Redskins vs Bengals: Where Washington Can Find Success
1. Running the football:
-The Bengals have given up over 120 yards rushing in each of their first two games, and their assignment won’t get any easier having to face Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris. The Bengals do have strong defensive tackles so its best to attack them on the edges. The Redskins should be able to pick-up big chunks of yards running off tackle. Given that it may be a good game to get Roy Helu involved more to utilize his speed on the outside. This is definitely the type of game the Redskins should have 35+ carries.
2. Protecting Robert Griffin:
-The Bengals have failed to generate much of a pass rush this year so far, which bodes well for a Redskins offensive line that struggled against St.Louis to keep a clean pocket. Now Cincinnati is getting their top defensive end Carlos Dunlap back from injury, but he’s been out so long it’s hard to say how effective he’ll be. The Bengals are strong up the middle as Geno Atkins is one of the top emerging defensive tackles in the league. It will be crucial for the Redskins to stop him, but if they do Griffin should have time to throw the ball.
3. Passing off Play Action:
-The Bengals have bitten hard on play action passing this year (especially in the Ravens game) allowing for some big gains. Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta was able to run free on a number of plays, which could mean a big game for Fred Davis. The Bengals were better against the Browns in this area, but you could still see their linebackers and safeties biting on the run. Though it shouldn’t be a staple part of the Redskins offense, this could be a great game to run a couple play action plays to set up the deep ball. With little pressure on the quarterback, Griffin should have the time for these plays to develop, and the Bengals safety play has been very poor. If you can isolate a receiver on a safety that is a match-up the Redskins can exploit.
4. Getting Pressure on Andy Dalton:
-Now this obviously won’t be as easy without their top pass rusher, but the Redskins should still be able to generate some good pressure on Andy Dalton. The Bengals offensive line is pretty solid, but Andy Dalton is a bit notorious for holding on to the ball too long and not feeling the pressure well. Dalton has been sacked 10 times in the first two games, and he’s probably to blame for 3 or 4 of them. Both the Ravens and Browns found success with bringing guys up the middle, which is an area the Redskins need to attack as well. Pressure will be key, as Dalton will pick you apart if given any sort of time in the pocket.
5. Turnover Battle:
-So far the Redskins have done well in the turnover department, both in protecting the ball on offense and being opportunistic on defense. That should continue this week as well. The Bengals have only given up the ball three times in two weeks, but their defense has managed to only generate one turnover. The Redskins will need to win this battle if they want to win the game. Dalton can make some poor decisions when under pressure, so that will be key to forcing a couple turnovers.