And despite what has been an overall forgettable first quarter of the season for the Redskins, they are capable of controlling their own destiny.
With Week 6 nearly upon us, the Burgundy and Gold have the opportunity to regain their identity as a football team and restore faith in their franchise.
Even after an impressive defensive performance against the Raiders, the Redskins are fully aware that their offense is going to have produce on a high level in order to come out victorious.
Here’s what we will need to expect from that side of the ball.
The Redskins have struggled against the blitz and overall pressure on Robert Griffin, and I would expect the Cowboys to emphasize that weakness.
So how do the Redskins combat the blitz?
Their receivers will need to run short-to-intermediate routes, which they have already done. However, I would like to see their running backs and tight ends be utilized in those situations.
Having their tight ends run out in the flat will allow them to make plays with their feet. The same goes for third-down specialist Roy Helu, who could be effective in the screen game.
The Redskins' last game against the Raiders was Griffin’s most impressive. He was decisive, intelligent and even flashed his athleticism and improvisation.
Given my expectation of the Cowboys pass rush, Griffin will need to execute out of the pocket. He’ll need to take what the defense gives him.
He’ll need to slide, throw the ball away and eliminate turnovers.
The Redskins can manage starting out flat against a team like the Raiders, but facing a potent offense like they have in Dallas is a different story.
It’s no secret the Cowboys pass defense is an issue, and I would expect the Redskins to devise a plan to attack that weakness.
With teammate Pierre Garcon playing at a premier level, Hankerson is going to have a lot of opportunities in single coverage.
This is the biggest test of Hankerson’s career, and I expect the coaching staff to do their due diligence on this one.
Without RGIII as a running threat, opposing defenses have been able to focus on Alfred Morris, and yet he's still producing on a consistent basis.
Unfortunately, the first two games were blowouts in which the Redskins passed the ball throughout the second half, and he got injured in Oakland.
Morris had 16 carries against the Raiders, which was his season high, but he’s still averaging more than five yards per carry this season.
What made the Redskins who they were last year was their ability to run the ball, and I expect the Redskins to expand on their strengths.
Not just this Sunday, but this team needs to run Alfred Morris as much as possible.
I knew Jordan Reed was a good athlete, but his development was going to be a process. However, Reed has not only impressed as a pass catcher, but as a blocker too.
With Fred Davis continuing to be phased out of the team’s plans, Jordan Reed appears to be the tight end of the future.
Coming off of an injury, normally I would expect Reed to be eased back into his role; however, Logan Paulsen remains injured, Fred Davis is ailing, and Niles Paul doesn’t have a significant role on offense. Therefore, Reed is going to be seeing a lot of playing time from here on out.