The Redskins will be facing two of the NFL’s top performers from Week 1 when they host the Rams on Sunday. And you don’t have to take my word for how good they are as Aaron Donald and Tavon Austin were voted the NFC defensive and special teams players of the week, respectively, for their performances against the Rams.
Austin returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown. In doing so, he became the first player in NFL history to have punt returns of 70 yards or longer in each his first three NFL seasons.
Donald was a one-man wrecking crew against the Seahawks, recording two sacks and nine tackles. That’s coming from the defensive tackle spot, usually not a playmaking position.
Redskins rookie guard Brandon Scherff started off his NFL career with a battle against Ndamukong Suh, the high-priced Dolphins defensive tackle. He did pretty well, holding Suh to no sacks and just two tackles. Now he gets to try to handle Donald.
The entire punt coverage unit will need to try to handle Austin, who ran one back 78 yards for a touchdown against the Redskins last year. Perhaps the best strategy would be to have punter Tress Way simply boot the ball out of bounds rather than risk kicking to Austin.
Jarvis Landry, who ran a punt back 69 yards for the game-winning touchdown against the Redskins on Sunday, earned AFC special teams player of the week honors for that performance.