WASHINGTON — I know it looked eerily similar to last year, but it’s only one game.
Last week’s performance didn’t give many fans reason for hope, especially with the self-inflicted wounds. You can’t fumble twice inside the opponent’s 10 yard line. You can’t have an extra point blocked, and you can’t have a punt blocked for a touchdown. You also can’t go 3-for-12 on third down. That’s going to equal a loss most of the time, as it did last week in Houston.
All that being said, the Redskins feel pretty confident that all the mistakes can be fixed. All week they have said that this is a completely different team than last year and that fans shouldn’t worry because the mistakes are fixable.
We will see.
All that said, is this week is a must-win?
“I feel like it is,” fullback Darrell Young said.
The Redskins don’t want to start 0-2, especially against two of the lower tier teams on their schedule. It only gets tougher from here on out.
They should have a pretty good chance to show that they belong facing a Jacksonville team comes to town that had the Eagles down 17-0 last week before giving up 34 unanswered points. The Jaguars are playing their second straight on the road to start the season and it’s the Redskins home opener.
How are they going to do it?
Jay Gruden mentioned on a couple occasions this week that he didn’t like the way he called the game last week. He said the Redskins should have run the ball more. Alfred Morris had 14 carries for 91 yards. Robert Griffin III would have no problem with running the ball more.
“If that’s how coach feels, dial him up!” Griffin said of Morris. “We could give it to Alfred 40-50 times a game. We just want to win football games. Whatever it takes to win games, that’s our mindset.”
I expect to see more ground game this week, even a little sprinkle of read option in there as well. There should also be some more opportunities against the Jaguars defense to stretch the field and take shots down field. This Redskins team has plenty of playmakers and they need to take advantage of that.
Jacksonville’s defense should look familiar to Redskins fans. Head coach Gus Bradley comes from Seattle, where he was the architect of the defense that beat the Redskins in the Wild Card playoff game in January of 2013. He was named Jacksonville head coach later that month.
One thing that will hurt the Redskins this week is that tight end Jordan Reed will miss the game with a hamstring injury. He got hurt early in the game last week.
After Sunday, the Redskins have back-to-back division games. They travel to Philadelphia next Sunday, followed by the Giants coming to FedEx on Thursday night, September 25.
Tight end Jordan Reed (hamstring), linebacker Akeem Jordan (knee) and cornerback Tracy Porter (hamstring) are all out.
Defensive end Kedric Golston is doubtful with an ankle injury.
Kicker Kai Forbath (groin), safety Duke Ihenacho (ankle), tackle Tyler Polumbus (ankle), linebacker Brian Orakpo (ankle) are questionable.