The Washington Redskins will be facing off against the Detroit Lions tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m. ET, and the Redskins will look to avoid going into an 0-3 hole following losses to the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers this season. Here’s a look at five players to watch for on the Washington Redskins.
1. QB Robert Griffin III
The Detroit Lions secondary looks much-improved through two weeks, as the pass defense has picked off four passes to go with just two touchdowns allowed. That said, the quarterbacks they have faced to this point are Christian Ponder and Carson Palmer, and they have still allowed a below-average yards per attempt total this season. But for the Lions, that represents a marked improvement from last season’s issues in the secondary, and they will look to pick off Robert Griffin III twice (they are averaging two picks a game thus far) tomorrow as well.
Griffin’s had a rough sophomore campaign, but tomorrow’s contest could be a nice springboard for him if he can avoid the turnovers. If you look at his efficiency statistics, they’ve been pretty good overall. The Baylor product has averaged a solid 7.3 yards per attempt, and he’s completing roughly 63% of his passes. The three interceptions will need to come down, though, and it’s all about limiting turnovers when going up against the Lions defense.
2. FS Bacarri Rambo
Rookie safety Bacarri Rambo has been an incredible disappointment to this point, and he has been just as bad as the rest of this Redskins secondary. It’s fair to wonder if the Redskins secondary is the worst in the NFL, because they are blowing assignments and missing tackles with regularity. Rambo has been one of the worst offenders in all aspects with four missed tackles and a 158.3 QB Rating allowed, per the Pro Football Focus.
While Bacarri Rambo definitely isn’t the only player who will have to improve in this game, he is a big weak spot on the Washington Redskins defense. Rambo needs to improve big-time in all facets of the game, and we could see Matthew Stafford put together a masterful performance against this secondary.
3. RB Alfred Morris
Alfred Morris has been the second-best skill-position player on the Washington Redskins after Pierre Garcon this season, as Morris has an average of 6.1 yards per carry with a touchdown. If the Redskins want to win this game, they will need to assess their running game with Morris, and one advantage that they have on the Lions is the fact that they have a better running back. Morris has over 150 yards of rushing this season, and the Lions run defense has allowed 4.1 yards per carry. The Redskins have only given Morris the rock 25 times this season, and that average of 12.5 carries per game needs to increase tomorrow. I mean, the guy has averaged 76 yards per game with only that amount of carries, and he should be a significant factor in this Week 3 battle.
4. DT Barry Cofield
Barry Cofield looks like a man on a mission this season, and the Washington Redskins nose tackle has done a good job of doing the dirty work. While he is a better 4-3 DT than a 3-4 NT, Cofield looks more comfortable in that role this season and looks poised for a real bounce-back season. Cofield has done an excellent job of pushing the pocket, and he has three tackles this season to go with a quarterback hit. Going up against center Dominic Raiola and right guard Larry Warford, Cofield won’t have it easy, though, as the Detroit Lions interior OL has been fantastic this season. They don’t give up much ground in the running game, and they have also been impeccable in pass pro through two games. Can Cofield change that? He’s been arguably the best player on the Redskins defense so far this year, and that means two things: 1. the rest of the defense needs to step up and 2. he’s playing well.
5. WR Pierre Garcon
I can’t write this piece without fawning over what Pierre Garcon has been able to do this season, and he has been the best player on the Redskins so far this year. Garcon has 15 receptions for 207 yards this season, but he’s going to have to earn every one of those catches against Chris Houston, who is a very good cornerback in this league. Houston’s had a solid start to the season after the Lions wisely re-signed him, and I expect him to be matched up one-on-one on Garcon for almost the entirety of tomorrow afternoon’s game. Griffin should still have his eyes out for Garcon, who has 24 targets this season, because Garcon has an average of 13.8 yards per reception this year and could crack open the Lions defense with a big play. The Lions really need to worry about the threat of Garcon burning them, because he has terrific wheels, “shakes”, and all-around playmaking ability.
By the way, RG3 averages 8.6 yards per attempt when throwing it to Pierre Garcon.