Tarik El-Bashir breaks down all things Redskins for Dallas Week
Here is how the Redskins stand after 4 games (after Week 5 of the NFL season):
Record: 1-3, third place in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 0-1
vs. NFC: 0-3
vs. AFC: 1-0
Opposition cumulative record (games played): 9-10
Cumulative of teams beaten: 2-3
Cumulative of teams lost to: 7-7
Record of teams remaining on schedule: 26-33 (.441)
Offensive MVP: All offseason we’re wondering what a healthy Pierre Garçon would be able to do in the Redskins’ offense and we’re finding out. He’s on pace to break Art Monk’s team record for receptions in a season by a considerable margin. Even if he doesn’t make it there because the Redskins get back to their game plan of running more and passing less, he’ll still be a prime target for Griffin.
Defensive MVP: Ryan Kerrigan continues to lead the way on a unit that is still struggling to find its groove. He has five sacks, two forced fumbles and 24 tackles on his stat line. Kerrigan also has improved in coverage.
Top three storylines:
Stayin’ alive—After the results of last week, a win on Sunday could have the Redskins in first place in the NFC East. A Philly loss at Tampa Bay in the afternoon would put the winner of the Redskins-Cowboys game atop the division (insert tallest midget joke here).
Still defenseless—The Redskins are not dead last in yards allowed only because they have played one fewer game than most of the rest of the league. Was the performance against the Raiders (7 points allowed, 7 sacks, TD on a pick six) a sign of improvement or just a product of playing against Oakland QB Matt Flynn, who was demoted and then fired in the 10 days following the game? It’s probably some of both and we’ll find out on Sunday night.
More Morris—It would be a mistake to say that Alfred Morris is having a bad year. He is on pace to gain nearly 1,200 yards, a year that almost any back this side of Adrian Peterson would happily take. But he hasn’t been helping the offense hum like he did last year. It’s not necessarily his fault; defenses have been keying on him and not worrying so much about Robert Griffin III beating them with his legs. The Redskins need to find a way to overcome that so that Griffin’s play action to Morris freezes the linebackers and gives the quarterback wide open targets.
Next three games
Oct. 13 @ Cowboys (2-3)—Which Cowboys offense will show up? The one that posted 48 points against the Broncos last Sunday or the one that mustered just 14 against the Chargers a week earlier? Regardless, if the Redskins are in decent form on offense they should be able to exploit a struggling Dallas defense.
Oct. 20 vs. Bears (3-2)—Chicago started out 3-0 but has lost its last two. Certainly, however, there is no shame in lost at Detroit and to the Saints. The subplot here is Mike Shanahan vs. Jay Cutler, the coach’s hand picked QB in Denver.
Oct. 27 @ Broncos (5-0)—Another subplot as Shanahan returns to where he had a long career as an assistant coach and, of course, as a two-time Super Bowl winning head coach. He ultimately was fired and while he certainly would love nothing better than to come back and knock off the Broncos, Peyton Manning will have a lot to say about that.