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5 + 1: It's 'just win, baby' in Oakland for the Redskins

5 + 1: It's 'just win, baby' in Oakland for the Redskins

Five keys to Sunday’s Redskins-Raiders plus a prediction.

1. This game will be an Al Davis special—“Just win, baby”. Don’t look for many style points with the Redskins still searching for offensive consistency and struggling with some defensive fundamentals. They’ll probably have to settle for field goals far more often than most would like (all Redskins fans should drink to Kai Forbath’s health) and the defense could still bend and maybe break on occasion. A blowout win would be great for everyone’s morale going into the bye but a close, scuffling victory might just have to do.

2. If Terrelle Pryor is out and Matt Flynn is in for Oakland, the Redskins will be facing a backup quarterback as the starter for the other team for the fifth time since Mike Shanahan became the head coach. They are 2-2 in the previous four games. Both of the wins came last year against the Eagles’ Nick Foles. In 2011 they lost to Matt Moore of the Dolphins and in 2010 Jon Kitna led the Cowboys to a win over Washington. Perhaps that last one should have an asterisk since the Redskins started their backup Rex Grossman for that game.

3. Which Darren McFadden will the Redskins get? The one who averaged 6.8 yards per carry (19 carries, 129 yards) against the Jaguars? Or the one who averaged 2.8 a pop against the Colts (17 for 48) or a microscopic 0.8 (12 for 9) in Denver? McFadden has enough speed to pop a long run and boost his average substantially if the Redskins don’t solve their tackling woes quickly.

4. It’s hard to figure out what to make of the Raiders’ defense at this poing. They do have 10 sacks but they have yet to intercept a pass. They held the Colts to 274 total yards and the Jags to 248 before getting blasted for 536 yards against the Colts. You could look at their defensive numbers from last year and see that they ranked 18th in terms of yardage but they have turned over almost all of the starters from last year so that won’t tell you much about 2013. They look pretty active and aggressive and we’ll see about how Robert Griffin III and company can do against them.

5. And how well Griffin might play could depend on how well Alfred Morris runs. When the Redskins’ offense was rolling last year, Griffin throwing play-action passes after faking to Morris was a big part of it. An inconsistent running game this year has had ripple effects. The cure is 25 carries for Morris with him grinding out 4-6 yards each time he gets the ball. That will get the defense to cheat up and then we’ll see how ready Griffin really is.

Redskins 23, Raiders 14 

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One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

The Eagles defense is on a big-play streak, but not one that defensive coordinators will like very much, and it could be very good news for the Redskins and DeSean Jackson. 

At this stage of his career, Jackson is a well-known deep threat. While much of the 2016 season has been disappointing for Jackson, in back-to-back weeks, the vertical passing attack has worked. In Arizona last Sunday, Jackson only caught one pass, but it went for 59 yards. On Thanksgiving in Dallas, Jackson hauled in a 67-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins as part of his season-high 118 receiving yards.

"What he brings to this football team, he brings something that not a lot of people can bring, and that’s obviously the speed and the big play ability," 'Skins head coach Jay Gruden said of Jackson.

The last two games moved Jackson's yards-per-catch average back in normal range with the rest of his career at 16.5. Halfway through this season, Jackson was averaging below 14 YPC, which would have been by far the worst of his career.

"A lot of people think that we haven’t utilized his speed quite like we should, but I think he has had a major impact on this football team," Gruden said. "His deep threat has an impact on the defense. It opens up areas for Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder and the backs sometimes. He’s been a major influence for this football team in a good way."

Beyond just the big plays, the Eagles defense has given up 645 passing yards in their last two games. Cousins has historically played well in Philadelphia, and should be in good position to do the same this weekend.

And based on the Eagles' past six games, expect Jackson to have another big game at Lincoln Financial Field. 

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

 

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