Redskins host defending champs on Monday Night

WASHINGTON — The Redskins have had plenty of time to dissect what happened against the Giants 11 days ago. Jay Gruden gave them three days off to “clear their minds.” When they came back to work they were forced to answer questions about more self-inflicted wounds that have plagued this team for quite some time.

The defense gave up big plays, and Kirk Cousins and the offense failed to get going. Cousins has now turned the ball over 18 times in 11 games.

Now the defending champion Seahawks come to town. Last time these teams met, the Redskins had a 14-0 lead in the first quarter of a playoff game. What happened next changed the course for both of these franchises: Robert Griffin III tore his ACL; the Redskins lost the game and then lost 13 of 16 the following season. Russell Wilson and the Seahawks won the Super Bowl last year.

The Seahawks are 2-1 and coming off a bye week, and have the number-two overall defense in the league, giving up just 321 yards per game, with only 72 of that on the ground. The offense boasts three pretty good players in quarterback Russell Wilson, running back Marshawn Lynch and wide receiver Percy Harvin. Every defensive player on the Redskins, to a man, said that Lynch is probably the toughest back to bring down in the NFL. They have the complete package and the Redskins will most likely have to play a perfect game to beat them.

It’s no secret that the Redskins have to run the football in order to win. Alfred Morris sets the tone, then it’s up to Cousins to keep them in the game and not turn the ball over. Plain and simple.

The offensive line, already a weak spot, is banged up this week. Shaun Lauvao is still recovering from a knee injury, and Trent Williams hurt his knee in the loss to the Giants. Both are expected to play, though.

We’ve seen the good Cousins and the bad Cousins in his first two starts. Which is the real one? He might be getting one of his weapons back, as Jordan Reed practiced this week. Reed’s been out since hurting his hamstring in Week One.

On the defensive side, we’ve seen Washington notch 10 sacks against Jacksonville, but then they didn’t put much pressure on Eli Manning at all. The back seven have had problems covering receivers and tight ends, and now, without DeAngelo Hall, it gets tougher. Rookie Bashaud Breeland did not have a good introduction to the NFL last week; he has to get better.

The Redskins sit at 1-3 and after tonight they’re staring at a West Coast trip, on a short week, to face an angry Arizona team that just lost its first game. They have to get things right in a hurry before the season gets away from them completely.

The Seahawks have won eight straight Monday Night Football games. The Redskins have lost their last six prime-time games. Stay tuned; it’s showtime.

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