Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, October 9, the day the Washington Redskins go up the road to play the Ravens in Baltimore.
—Today's schedule: Redskins kickoff 12 noon, CSN; Redskins @ Ravens 1 p.m., FOX
—Days until: Eagles @ Redskins 7; Redskins @ Lions 14; Redskins vs. Bengals in London 21
Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Ravens
—Yes, Steve Smith Sr. can beat you deep and Mike Wallace has good vertical speed as well. But the Ravens are basically a plodding passing offense. They are one of just two teams averaging less than 10 yards per pass completion. Baltimore scores on 38 percent of its drives, just a couple of ticks above the league average. The Redskins average 11.9 yards per completion and the score on 53 percent of their drives, second best in the NFL to the Falcons. Look at more advanced analytics, the Redskins are 11th in offensive DVOA at 5.3% while the Ravens are 27th at -12.4%. Washington seems to have substantially more pop in its offense.
—During training camp the general consensus was that the Redskins’ best run-blocking offensive line was, from left to right, Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Spencer Long, Brandon Scherff, and Morgan Moses. That is the line that will play for the Redskins today. We will see how the group wisdom shakes out in reality.
—It’s not breaking news when I tell you that missed tackles have been a problem for the Redskins defense. According to Pro Football Focus they have 40 of them. To compare, the Ravens have 26 misses. The biggest culprit for Washington was safety David Bruton, who had eight; nobody else on the team has more than three. But don’t presume that the problems will largely dissipate with Bruton on injured reserve. His replacement, Duke Ihenacho, has three misses in just 45 snaps played. Maybe if they can cut down on the missed tackles (they won’t be eliminated; every team has some every game) and knock down a few third-down passes the defense can be competent.
—The missed tackles may be a result of Jay Gruden running one of the less physical training camps in the league. The idea was that they might not be as sharp earlier in the year but they would be fresher as the year as the year went since they didn’t beat up on each other in Richmond. Well, it’s October, the time when the easier practices in August should begin to pay off. The Redskins have some injuries but they are better off than some and worse off than others. The Ravens had a fairly physical camp; let's see who has fresher legs in the fourth quarter.
—This is a tough one to figure. The Ravens probably aren’t quite as good as their 3-1 record but they are playing at home. Their top defensive ranking is a bit deceptive since they have yet to play an offense that is as good as, well, the Redskins. The game is in Baltimore but the Redskins proved they can win in a hostile environment in East Rutherford a couple of weeks ago. Can they do it again? I’m going on a hunch more than any logic here:
Redskins 27, Ravens 21
Tandler on Twitter
At least one of them probably has to be active, doubt either plays more than a few snaps. https://t.co/C7vAXGq2wf— Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) October 8, 2016
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