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5 + 1: It’s ‘just win, baby’ in Oakland for the Redskins

Sep 28, 2013, 11:55 AM EDT


Five keys to Sunday’s Redskins-Raiders plus a prediction.

1. This game will be an Al Davis special—“Just win, baby”. Don’t look for many style points with the Redskins still searching for offensive consistency and struggling with some defensive fundamentals. They’ll probably have to settle for field goals far more often than most would like (all Redskins fans should drink to Kai Forbath’s health) and the defense could still bend and maybe break on occasion. A blowout win would be great for everyone’s morale going into the bye but a close, scuffling victory might just have to do.

2. If Terrelle Pryor is out and Matt Flynn is in for Oakland, the Redskins will be facing a backup quarterback as the starter for the other team for the fifth time since Mike Shanahan became the head coach. They are 2-2 in the previous four games. Both of the wins came last year against the Eagles’ Nick Foles. In 2011 they lost to Matt Moore of the Dolphins and in 2010 Jon Kitna led the Cowboys to a win over Washington. Perhaps that last one should have an asterisk since the Redskins started their backup Rex Grossman for that game.

3. Which Darren McFadden will the Redskins get? The one who averaged 6.8 yards per carry (19 carries, 129 yards) against the Jaguars? Or the one who averaged 2.8 a pop against the Colts (17 for 48) or a microscopic 0.8 (12 for 9) in Denver? McFadden has enough speed to pop a long run and boost his average substantially if the Redskins don’t solve their tackling woes quickly.

4. It’s hard to figure out what to make of the Raiders’ defense at this poing. They do have 10 sacks but they have yet to intercept a pass. They held the Colts to 274 total yards and the Jags to 248 before getting blasted for 536 yards against the Colts. You could look at their defensive numbers from last year and see that they ranked 18th in terms of yardage but they have turned over almost all of the starters from last year so that won’t tell you much about 2013. They look pretty active and aggressive and we’ll see about how Robert Griffin III and company can do against them.

5. And how well Griffin might play could depend on how well Alfred Morris runs. When the Redskins’ offense was rolling last year, Griffin throwing play-action passes after faking to Morris was a big part of it. An inconsistent running game this year has had ripple effects. The cure is 25 carries for Morris with him grinding out 4-6 yards each time he gets the ball. That will get the defense to cheat up and then we’ll see how ready Griffin really is.

Redskins 23, Raiders 14 

  1. hailyeah1 - Sep 28, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    Rich i tend to agree with the final score you posted .The whole game may not be pretty but our team should be able to beat Da Raiders !!!
    A big day by Morris helping Griffin to run the read option will get us time of possession keeping whoever Oakland starts at qb off the field.
    Keriggan and Orakpo should have a field day if its Flynn ,he is not as mobile as Pryor.
    it may come down to kicking wonder if mister automatic Forbath is healthy and if Rocca can get out of a mini slump ,his punts haven’t been nothing to write home about lately.

  2. polofourme - Sep 28, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    Block, tackle, receive and run…basics. If they cant do the basics then they wont win. Simple as that. And so far this season we haven’t shown we can do any of those key elemental things. I don’t like that we are traveling and losing a day of preparation. I don’t like it that Griffin will be playing on one of the worst fields in the NFL, half grass, half baseball diamond. We always seem to play down to our competition and this game reminds me to much of our games against StL This is a team I am sure every fan put in the win column..a walk over game. Turns out this game will either make or break this season..we are at 0-3…a horrendous start. But in a division where the winner could have an 8-8 record 0-3 not insurmountable. 0-4 and this season is over. Games we have to win, on the road, against a team we should beat…that’s what concerns me. We are capable of beating OAK no doubt about it in my mind. The question is will beat OAK and frankly, we are equally capable of losing this game. All I really want is for Griffin to get out OAK in one piece.

  3. rg3knees - Sep 28, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    It depends on who starts the game, which as of right now it could be Pryor, who knows? I like redskins chances as long as McFadden does not run for over 100 like Rich was talking about. Also McFadden can be tricky with screens and dump offs. He is capable of taking a short little pass into the flats and turning it into a big play. He sort of plays like Foster, so we will see what happens.

    Please anything but a painful 0-4.

    You ready for a bold prediction. Redskins give the Denver Broncos their first loss of the season 31 to 30 ~

  4. weneedanewcoach - Sep 28, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    I say this game will come down to how well our OL plays ( protecting RG3 and giving AM running lanes ) and if our front 7 can stop the run and put pressure on who ever starts at QB.


  5. rg3knees - Sep 29, 2013 at 12:26 AM

    Terrelle Pryor WILL Start on Sunday according to SF Gate Silver and Black.

    Which is not good news as far as I am concerned. Neither is the dirt field, the thousands of miles traveled to play there, and the the time difference. They are 3 hours behind EST, so I am glad this one starts at 4:30

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