Film Shows Lions Will Have to Use Pass Attack to Surpass a Red Hot Washington Team
Redskins Defense Relies Heavily on Pressure to Stop an Offense
The Redskins defense has been mediocre thus far this season. Washington’s defense is 28th in stopping the run and 15th in stopping the pass. A big reason this pass defense has been playing average is by creating pressure with star outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan. Outside of highly paid cornerback Josh Norman, the Redskins have been below average in coverage.
Amongst the safety and linebacker positions, the Redskins have played very poorly this season. Luckily, Kerrigan has been on fire and has been a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks. Much of the sacks and pressure Kerrigan has generated have come from his ability to utilize his power and bullrush through opposing linemen.
The good news for the Lions is their right tackle Riley Rieff has been playing great all season. Riley Rieff is an aggressive and mean lineman who specializes in using strength to stonewall opposing defensive players. If Riley Rieff can keep Kerrigan off Stafford, look for the Lions to attack downfield through the air.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has been amongst the top quarterbacks in the league this year with many debating on where exactly he falls in the top 10 conversation. This is a game where Stafford could really set himself apart from the other quarterbacks in the league. Stafford has been able to utilize both his arm and feet to get the job done. If this offensive line can give Stafford time, he has a good shot to lead this team to victory, even in a shootout.
Lions Secondary Looks to Take Advantage of Injured Washington Defense
The Redskins have been one of the hottest offenses in the league. A large part of this is due to quarterback Kirk Cousins leading the 4th best passing attack in the NFL. The Redskins have done a great job setting up Kirk for success with their play-calling.
Kirk Cousins has never made plays because of a strong arm. However, if Kirk is given time to throw, he has been able to throw some of the most accurate balls in the game. The Redskins know this and have utilized underneath routes to give Kirk shallower throws. Running this west coast styled offense allows the Redskins to play smart, efficient football. Kirk has been poised and accurate all season.
However, when he has taken shots downfield it has caused issues for the Redskins. Not only has Kirk been inaccurate deep, but he’s also thrown 4 of his 6 interceptions into middle to deep coverage. Another issue for Kirk has been in the red zone. He has made poor decisions leading to inaccurate throws, deflected passes, and two interceptions.
All of this was done with a different offense than what will take the field Sunday. Star tight end and favorite target Jordan Reed will be out against the Lions along with talented rookie wide receiver Josh Doctson. With leading wide receiver Desean Jackson listed as questionable, the Redskins may be in trouble against this Lions team coming off its best two defensive performances.
The Lions have been taken advantage of by tight ends all season. Jordan Reed being out is huge as he was set up for a career day. If the Lions are able to stop backup tight end Vernon Davis, the Redskins offense could be in for a slow day, lacking two of their best offensive players.
Prediction: Lions Defeat Redskins 28-20
The Lions offense has been electric recently thanks to Matthew Stafford playing at a top level. If this continues against a mediocre Redskins defense, the Lions have to like their chances. While this defense hasn’t performed well this year, the Redskins are without the one player that could have taken advantage of the this porous Lion’s defense in Jordan Reed. If Kirk Cousins is able to continue his hot start, the Lions will rely on Stafford to win the shootout against the Michigan native.