It is Redskins Game Day. The Washington Redskins are in control of the final Wild Card playoff spot. They just have to take care of business. It starts today in Arizona. Washington will take their high-powered offense into Arizona and turn to their suspect defense to hold the Cardinals back.
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Controlling David Johnson
A big key to success for he Washington Redskins will be controlling Cardinals’ RB David Johnson. Washington has not been that impressive in stopping the run, ranking 25th on the NFL in run defense. The Redskins allow an average of 116.7 yards on the ground per game. Meanwhile, David Johnson is third overall in the NFL with 921 yards on the season, averaging 4.4 yards per carry. Word out of the Redskins is that rookie LB S’ua Cravens will be utilized in a spy role on Johnson. The fact the Redskins are relying on Cravens shows the confidence the defensive staff has in the second round draft pick. Controlling Johnson and not allowing the big run may very well be a huge key for the Redskins win. The Redskins have to tighten up the line of scrimmage. It is that simple.
Getting Back to the Run
Washington need to rebalance the offense a bit. It is OK to throw for 449 yards, but not if you don’t win. The Redskins need to give Robert Kelley the football. Since becoming starter on Week 8, Kelley had his lowest carriers, just 14, last week against Dallas. Although the Redskins offensive line is a bit banged up, the Redskins need to give Kelley the ball between 20 and 25 times today. Kelley has produced higher yards int he second half and tends to run more effectively as the game progresses. The Redskins have the second ranked offense in the NFL. That’s a good thing. Kelley has tone an integral part of the play calling today.
Rattling Carson Palmer
The Redskins defensive front has to get pressure on Palmer. Ryan Kerrigan is a primary suspect to land a sack or two today. He has nine sacks on the season and has recorded a sack in back to back games and has seven sacks in the last seven games. A little bit of Kerrigan today is needed. If he does record a sack, he joins four former redskins to have multiple 10 sack seasons. Redskins also need push inside. Palmer can be forced into mistakes. They need to pressure those mistakes today. The positive thing for today is the Redskins defensive front is facing a very suspect offensive line in Arizona. Palmer has been sacked 16 times in the last four games. That is a correct stat. The Redskins defensive line has an opportunistic situation facing them. Preston Smith and Trent Murphy could be in for big days today.
Jordan Reed is Out on Redskins Game Day
The Redskins will look to Vernon Davis and Derek Carrier to replace Reed in the offense. Davis has proven to be worthy of the task with his ability to make big catches. If you have Vernon Davis on your fantasy team, this maybe a great week to play him. Redskins throw to the tight end more than most teams and with Reed out, I don’t believe that changes.
Norman versus Fitzgerald
Larry Fitzgerald is still the big threat in the Cardinals pass offense. Josh Norman will likely be lined ups with Fitzgerald often. Norman is having a really strong season. He has a big task today. Let’s hope that he limits the hands to face personal fouls. They are too costly.
Riding Kirk Cousins Arm
The Redskins pass offense has really been an incredible development this season. Cousins is second in the NFL in passing yards wth 3,540 yards on the season. He is also 4th overall in completion percentage with 68.4%. He has bene over 70% the last few weeks. The big deal heroes that Arizona’s defense is second overall in pass defense, allowing just 195yards passing per game. It is a big matchup for Cousins. The Arizona secondary was torched for 269 yards and 2 Tds by Matt Ryan last week. Cousins has an opportunity to put bigger numbers today. A key match up to watch will be DeSean Jackson and Patrick Petersen.
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