Is there any chance that the Redskins will be able to beat the Saints on Sunday?Adam Schein, writing on NFL.com, makes a case that thatthere is no hope for the Redskins.I feel terrible for RobertGriffin III. He will never forget his NFL debut. The New Orleans Saints are going to crush Griffin and the Washington Redskins. This game was over months ago.. . .No team in the NFLneedsthe season to start as much as theSaints. They are hot. They are angry. Every single player, every single resident of the state believes they were wronged by Roger Goodell and the NFL with the "Bountygate" suspensions.. . .New Orleans is good and vastly superior to theRedskins.At the end, Schein says that Griffin is already 0-1.Before the game even starts? Really?I say, not so fast. Lets deal with this anger issue. Is the bounty punishment really going to make them play harder than they would otherwise in their season opener? And if it does, how far into the game can the anger motivation last? And will they get so mad that they will miss tackles trying to blow a runner up, jump offside because they are so keyed up, and make other errors of commission and omission because they want to stick it to Roger Goodell?It seems that the Vegas oddsmakers think that the Redskins have a chance. The Saints are favored by only seven points. If you count in three points for home field advantage that means that New Orleans would be favored by four points at a neutral site and by just one point in Washington. That hardly points to a vastly superior team.This doesnt mean Im going to go all crazy here and predict that the Redskins will win. But I do think that they have a chance to be competitive.The key will be their ability to survive the first quarter. If the Saints put up a couple of quick touchdowns and force the Redskins to become one-dimensionalin other words, if Griffin has to become a one-man showthe game could get ugly in the manner the Schein envisions. If they can come out and hang with the Saints for the first 20 to 30 minutes of play, the Superdome crowd will go from boisterous to nervous. Perhaps those silent counts wont be needed all game long.But even if everyone leaves the Superdome at halftime it is going to be tough for the Redskins to pull this one out. Maybe one day RG3 will be good enough to be mentioned alongside Drew Brees but that day wont be Sunday. At some point Griffin might communicate as well with his receivers as well as Brees does with his, but that will be some day months or a year or two from now.On Sunday, the Redskins will hang with the Saints for most of the game, Griffin will have his moments as the throws for 300 yards, and starting running back Alfred Morris will power his way for about 100 yards. But it wont be enough.Saints 31, Redskins 21
Here is what you need to know on this Monday, October 23, six days before the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field.
Today’s schedule: Redskins vs. Eagles, 8:30 pm, ESPN
—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 13
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 31
Final report on injures of note:
Out: CB Josh Norman (rib),
Questionable: OT Trent Williams (knee)CB Bashaud Breeland (knee), S Deshazor Everett (hamstring), RB Rob Kelley (ankle),
See the full injury report and analysis here
Final thoughts on Redskins vs Eagles
—The first time these teams met, both scored defensive touchdowns. Ryan Kerrigan got the first Redskins points on the board with a pick six of Carson Wentz in the second quarter. With a minute and a half left, Fletcher Cox wrapped up the game for his team with a 20-yard return of a very controversial fumble. The difference tonight could well be a defensive or special teams score.
—In that game, the Redskins never let the Eagles get any sort of running game going. The Eagles rushed for 54 yards, the second-lowest total for a Washington opponent this year. And they had 24 attempts (2.4 yards per) so it wasn’t as though they didn’t try. The Redskins could use another strong effort against the run this time as well.
—I examined third downs in the first look at this game a few days ago. Since then, this was bought to my attention.
Third downs could be a fatal flaw for the Redskins. The Eagles’ ability to convert third and long situations was a key to them being able to survive without much of a running game in the opener. The Redskins need to hold the Eagles to 40 percent or less on all third downs and to 25 percent or less on third and long. And they will have to do it without Josh Norman, their best defensive back.
—In the first meeting, the matchup of the Redskins’ offensive line and the Eagles’ defensive front went decidedly in Philly’s direction. Washington rushed for just 64 yards and Kirk Cousins was sacked four times. There were plenty of concerns about the line, especially RT Morgan Moses, who gave up two sacks, and RG Brandon Scherff, who gave up four total pressures. Those two and the unit as a whole have been better since that game. The Redskins’ front will need to win that battle this time around.
Prediction: A Week 7 game is not really a must-win when you have a winning record. There is a lot of season left to be played. But if the Redskins are going to take the next step and stay in the thick of things for the ideal playoff seeding, they need to take this one. This year in the NFL, just when everyone thinks they have things figured out something happens to flip the script. Everyone now figures that the Eagles are the best team in the NFC and perhaps the best in the NFL. They are ripe for an upset.
Redskins 24, Eagles 20
Season prediction record: 2-3
In case you missed it
- No Norman Against Eagles
- Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Eagles
- Plenty of factors weigh on Trent Williams' knee
- Week 7 Redskins-Eagles Preview: Monday night madness
PHILADELPHIA — Arguably the Redskins best player, all of the NFL knows that Trent Williams can still play at a high level while dealing with injury.
How long Williams can play though injury seems the more important question though as reports emerged the left tackle will need knee surgery at some point. That could come in the next few weeks, or as Redskins fans hope, perhaps at the end of the season.
Currently playing with a torn medial patella-femoral ligament in his right knee, the six-time Pro Bowler has not practiced since sustaining the injury three weeks ago in Kansas City. He was able to gut out a strong performance last week against the 49ers, and is expected to do the same Monday night against the Eagles.
One factor that might be pushing Williams to play with such a damaged right leg is that backup tackle Ty Nsekhe is also out after having surgery on his core muscles.
Nsekhe is expected back relatively soon, but the timeline remains murky. When he can come back, perhaps Williams will reconsider his options.
Surgery for the torn MPFL will leave Williams with a five or six-month recovery.
It's obvious the Redskins' offense is best with Williams on the field. Nsekhe, however, proved a capable backup last season when Williams served a four-game suspension.
Without Nsekhe, the Redskins would go to veteran T.J. Clemmings should Williams be unable to play. Nsekhe has not played since a Week 3 win over Oakland. The Redskins added Clemmings to the roster in early September, after their fourth preseason game. He spent the last two seasons with the Vikings.
For now, the Redskins will continue to hope Williams can play through the pain.
"Trent is a tough guy, so we will see how it works, see how feels tomorrow and go from there," Jay Gruden said of Williams on Saturday.
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