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Redskins vs Seahawks Bold Predictions

Redskins vs Seahawks Bold Predictions

Redskins vs. Seahawks Bold Predictions

When the schedule first came out in the spring and Seattle at Washington at 1 PM EDT was on it, the instant, knee jerk reaction was to put down a “W” for the Redskins and move on. Such instant analysis was based on the following factors:

  • Seattle can’t win on the road, especially games that start at 10 AM their time.

  • The Redskins can stop the run and the Seahawk receivers can’t hold on to the ball, so how are the Seahawks going to score?

  • Mike Holmgren couldn’t beat Spurrier (with George Edwards as Washington’s defensive coordinator), how is he going to beat Joe Gibbs/Gregg Williams?


As the game has drawn closer, however, thoughts of a potential easy victory have given way to some degree of trepidation. A great deal of it, as a matter of fact.

First of all, that road inferiority of Seattle’s is one of those lingering myths that has far outlived its basis in fact (Redskins fans are quite familiar with those). They went 4-4 on the road last year, a respectable mark. None of their wins was over a powerhouse team, but the Redskins certainly don’t fit into that category.

The inability of their receivers to get a grip on the ball is not as much of a problem as it used to be either. The King of the Dropsies, Koren Robinson, Seattle’s version of Michael Westbrook, was given his walking papers and by that subtraction it seems that the entire receiving corps has added considerable grip to its hands.

And, frankly, if Butch Davis and Mike Sherman were able to beat Gibbs and company last year, there’s no reason why Holmgren can’t do it this year.

So, with all of the myths stripped away, here is what we have on Sunday—2-1 vs. 2-0, a good Seattle offense against a very good Redskin defense and a shaky Washington offense against an average Seahawk defense.

At the risk of making a Master of the Obvious statement, we’ll know a lot more about how this game is going to go when we’re about 10 minutes into it. The Redskins need to establish some rhythm on offense. After their first couple of possessions, we’ll see if those two late bombs to Moss in Dallas have any effect on their ability to move the ball. Joe Gibbs, any offensive coach for that matter, is much more effective in calling plays when he has the defense guessing, when more than one aspect of the offense is working. If Seattle plays soft to prevent Moss from going deep, that can open up both Portis on the run and underneath passes to Chris Cooley.

That’s all Football 101 and most reading this already know that. The reason that it’s so important here is because football is a game of confidence, of momentum. Washington gained a big boost of both in the last five minutes of their last game. But that was a week ago Monday. If that is going to have any carryover effect, the Redskins have to have some offensive success in the early going. Otherwise they will struggle to score the 20 points that they may need to win.

So both strategically and emotionally, the first two possessions for the Redskins are critical. A couple of three and outs or even five or six and outs and they’re almost certainly in the doldrums the rest of the day. A couple of double-digit gains by Portis, a medium to long completion to Moss or to David Patten and Seattle will have a very hard time keeping up with them.

If I’m Joe Gibbs, I go play action and deep on the very first play I have the ball. Send a message, both to Seattle and to your own team, that the last time out was no fluke and that you’re willing to go deep at any time.

So how will all of this work out? The Redskins will contain Shaun Alexander, as they do every opposing running back, but he will get some yardage. Holmgren will try the “death by a thousand paper cuts” approach with West Coast offense, and, especially if Walt Harris is out with his calf injury, that may be reasonably effective. It’s not hard to envision Seattle scoring in the 13-17 point range.

That leaves it up to the Washington offense and, no disrespect to the Seattle defense, but the success there is largely up that unit. If they’re aggressive and take what they want to take rather than what the defense gives them they will move the ball and score points. If the attitude is to play it safe and take a nibble here and a probe there, they will have a problem scoring 13 points.

There is a chance that the Washington offense will explode and ring up 35 points, but it’s a slim one. We’ll probably see some modest but noticeable improvement. If that happens, Seattle doesn’t have much of a chance.

Redskins 20, Seahawks 13

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Josh Norman backs Kirk Cousins, points to Redskins' defense in argument with Jason Whitlock

Josh Norman backs Kirk Cousins, points to Redskins' defense in argument with Jason Whitlock

As the discussion rages around what the Redskins should do with free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins, $75 million cornerback Josh Norman made clear he wants the passer back. Norman explained that the 'Skins struggles should not be pinned to Cousins, but rather, a Washington defense that finished the year near the bottom of the NFL.

"We got to help him out of defense, and stop somebody on the field," Norman said on FS1 (click here for full video). "We did not help him out at all. I'll be honest with you. We got to do our job."

Norman's comments came during a spirited argument with Colin Cowherd, Jason Whitlock and Cris Carter in what amounted to a festival of hot takery. Whitlock's argument was that Cousins is not a franchise quarterback, and shoult not be paid as such, largely for losing the final two home games of the year against Carolina and the New York Giants.

Cousins passed for nearly 5,000 yards this year, a statitstic Norman pointed to in his defense of the QB. He also explained that Cousins still has room to grow.

"He only had two seasons," Norman said. "Cam Newton had five seasons."

Drafted in 2012, Cousins was just named the 'Skins starter in 2015. He's started every game the last two seasons and gone 17-16 while passing for more than 9,000 yards. Norman played with Newton in Carolina before signing with Washington last year, and got to watch the quarterback develop into the league MVP in 2015.

Norman described Cousins as a 'great guy' and leader in the locker room, but he allowed that, "I know a great guy don’t translate into wins. I'm not saying that."

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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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The Final Countdown: Redskins 9th worst play of the year goes back to Week 1

The Final Countdown: Redskins 9th worst play of the year goes back to Week 1

As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and, to present a more complete picture of the season, the 10 worst.

No. 9 worst play of 2016

Steelers at Redskins Week 1

10:18 left in Q2, Steelers ball 4th and 1 at the Redskins 29, Redskins leading 6-0

Ben Roethlisberger pass deep left to Antonio Brown for 29 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

Tandler: Things were looking up for the Redskins prior to this, even though they were unable to punch the ball into the end zone in two forays deep into Steelers territory and had to settle for field goals (a taste of things to come all year). The Steelers drove down the field and went for it on fourth and one. Because Joe Barry opted not to have Josh Norman travel from side to side with Brown, it was Bashaud Breeland with one-on-one coverage on the right side. Brown beat Breeland and DeAngelo Hall was late giving safety help and Big Ben put the ball on the money. The score put the Steelers ahead to stay.

More Redskins: An early look at first-round draft possibilities

Finlay: It's easy to forget now that the Redskins had an early lead in the opener against Pittsburgh. In fact, their defense started well, until this point. In something that would be repeated throughout the year, the Steelers did not hesitate to go for it on 4th down against the Washington defense. Breeland was in pretty good position on the ball, though Roethlisberger's throw was right on the money. It would be only one more week until Josh Norman would then start traveling to cover other team's best receivers. Beyond the immediate impact of this play, it also seemed to stay with Breeland as he struggled somewhat in the first half of the season.

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN 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!