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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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Redskins Stat Breakdown: What worked - and what didn't - against Arizona

Redskins Stat Breakdown: What worked - and what didn't - against Arizona

CSN has teamed up with The Edge Systems to provide the occasional statistical review of Redskins game film. The Edge is analytical football software currently being used by coaches in the NFL, SEC, ACC and the media, providing some of the fastest and best data in football.

Below is a breakdown of the Redskins run game against Arizona - a game coach Jay Gruden admitted did not feature enough carries for Robert Kelley. 

The Redskins had a lot of success with their GAP runs early in the game.

In the first half they were successful on 75 percent of their GAP runs. 

As the game wore on the Redskins moved away from what had been successful and only ran two GAP runs in the second half.

As their power running game vanishing, mirrored their prospects for winning the game.

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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State of the Redskins: Playoff chances trending in the wrong direction

State of the Redskins: Playoff chances trending in the wrong direction

Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 14 of the NFL season.

Record: 6-5-1, 3rd in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 2-2
vs. NFC: 4-4
vs. AFC: 2-1-1
Home: 4-2
Away: 2-3-1

Rankings and changes from Week 13

Offense (yards/game): 418.6 (2nd, no change from Week 13)
Defense (yards/game): 369.6 (23rd, +2)
Points for: 303 (10th, -1)
Points against: 295 (20th, -2)

Passer rating offense:  99.8 (8th, -2)
Opp passer rating: 95.0 (22nd, -3)
Yards/rush attempt: 4.5 (5th, no change)
Opp. yards/rush attempt:
 4.6 (29th, +2)
Weighted DVOA (Football Outsiders): 9.8% (10th, no change)
Playoff chances per FO: 41.5%, -14.1% from last week

Trending the right way: Not much, really. Their ranking in rushing defense improved a couple of notches but mostly because other teams got worse, not because the Redskins put the clamps down on the rushing game.

Trending the wrong way: For the first time in a few weeks the Redskins’ playoff chances are below 50 percent. Two straight losses will do that.  

Top three storylines:

Letting them have it—Jay Gruden is usually supportive of his team after a loss but that was not the case following the Cardinals game. He could be heard speaking to the team in angry tones in the locker room following the loss. We will see if this rare tirade jump-starts the Redskins’ stretch run.

Dealing with injury issues—Not only do the Redskins have to be concerned about the condition of Jordan Reed, whose status is unclear as he rehabs from a shoulder injury he suffered on Thanksgiving Day in Dallas, their starting center is in the concussion protocol. If Spencer Long can’t go the Redskins may have to add a center to back up John Sullivan.

Help wanted—The Redskins need other teams to lose if they want to make the playoffs. They need a little help if they win out to finish 10-5-1; they need more help if they finish at 9-6-1. Scoreboard watching starts at 4:25 on Sunday when the Bucs, a half-game ahead of Washington, host the Saints and continues on Sunday night football with the Cowboys at the Giants.

Next three games

Sunday @ Eagles (5-7)—The Redskins handled them well in October; the final score did not indicate how Washington dominated the game. The Eagles look more like a rebuilding team than a playoff contender and the Redskins could elimate them for all practical purposes

December 19 vs. Panthers (4-8)—The season of the defending NFC champs officially came off the rails on Sunday night when Cam Newton started the game on the bench because he didn’t wear a tie and he ended it looking at the wrong end of a 40-7 beatdown by the Seahawks. Still, the Redskins have never beaten Newton so this is not one that will come easily.

Christmas Eve vs. Bears (3-9)—There is no such thing as an easy game in the NFL but if the Redskins can’t manage to win this one they don’t deserve to make the playoffs.