Redskins fans, I’m not going to bore you all with all the details of what’s at stake this Monday night. Our Washington Redskins have a great opportunity at hand. Having played the Eagles in the first game of the season gives the Redskins a distinct advantage. They know what to expect, and also how to handle what’s coming their way. Playing in Philly is never an easy task, especially with the aggressive diehard fans that represent this Eagles team. Fortunately for the Redskins, they’re only facing the players on the field and not fans in the stands. I believe the Kansas City crowd gave the Redskins a chance to prove they can block out the noise from the fans.
I’ve listened to all the ESPN and local sportscasters. As per usual, they’re not giving this Redskins team any chance to win. I say great! This team has proven to me that they relish the opportunity to prove their doubters wrong. It’s as if they take the words as a personal challenge instead of the head-hung-low, tail- between-the-legs mentality that used to surround this team. We all know when it comes to NFC East battles, you throw all stats and predictions aside and enjoy the competition. Both teams are coming off wins and both of them want to remain victorious come Monday night. This will be must see TV. This is where lots of Redskins fans want the team to be. The Redskins have a chance to get a leg up in our division and gain the respect that’s due to us as an organization. It also puts this division and league on notice that this is not the Redskins team of old; that we have a new attitude, demeanor and way about handling our business. The final score of the week 1 matchup doesn’t fully tell the story. There were missed opportunities to sack Wentz, broken coverage in the secondary and just plain ole bad play calling. I expect the Redskins to clean up all those mistakes, because even with them, the Redskins almost pulled of a victory.
The Redskins are limping into this game, yes I understand, but so are the Eagles. Key players are missing due to injuries across the board. So no one really truly has the advantage in that regard. Hopefully the pieces the Redskins have added will be sufficient and capable of handling their tasks. I have faith in the young guys or second stringers. Each replacement player has shown the ability to perform at a high level and be successful. Wentz and his scrambling abilities will be a concern, and I’m sure Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Manusky will prepare this defense to expect the unexpected. My confidence comes from the great job Manusky has done thus far with this defensive unit. The Redskins have competed strongly in every game played this 2017 season and have made big plays in key spots. The defense in my book is responsible for this whole team’s turn around in attitude and swagger.
The Redskins offense has shown good timing and trust in one another that hasn’t been the case in years past. On Inside the NFL this week they played sound bites of Kirk Cousins. If there was any doubt he’s evolved into the starting QB we desired, that’s all been put to rest. Cousins praised his offensive linemen for the extended time they gave him to make throws or scramble for a score himself. Commanding his unit like a true captain, Cousins yelled to one of the tight ends who was casually walking to the huddle, “Why are you walking?! We’ve got work still left to do!” Hearing that was pure ecstasy for me; seeing this QB develop into a leader right before my eyes. I’m more than comfortable with Cousins at this point in his young career. He’s proven to all that he has arrived and is only getting better as a QB and leader of the team.
Kell’s Keys to Victory:
The Redskins have to control the clock in this game and keep that high powered Philly offense on the sideline. Run the ball like never before. Head Coach Jay Gruden has proven that his word is gospel when it comes to the running game. The Redskins have to find ways to involve WR’s Jamison Crowder, Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson. Tight ends Vernon Davis and Jordan Reed will play a big part as well. The Eagles LB’s can’t maintain their coverage assignments with the speed and quickness the Redskins TE’s possess. The Redskins must finish drives and not settle for three-point field goals when they are in the red zone. The Eagles will be expecting the screen passes to Chris Thompson, so the Redskins coaches have to mix things up to catch the Eagles defense off guard. The Redskins have placed kicker Dustin Hopkins on IR for the time being and have signed Nick Rose as his replacement.
The Redskins defense has to produce as much pressure as humanly possible to disturb the timing and rhythm of Wentz and his receivers, which would allow the secondary who are a little beat up to maintain their assignments on each play. Provide the offense with short fields to work from. Last season D-lineman Ryan Kerrigan had the game of his life against this Eagles team, tearing the jersey off Wentz’s back. That’s exactly what we need – the type of pressure that causes mistakes. At the end of the day, that’s all we can hope for. Philly is a dangerous team once they get their rhythm going. The Redskins defense can’t allow that to happen. They have to keep the Eagles working, with Wentz moving trying to establish a new platform from which to pass the ball. Enjoy the game Redskins fans! You’ll get more of my thoughts on the other side of Monday Night Football.
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