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Redskins 2017 Season Primer

Burgundy & Gold Report 9/8/17

The wait is over, Washington Redskins football is back! For the die hard football fans this is the best time of year! So crack open a beer/soda, grab some chips and get the low down on the week one matchup vs the Philadelphia Eagles from the Burgundy & Gold Report! The Eagles come to FedEx Field this Sunday hoping to break a 5 game losing streak against the Redskins. The obvious difference with this years matchup is the subtraction of wide receivers Djax & Garcon. The youngsters 6’3 Josh Doctson and 6’4 Terrell Pryor hope to replicate their production and offer size, that the Skins haven’t had in years. At the moment the Skins receiving core is a work in progress, with the exception of veteran Jamison “Mighty Mouse” Crowder. The X-Factor is and always will be if “All World Tight End” Jordan Reed can stay healthy. When Reed is healthy teams are forced the shift coverage to his side of the field. This will create one on one matchups with the Skins other pass catchers. The Skins have shown they can have success against the Eagles lackluster DB’s. The concern of many fans is that the Redskins have shown no resemblance of a stable run game in the preseason, but everybody knows preseason play calling is vanilla until the games count. The Eagles come to town with a D-Line that give teams fits, so the Skins offense will have their work cut out for them. The Eagles boast one the most dominate Defensive tackles in football in Fletcher Cox. He’s made a career of wreaking havoc against QB’s. Add in Eagles pass rushing defensive ends Vinny Curry & Brandon Graham and the Skins O-line could be in for a long day. The area the Skins do have an advantage is finding open passing lanes against Phili’s cornerbacks. Although the Eagles recently traded for the Bills 2015 Rookie of the year runner up CB Ronald Darby, they don’t have much depth behind him. Second year corner Jalen Mills has a ton of potential, but has yet to put it together in the pros. Behind Mills the Eagles don’t have much depth, but savvy veteran FS Malcolm Jenkins is my Eagles player to watch. As I previously mentioned the impact of Cox, Jenkins contributions are equally as vital to the Eagles success on defense. Cox runs the front line and Jenkins runs the defensive backend. Jenkins strength as a former CB is recognizing pre snap offensive adjustments. This is where Kirk Cousins and the Skins offense will need to step up. The Pre-snap adjustment/audibles is where Washington hasn’t shown much growth. Phili players have said they will play very aggressive with frequent blitzing/stunts. The phrase of the week for the Skins should be “Get rid of the ball Kirk!”. On defense the Skins have potentially 6 out of 11 new starters, so their potential impact on Sunday is truly a mystery. I believe the free agent signing of former Cardinals FS DJ Swearinger, could be the talent infusion this defense has yearned for since the tragic stealth of Sean Taylor. In his short time in the DMV, DJ has shown he’s a leader and has already been named the defensive captain. I for one have never seen a first year Redskin named a captain, so this is a position that hopefully will be settled for the foreseeable future. As for the man next to him SS Sua Cravens, that’s not even a topic I want to address 🤦‍♂️ since he’s contemplating retirement, while on the Non-Football Exempt List. I do like his replacement Everett though. His lack of size at 5″11 205 lbs is a bit of a concern for a strong safety, but he has shown promise and made the game winning interception against Phili last year. The difference facing the Eagles this year will be their addition of former Bear’s 6’4 WR Alston Jeffrey, who is arguably the best pass catcher the Eagles have had since Terrell Owens. Josh Norman will get the task of shadowing Jeffrey, which will be no easy task. I think we will see OLB Ryan “The Heartbreak Kid” create pressure as he usually does against the Eagles, which will create turnovers for the Skins DB’s. I’m looking for Preston Smith to finally show that he can be a consistent passing rushing force and finish when he gets a hand on the quarterback. The addition of former Bills ILB Zach Brown, gives the Skins the ability to put a quick twitch linebacker on the Eagles TE’s or RB’s and still have success. Sprinkle in rookie OLB Ryan Anderson with pass rushing OLB Junior Galette, who will see his first real action as a Redskin and we could have a sack party! The B & G Redskins rookie to watch is DE Jonathan Allen. Allen was a disruptive force during his time at Alabama under Coach Saban. He has climbed the depth charts since he arrived in Washington and was named a starter this week. At 6’3 295 lbs Allen doesn’t boast the biggest frame, but has tree trunks for legs and has great hand technique, which most college players lack coming into the NFL. The Skins also added former San Francisco defensive line Guru Coach Jim Tomsula. He was the lone bright spot during his time with the 49er’s, when he turned their front line into a force. Allen and Tomsula could be a match made in football heaven! Many Redskins fans are concerned that the Skins run the 3-4 defensive front and don’t have a true nose tackle. This issue could come into play in the run game, but Ziggy Hood can be serviceable. I don’t expect the Skins to play in their base 3-4 much anyway, considering they played in it less than 25% in 2016. So look for more athletic defensive fronts against Phili, in which more linebackers are used to counteract Carson Wentz’s Eagles quick twitch passing game. Keeping Wentz in the pocket and under constant pressure is key. The Skins can definitely win this game if they can avoid dumb penalties and turnovers. The key to the Redskins success against Phili will be staying balanced and not being so damn predictable on offense. With Gruden taking back play calling duties, I expect to see more dedication to the run game. News came out that Crowder is questionable with a hip flexor and Grant would replace him in the slot if he can’t go in pre-game workouts. This should be worrisome for Skins fans, but Grant is probably the best blocking WR on the team and could open up lanes on the outside for the Skins running backs. Crowder did say that although he’s listed as questionable in the latest injury report, he will definitely play. In the end I’m expecting to see Crowder & 3rd down specialist Chris Thompson have a huge roles against Phili in the passing game, which could expose the Eagles linebackers in coverage. Add in Jordan Reed and the Skins new behemoth pass catchers should get one on one coverage most of the day. In the end the B & G prediction is the Skins pull this home opener out with a W.

27-24 victory. HTTR🏹🦅

***Redskins Stat Prediction***** Offense QB Cousins 329 passing, 22 rushing yards 2 TD’s RB Kelley 85 rushing yards, 23 receiving yards 1 TD RB Thompson 45 rushing yards 60 passing yards 1 TD WR Pryor 88 receiving yards

WR Doctson 55 receiving yards TE Reed 103 receding yards 1 TD

Defense

OLB Kerrigan 5 tackles 2 sacks OLB Galette 3 tackles 1 sack DE Allen 8 tackles 1 sack CB Norman 6 tackles 1 int FS Swearinger 12 tackles 1 int

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