. Alfred Morris isn’t perhaps showing the consistency he showed last year, but he’s still busting some big runs that are keeping his average up and ensuring that he is viewed as a threat. Darrel Young and Roy Helu Jr. also add a good amount of value here.
-Now if Jordan Reed or Fred Davis were expected to play this would be an easy win for the Redskins, but without them the Raiders group could even things up. Logan Paulsen is solid, and Niles Paul has some potential, but the Raiders have a pair of rookie tight ends in Mychal Rivera and Nick Kasa to watch. Kasa hasn’t played too much, but had a lot of potential and looked good in preseason. He could bust out at any time. Rivera has been playing well for the Raiders and though he doesn’t have big numbers, a lot of that has to do with the Raiders not throwing the ball as much.
–Pierre Garcon is off to a great start this year and Santana Moss and Leonard Hankerson are producing pretty well, but this is closer than people think. Rod Streater and Denarius Moore are a pretty good starting pair, with Streater more of the possession guy and Moore the deep threat. Depth is a greater issue as the Raiders really only have Brice Butler and oft-injured Jacoby Ford, but it’s not as big of a deal because the Raiders don’t run a lot of three receiver sets. The Redskins definitely have the advantage here, but no one should discount the Raiders options.
-The Redskins may have the best all-around lineman in Trent Williams, but with the way their interior line is playing it’s tough to give them the nod. On paper this should be a Redskins advantage with Jared Veldheer out due to injury. The Raiders though are playing pretty solid as a unit, and their pick-up of RT Tony Pashos after the Redskins cut him has been a big boost to this line. The Redskins had the chance to keep Pashos, but decided to keep just three back-up offensive linemen who have 0 career starts between them over the veteran.
-I really hate comparing 4-3 and 3-4 defensive lines because they are so different fundamentally, but don’t have much of a choice here. While Barry Cofield has played at a high level this year, the rest of the Redskins defensive line has been pretty non-existent. Though 3-4 defensive linemen aren’t supposed to be playmakers, you still want to see them push the pocket and get off blocks from time-to-time, but we aren’t seeing that at all. The Raiders defensive line hasn’t been great, but it also hasn’t been awful. DE Lamarr Houston is there star and he’s playing really well this year. Opposite him is Jason Hunter who is having a solid season as well, especially as a run stopper. The middle of their line isn’t that great, but Vance Walker will give them some positive snaps.
-Similar to the defensive line comparison this isn’t an equal look, but even if the Raiders had a 4th guy it would be pretty tough for them to take the advantage from the Redskins here. No one on the Raiders is particularly standing out among their linebackers, and in fact they’ve been a bit of a liability. Though London Fletcher has been a bit of a liability in the Redskins defense, the rest of the unit has played well. Brian Orakpo has struggled some versus the run, but he leads the team in combined QB pressures and sacks. Ryan Kerrigan has been more of an all-around playmaker and has come up with a number of clutch plays, and leads the team with three sacks. Perry Riley has had some issues in coverage, but has been the Redskins best tackler this year.
-The Raiders may be without their good starting strong safety Tyvon Branch, but they still have an advantage here. Free Safety Charles Woodson is playing really well, and is doing a great job leading that secondary. Stop gap free agents signings Mike Jenkins and Tracy Porter are playing pretty solid football for the Raiders. They might not be stars, but they are not getting beat constantly. Depth is a concern as rookie D.J. Hayden has struggled, but this unit is still better than what the Redskins have fielded, if for no other reason than their superior tackling ability. The Redskins secondary has been a mess and it is still unclear what they are going to do about their other safety position opposite Brandon Meriweather.
-While it isn’t exactly hard to do the Raiders have a stronger return game than the Redskins, led by the always dangerous Jacoby Ford. Where they really get the advantage is with their kickers. Young punter Marquette King has a huge leg and is averaging 50 yards a punt. At times he’s out kicked his coverage and hasn’t always had the touch to pin teams deep, but he’s got the leg to change the field position advantage. The Redskins Sav Rocca just isn’t going to do that on a consistent basis. He had a good game versus Detroit, but his first two games weren’t that pretty. At kicker Sebastian Janikowski has already missed two field goals this year, but he’s been so good over the years that it is hard to believe that will be a trend. He’s also got the leg to kick it 50-60 yards without issue, and should be a touchback machine. Opposite him the Redskins will either go with Kai Forbath nursing a sore groin or the rookie John Potter. Either way it’s a big drop off for the Skins.