Redskins 5 Keys to the Game Over the Chiefs
1. Protect the Football-
-Last week the Redskins didn’t turn the ball over, but this week could be a bit tougher. The Chiefs defense is very good and has been quite opportunistic this season. In a game with poor weather and likely poor field conditions, the Redskins can’t afford to give the Chiefs any freebies this week. The Redskins don’t have the offense to win a game big, especially against a tough defense. They have to be smart with the football and not force the ball in tough situations. Robert Griffin III also needs to watch being stripped of the ball. Either when he’s scrambling or being sacked, the Chiefs are going to try to get the ball out. This won’t be easy given the conditions and the Redskins track record, but if they can protect the football it will at least give the Redskins a chance to win this football game.
2. Establish the Run Early-
-Yes the Redskins had over a 100 rushing yards last week, but most of that came from RGIII and the Giants clearly had no fear of him being a real threat to their chances of winning. For the Redskins ground game to work, they need Alfred Morris to get going again. Hopefully fullback Darrel Young will be good to go and give Morris his lead blocker back. Even if it is slow going to start the Redskins need to continue to stick with Morris. He’s their number one weapon and like it or not the best chance of success for this team. In what looks like an ugly weather game, keeping the ball on the ground is the smart call and feeding Morris 25+ carries has to be the gameplan.
3. Slow Down Charles-
-Trying to stop Jammal Charles is next to impossible, but the Redskins need to at least try to slow him down. Despite their defensive woes, the Redskins have been able to hold some top backs in semi-check this season. It could be tough to do so this week though as Charles like LeSean McCoy can beat them on the ground and catching the ball out of the backfield. The Redskins can’t ever expect a linebacker alone (be it an inside or outside guy) to cover Charles. They are going to have to bracket him or put a safety on him to try to slow him down. The good news is the Redskins should be able to bring a safety up in the box as the Chiefs aren’t a team that will challenge you vertically in the air. The issue then becomes can that safety make the play and as we’ve seen with the Redskins safeties that shouldn’t be counted upon. If they can hold Charles to under 120 combined yards they should have a good chance to win this game, but if he’s terrorizing them for 150-200 combined yards, it’s going to be a long day.
4. Protect RGIII
-Griffin has been under heavy pressure the last few weeks taking multiple sacks in every game in this losing streak. These last two weeks the Giants and 49ers combined for over 10 sacks. That is just unacceptable. Now it’s not all on the offensive line as backs and tight ends have been responsible for some missed blocks and Griffin needs to do a far better job of getting the ball away. The Chiefs are without one of their impact pass rushers in Justin Houston, but they still have Tamba Hali to get after the quarterback. Their defensive line is also very active and capable of getting interior pressure (where the Redskins struggle the most). The Redskins can’t afford another 4+ sack performance this week by the Chiefs defense, and need to do whatever it takes to protect Griffin. Not only is it important if the Redskins want to win this game, but just to keep Griffin upright for the rest of this season.
5. Stop Making Stupid Mistakes-
-We are still seeing just way to many stupid mistakes by the Redskins as they try to execute plays. Whether it is running a poor route, dropping a pass, missing a blocking assignment, taking a bad angle on a tackle, missing a coverage assignment or perhaps the most prevelant one: committing a crucial penalty; the Redskins are playing sloppy football. The Redskins continually shoot themselves in the foot, and that is why they have yet to play 60 good minutes in a single game this year. The penalties are the most troubling because many of them are fixable, and just really stupid mistakes. The worst are the high number of personal foul penalties which are basically all avoidable. Stupid mistakes aren’t limited to the players though, as the coaching staff has made some really poor decisions lately, especially in regards to clock management. The Redskins have wasted too many timeouts, due to getting plays in late and getting everyone set. This should be basic stuff, especially for an offense that was together last season. The Redskins should also hide the red flag from Mike Shanahan after his embarrassing challenge call last week that wasted a crucial time out.