Welcome back to The B&G Report. In a year in which the NFC is the better division, making the playoffs was never an easy feet for the injury riddled Redskins. Winning out doesn’t ensure the Skins a shot at the playoffs, but it keeps them mathematically alive. Some Skins fans would rather the Skins lose out, in order to have a better draft slot. I for one would like to see the Skins win out for their confidence going forward and to set a precedence for the future. Who am I kidding, I’d prefer a better draft pick, but I won’t cheer for my team to lose! So developing other players will be important. The KirkCousins situation looms, as well as bringing back key free agents such as Zach Brown. Today we focus on beating the Chargers in L.A though. I’ll go through some key matchups to keep an eye on, as well as a few keys to victory. Let’s get started!
Redskins DB’s vs Keenan Allen
Chargers WR Keenan Allen is having a Pro Bowl season, already tallying 1,032 receiving yards for 5 TD’s. Bashaud Breeland has actually been playing better than Josh Norman as of late. That has more to do with Norman still dealing with lingering effects from his early season rib injury, in my humble opinion. So a dual effort from the Skins corners, with be imperative to stopping the Charges offensive from being productive.
Kerrigan/P.Smith vs Phillip Rivers
Charges All Pro QB Phillip Rivers has put up numbers mirroring Kirk’s stats, but the difference is L.A’s run game. Chargers running back Melvin Gordon has put up 775 yardsrushing with another 303 receiving yards, amassing 9 total TD’s. So to date Allen & Gordon have made up the bulk of the production for the Charges offense. Rivers has a knack for spreading the ball around though. Other than the duo previously mentioned, three other pass catchers have at least 440 yards receiving yards for the season. The Chargers don’t boast a great Offensive Line, but Rivers gets the ball out quickly. Kerrigan & Smith will need to get off their blocks quicker in order to rattle the All Pro. Kerrigan has been inconsistent, but always seems to make at least one impactful play a game. It’s been too long since Kerrigan has had one of his patented tip ball interceptions, for a run back TD. I’m looking for that drought to end today. As for Preston Smith, his impact has been limited ever since his line neighbor Rookie John Allen went to IR. Allen frequently took up double teams, in order to provide Preston with lanes to the QB. The good news is Allen’s partner in crime Matt Ioannidis will not being wearing the cast today. The Temple Bruiser will attempt to play without the cast for the first time, since breaking bones in his hand a few weeks ago. All this could amount to a better pass rush and less damage inflicted in the run game. Players like Anthony Lanier, Junior Galette and Ryan Anderson will also need to get involved. In the end a 4 sack/2 turnover performance from the Skins Defense, should be enough to stifle the Chargers offense.
Perine vs the Chargers Defense
The Chargers currently rank 26th in the NFL vs the run, giving up an average 93.2 yards on the ground. Word is Trent Willams will be active, so the game plan needs to be to establish the run early and run behind the “The Silverback“. Setting up the run early will lead to play action opportunities for Kirk Cousins. Perine has shown steady growth each week, but he just needs to continue to fight for extra yards and play more savage.
Kirk Cousins vs Joey Bosa & Melvin Ingram
The Charges Defense boast the most underrated pass rushing duo in the NFL in Joey Bosa & Melvin Ingram. They bring a mix of power and speed to the Charges vaunted pass rush. Although Cousins hasn’t had the best O-Line protection the past few weeks, he needs to audible out of plays in which he’s staring down all out blitzes. I understand teams disguise zone coverage in stunts and blitzes, but it just seems that Kirk just needs to hit his primary and secondary reads faster. Play calling has more to do with the passing woes. Cousins is simply holding onto the ball too long and the calls need to be simplified. Gruden needs to accept he’s playing with 3rd stringers at multiple positions on the Offensive Line and needs to go back to the quick passing game. Losing Thompson hurts, but doesn’t mean they should continue to avoid the screen/short passing game. Although Perine could have success against the weak Charges run defense, Cousins needs to take control. Mixing in some deep shots to Josh Doctson and recently promoted Practice Squad Rookie speedster Robert Davis needs to be in the game plan. These two bring height and mismatches. The Charges have decent corners, but Doc & Davis have a 3 plus inch height advantage. Davis has yet to build chemistry with Kirk, but what better way to get acquainted, then meet in the end zone after a 50 plus yard bomb for a TD. So Cousins needs to be conservative, but be daring at times as well.
B&G Keys to Victory
As previously mentioned Cousins needs to take some chances today, but a 250 yard passing day should help the Skins cause. Kirk needs to make some plays with his feet as well though. When looking back at the last four previous 4th quarter comebacks from Cousins, I noticed one unique stat. Kirk would have at least 15-20 rushing yards during game winning drives. It seems when Cousins makes a play with his feet, he gets some sort of extra mojo. I’m looking for Kirk to play balls to the wall with literally not much to lose. Kirk’s getting paid top player money this offseason and is a player that can only make himself more money with a gutsy performance. Although Trent is ailing, stopping Bosa will keep Kirk clean. Bosa will lineup all over the line at times, so it won’t be easy. Perine and Marshall need to combine for at least 150 yards rushing for any chance at victory. Perine builds and builds momentum with more carries. If the Oklahoma kid can get get 15 + carries, I envision a decent yards per carry average when all is said and done. As far as I’m concerned, this is an opportunity for the Skins defense to put this team on their backs. Although they’ve also dealt with crippling injuries, the defense is still playing with playmakers. Kendall Fuller has been one of the bright stars and I’m looking for him to step up during the home stretch. If the Skins pass rush can take Rivers out of his comfort zone, we could see a multiple turnover day for this defense. Rivers routinely throws 2-3 passes a game up for grabs, so this is a golden opportunity for Swearinger and company to make some plays. Taking two picks back for TD’s, seals a victory in my mind. This won’t be any easy game for the battered Redskins, but heart and resiliency is what I’m looking for today. In the end I think the Redskins squick out a narrow victory with a FG, with less than two minuets to go.
Skins 23-20 over L.A. HTTR🏹🏈