This week, Clinton Portis will run against a defense that yielded 146 rushing yards (7.3 YPC) against Tampa Bay last week. The Redskins will have to look to equal, or better that, to give themselves a good opportunity to win the game this weekend.
It won’t be easy for Washington, considering that after last week’s offensive performance, its safe to assume that opposing teams are going to make the Redskins beat them in the air and stack the box. Portis will likely see eight and nine man fronts until the Redskins can establish some sort of rhythm in the passing game.
The offensive line play will have to improve considerably. Obviously they can’t block everyone, but they will have to do an effective job of completing their assignments to open up at least small holes for CP early on.
If the Redskins are truly going to go with a ground game, then they also need to give Clinton the ball more on first down. You can’t pound the ball down a team’s throat if you’re throwing an incompletion on first down, and then only having two cracks at ten yards on the ground. The Redskins were 3 for 13 on third downs last week, and that will need to improve drastically if they are going to win on Sunday. They can help themselves drastically by creating more short yardage third down situations.
The Redskins put up 125 passing yards last week – when they threw the ball a lot trying to catch up down the stretch – that isn’t very good. It’s not very likely that the passing game will magically come together in a week, so it would seem prudent to at least think about using your best offensive weapon until it does. The Redskins aren’t going to beat anybody putting up 51 total net yards in a half, like they did last week.
It may not be typical of a West Coast Offense, but the WCO needs rhythm, and the Redskins best chance to establish some in my opinion, is to give the ball to their horse early, pound the rock a little bit, and take advantage of the pumped up home crowd.
I say, Run CP! Run!
Don’t forget to check out THN’s Redskins Game Day Preview every week.
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