Welcome back to The B&G Report. Hope you enjoyed the last installment of “Rookie Spotlight” of OLB Ryan Anderson. The talk in the DMV and abroad has certainly changed, since the Redskins upset the Seahawks in Seattle. As it stands now the Redskins are 4-4 with real playoff hopes still alive. The magic number will likely have to be ten. A 10-6 record is likely what it’ll take, in order to get one of the two wildcard spots. I’ll go through the current state of the division, as well as the keys to victory. So let’s do this!
The NFC East is currently one of the best divisions in football. Philadelphia is all but a forgone conclusion to win the East, but after that things get murky. Dallas looked prime to make a run after beating the KC Chiefs and improving to 5-3, but things changed dramatically after recent news regarding their RB. Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott exhausted his last Appeal, he’ll begin serving his 6 game suspension with 8 games remaining. He does have another motion he could file in 4 weeks though. The Redskins meet the Cowboys, less Elliott in 4 weeks. A division win could increase the Skins playoffs hopes for sure. The Giants are in turmoil and their Coach has lost the the locker room after dropping to 1-7. So now the Skins just need to focus on the task at hand, which is beating the Minnesota Vikings. Let’s dive into a few keys to the game and players to watch.
*Thompson vs Vikings Linebackers*
Chris Thompson has been a matchup nightmare for most teams, although Dallas and Seattle bottled him up for the most part. The Vikings bring their top 5 rated defense to FedEx Field, but they have weaknesses. The Vikings starting ILB Eric Kendricks is susceptible to giving up big plays. Thompson needs to be flexed to the slot and not just be used as a blocker for multiple WR sets.
*Putting Doctson in Position To Succeed*
As Skins fans we’ve watched Josh Doctson slowly emerge as a playmaker. The only way to keep his confidence up is to feed him the ball. Doc needs more short/intermediate balls, which will allow him to get more involved. Kirk Cousins and his “Process” also mean getting the ball to the hot receiver is imperative. Doc looks to be that player at this point, with Kirk’s go to guy Jordan Reed still out. Between Gruden’s and Kirk’s press conference comments, it sure seems like they have a plan for Doc.
*Redskins D vs Keenum*
This is where the Skins defense can potentially bail the offense out once again. After stifling Russell Wilson in Seattle, the Skins defense looks to have a stronger game against a lesser QB. Case Keenum’s lack of size and elusiveness, make him a prime candidate for jail break blitzes. I understand Manusky likes to blitz out of zones, but in addition to that they need bring the house on 3rd downs. This is the only way the Skins will be able to force multiple turnovers vs the steady Vikings offense. As for Ryan Kerrigan and company, I’m looking for a 4-6 sack performance vs the
I can envision the Redskins coming out of this game with the W. Steady throws by Cousins, in addition to a shutdown defense seems to be their current identity. Yes I agree establishing the run is important, but that’s just not who this team is right now. A few runs here and there make sense, but not if the negative runs start to pile up and cause 2nd/3rd and long. The quick game has worked prior to the last two games vs better defenses, so bunch formations and QB rollouts are my recipe for success this week. As I previously mentioned on defense, Manusky and crew need to bring the pressure early and often. Lastly some kind of Special Teams contribution will be needed to get the win. A return for a TD or even a block punt/kick, will aid the Skins tremendously! Thanks for visiting The B&G Report, check back later for Skins Q&A as well as Post Vikings Game Wrap Up. HTTR🏹🏈