The Redskins will get back to work today, getting back together at Redskins Park for an 11:00 practice. This will be a light session as they have a week to get ready for their next game against the Saints next Monday night.
The main thing they will have to work on defensively is figuring out how to contain quarterback Drew Brees, Mike Thomas, and Alvin Kamara.
As far as the quarterback and his favorite target go, they will be studying some film from the Saints’ game against the Giants yesterday. Brees came into the game with a completion percentage of over 80 and gaining 8.4 yards per pass attempt. The Giants cooled him down, holding him to 57 percent completions and a very mortal 6.8 yards per attempt. Thomas had at least 10 receptions in each of the Saints’ first three games. The Giants held him to four catches for 47 yards.
When it comes to Kamara, they won’t learn much from yesterday. The second-year running back rolled for 134 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries. The Saints also get back Mark Ingram, who ran for over 1,100 yards and 12 touchdowns last year, after his four-game suspension. Going into the game the Redskins are giving up an average of 4.5 yards per carry, 23rdin the NFL. Rushing defense will be a big priority in Ashburn this week.
Just as important as preparing for their upcoming opponent is the need for the Redskins to work on some persistent issues that have popped up during their 2-1 start to the season. One is the aforementioned rushing defense. In the big picture, the defensive line usually gets the job done as designed but the linebackers, both inside and outside, are not always there to make the stop. They haven’t been burned by the rushing defense problems yet as the most rushing yards they have given up in a game is 104. But upcoming opponents will look at that 4.5 yards per carry average the Redskins are giving up and will test it.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Redskins need to get their wide receivers more involved in the offense. None of the three starters has double-digit receptions. The long receptions for Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson are 18 and 14 yards, respectively. Paul Richardson has receptions of 46 and 34 yards and the Redskins need to see more of that.
The other area the Redskins need to improve is not a matter of X’s and O’s or getting the players to execute those plays better. It’s about consistency. Their last time out, the Redskins beat the Packers, who are likely to finish the season with a winning record. The Saints probably will finish above .500 as well. Since Jay Gruden has been the Redskins’ head coach they have not won back-to-back games against teams that finished the season with a winning record. The lack of consistency has been maddening and costly. The Redskins inability to get a winning streak going prevents them from getting into legitimate, consistent playoff contention.
The same inconsistency prevented them from being 3-0 with the early command of the NFC East. Strong efforts against the Cardinals and Packers led to comfortable wins, but a flat performance against the Colts resulted into their only loss. If they can avoid games like the one against Indy they could exceed the expectations of many.
MORE REDSKINS NEW:
- Need to Know: 'Skins defense looking a lot like last year
- A Long Road: Redskins path to 10 wins
- Thirty and Thriving: Over-30 club getting crowded for 'Skins
- Redskins Bye Week: MVP, biggest surprise and disappointment