Posted: 9/12/2013 11:04:00 PM
At first glance, this number seems way too big. The Redskins were a playoff team last year. Well, its only been a week, but the Redskins have a lot to prove this Sunday. I think the their defense is better than what they showed us against Chip Kelly's no-huddle spread offense on steroids. But, what we learned about RG III could be troublesome for Washington this year. Not everyone is as quick to recover from major knee surgery as Adrian Peterson (especially when its your 2nd ACL repair).
One of the main reasons the Redskins were such a vastly improved team last year was because they had the #1 rushing offense in the league, rushing for an average of almost 170 yards a game. According to NFL Insider, they ran 118 read option plays last season, which ranked 2nd in the league. When you have a dangerous threat like RG III, that read option creates major problems for defenses and allows the running back to have much wider running lanes because the defense has to respect the threat of the QB running for a big play. Well, the Redskins only ran 2 read option plays last week against the Eagles, and the net result was negative 6 yards. Clearly, RG III's workload is being reduced either because they don't want him to take unnecessary contact or his knee isn't quite ready for him to be the same explosive player that we enjoyed watching last season. Personally, I think the Redskins front office and the Shanahans are in a jam because they know they can't rack up the miles on their franchise quarterback. Needless to say, RG III without the threat of his legs, is just an average NFL quarterback. And the Redskins offense without the read option is just an average NFL offense that wouldn't look much different if backup Kirk Cousins were the signal caller.
In order to compete with a very motivated Packer team that's coming off a tough loss, the Redskins will have to go on long drives and keep Aaron Rodgers off the field and the crowd out of the game. While the Packers secondary looked abysmal last Sunday, I just don't see the Skins going score-for-score with the Packers, who were 4-4 in the redzone against one of the best defenses in the NFL. Especially given that the Skins had the 30th ranked pass defense last year (only the Saints and Bucs were worse),
Obviously, its been only 1 game, so who knows if Shanahan and RG III were just playing it extra safe on Monday night. But from what I saw, I think you have to look at the Redskins as a work in progress until they find out if RG III is capable of taking some hits. The Pack wide receiving corp looked as healthy as they've been in a long time, and now Aaron Rodgers has a somewhat decent running back to run some minutes off the clock when they have a big lead.