The Redskins new-look offense, fueled by Heisman winner Robert Griffin III, has put up at least 28 points in each of their first three games, as much as they scored in any game played in the 2011 campaign.
However, the defense has not lived up to expectations. This is largely due to the loss of Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker, both out for the year. The Skins have allowed over 30 points in each of their games this season.
Let’s take a look at some keys for the Redskins if they want to pick up a win on the road and even their record at 2-2.
If the Redskins want to win, they need to keep their defense off the field.
This means three-and-outs and turnovers are key. In order to do this, they need to get after the quarterback.
Josh Freeman isn't the most accurate passer, so if the Redskins can generate pressure, Freeman is likely to force passes that will ultimately lead to Redskins takeaways.
The Redskins secondary has also been a weak point for the team this season. The more pressure the defensive line gets, the less time the secondary is required to stick to their man.
The first play from scrimmage in last week’s 38-31 loss to the Bengals was a 73-yard touchdown pass from wide receiver Mohamed Sanu to A.J. Green.
However, this wasn't the only time the Redskins were struck by the deep ball.
In the fourth quarter. wide receiver Andrew Hawkins hauled in a 59-yard touchdown pass from Andy Dalton. The Redskins secondary needs to play disciplined, and not bite on play action or try to jump the short and intermediate routes.
Hopefully getting pressure will also limit the Buck by not allowing Freeman the time he needs for the deep routes to develop.
The athleticism of Robert Griffin III gives the Redskins multiple dimensions on the offensive side of the ball.
Last week the Skins broke out the triple option and were successful at keeping the Cincinnati defense off balance. RGIII, RB Alfred Morris, and WR Brandon Bank combined for 192 yards rushing and two touchdowns last week.
Granted not all these numbers came from running the option, but the ability to have these three playmakers in the backfield at once is a valuable weapon that the Skins need to continue to take advantage of.
At the very least, running the triple option will force Tampa Bay to creep towards the line of scrimmage, which should open up the passing game down the field.
The past two weeks, the Redskins opportunity to tie the game was taken away due to costly penalties in the final minutes.
Two weeks ago, it was wide receiver Josh Morgan chucking the ball at a Rams defender after he failed to pick up the first down on the Skins final drive of the fourth quarter. The unsportsmanlike conduct penalty turned a makeable 47-yard field goal into a 62-yard prayer.
Last week, the unsportsmanlike conduct went against offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan. He berated an official in the final seconds of regulation after a false start had been called on the Redskins offense and the Bengals were asking for a 10 second runoff, which would have ended the game.
Instead, the Redskins taking the final snap from the Cincinnati 34, were then backed up to their own 41-yard line. Shanahan was also fined $25,000 by the NFL.
The Redskins are just 1-7 in their last eight meetings with Tampa Bay. Their lone win was in the 2006 playoffs, marking the Redskins last playoff victory.
In those eight games, only once did the Redskins eclipse the 17-point mark. But this is a new team, ready to reverse the trend.
In addition, the Tampa Bay offense is ranked 21st in the league in rushing yards and 30th in passing. If the Redskins offense is able to put up 30 points, there is no reason why they shouldn't come away victorious.