Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, October 2, seven days before the Washington Redskins go up the road to play the Ravens in Baltimore.
—Today's schedule: Browns @ Redskins, 1 p.m., CBS
—Days until: Redskins @ Ravens 7; Eagles @ Redskins 14; Redskins vs. Bengals in London 28
Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Browns
—Is this the game that the red zone woes start to fade away? The Browns are 24th in the red zone defensively. And at some point the Redskins are bound to revert to the norm. Washington has scored touchdowns on 21.4 percent of its trips to the red zone this year. Over each of the past three seasons the teams with the worst red zone conversion percentages for the NFL season had rates between 36 and 43 percent. You have to figure the Redskins will get at least to that level, which means that a streak of red zone success is inevitable at some point.
—There is a lot of talk about the need to stop Terrelle Pryor but the Redskins had better not sleep on tight end Gary Barnidge. Last year he made the Pro Bowl with 79 receptions for 1043 yards and nine touchdowns. He’s off to a slow start this year with just nine receptions for 103 yards but they still need to keep a close eye on him.
—I’ve said a few time this week that if Arie Kouandjio, after coming in as a fourth-round pick and spending two offseason programs, two training camps, and many hours in practices and meetings under Bill Callahan's tutelage, can’t handle a game or two at guard the drafting and coaching involved need to be questioned. They have to start Kouandjio. And if it turns out he can’t handle it the Redskins could always shift back to the alignment they had in the second half last week with Trent Williams at left guard and Ty Nsekhe at left tackle. But that is only a “break glass in case of emergency” option. I think that Kouandjio will be fine and Williams will stay in place and Nsekhe will be on the bench.
—The Browns have given up 109 rushing yards per game this year, around the NFL average of 104 per game. They have been tested a bit with the Eagles rushing 34 times against them and the Ravens and Dolphins 26 and 25 times, respectively. The point here is that some are automatically assuming that the Redskins should get their running game going because they are playing an 0-3 team. Cleveland’s rushing defense may be too good for the Redskins to go out and take what they want on the ground, especially with their modified offensive line. The Redskins' ideal game plan would be to build a lead through the air and spend the last 20 minutes of the game chewing up clock and yards on the ground. But that's their formula nearly every game and it rarely seems to work out that way.
—In 2008 a Rams team that was 1-4 and would go 2-14 came to FedEx Field to play a 4-1 Redskins team. The Redskins were in control and driving for a second quarter score when a Jason Campbell pass was batted into the air. The ball fell into the arms of Washington guard Pete Kendall, who instinctively caught it. As he tried to get a few yards the ball was knocked out of his arms and Rams safety O.J. Atogwe scooped it up and went 75 yards for a touchdown. The Redskins never were able to recover and they lost the game. Something like that would have to happen for the Redskins to lose to the Browns today. Barring a fluke the Redskins should make it to the red zone like they have been but they should cash in when they get there.
Redskins 28, Browns 10
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