After an amazing down to the wire victory in week one, the Washington Redskins host another team from the state of Texas, the Houston Texans. The Texans are coming off an even bigger win for their franchise beating the Colts for only the second time in their history. I smell a trap game, so here we go five keys to a Washington victory.
This one is obvious, after a beastly 231 yards on the ground last week the Redskins defense has to be able to stop Foster early and often. They did not do a good job last week stopping the Cowboys running game, however the Cowboys stopped it themselves failing to continue to do what was working. Idiots. I do not think the Redskins will have the same luck this week if they continue to give up four or five yards a carry.
On the other hand getting Clinton Portis and Larry Johnson going early in the first half is crucial to being able to control the clock and the ballgame. The Washington ground game made some progress late in the fourth quarter but overall was fairly unimpressive. History is a good reminder of what to look for. When Clinton Portis gets 100 yards the Redskins almost never lose.
While it was only one game, going 0-2 in the redzone is not something that can become a trend if the Redskins want to be a playoff team. After months of preparation the Shanahan men have to find some plays that work down in the endzone. We all love the Anthony Armstrong story but throw the damn ball to Chris Cooley please.
While many are saying the Redskins were extremely lucky to pull out the win last Sunday, If one of those passes to Armstrong was complete I think the media would have been singing a very different tune, with the score being 17-0 in the third quarter. It would have read: “Redskins smash Cowboys”, instead of “Cowboys shoot themselves in the foot.”
Jim Haslett blitzed a lot last week. Expect to see more of the same against the Texans but with hopefully more results on the stat sheet. Rocky McIntosh picked up the only official sack of the game for Washington while Brian Orapko can draw a holding penalty pretty much every single play. He has been doing it all preseason and in week one.
Matt Schaub is not the same player when he is forced to move out of his comfort zone. I am expecting Orapko and Andre Carter to get some sacks under their belt this Sunday and if they want to win forcing a fumble or two would go a long way.
Expect Houston to force the ball to Andre Johnson this week after an extremely pedestrian three catches last week. I don’t think the Redskins can contain Johnson this week but turning just one or two of his targets into interceptions would be huge. Haslett has been preaching turnovers all offseason and in week one if worked out. Let’s see if this trend can continue into week two.
We can all agree Joey Galloway is not a starter in the NFL. Well he actually is, but he should not be ever again. When he was introduced during pregame and came running on the field I thought to myself, all preseason he was listed on top of the depth chart but I never expected him to actually be the starter or even make the team yet here he is, we are royally screwed. To that extent he finished with a donut in the receptions column on the box score.
The Skins have to find another option besides Santana Moss and Cooley. Fred Davis played a god amount from what I saw but did not factor into the game as a receiver. If Davis can get going he turn into a monster on the football field, I truly believe that. The only other option looks like, dare I say Devin Thomas. Come on Shanahan give this kid a chance to go out there and catch some balls. The team needs a spark and Thomas is the only skill player with any chance of providing it.
Last week the 12th man was awesome. I have been going to FedEx for the last seven years pretty regularly and last Sunday night was the best I have seen it since the 2007 Dallas game. There were almost no open seats and people were even standing in the club level and not getting yelled at. That really impressed me, much more than Albert Haynesworth (could not resist). The players seemed to feed off the energy and we had ourselves a “moment” that will live on forever thanks to YouTube.
Sitting at home, watching HD and RedZone while tracking your fantasy team is sweet don’t get me wrong. But nothing is as sweet as saying you were there, when DeAngelo Hall stripped Tashard Choice to end the half. Go ahead and add that to Dallas-Washington highlight reel and show up this week for another beat down of the state of Texas.