The Washington Redskins will square off against the Green Bay Packers in their first home preseason game, and look to rebound from an abysmal performance against the Baltimore Ravens just a week ago. Here are some things to watch for during this Week Two match-up against the Aaron Rodgers-led Packers:
Defensive Pass Rush:
It will be incredibly important for the Redskins to sustain a consistent pass rush against a potent offensive attack like the Packers have. I would look for new addition Jonathan Allen to continue to contribute on this attack. Now that the Skins have Allen, they can pair him up with a quarterback nuisance in Ryan Kerrigan. I expect for one or both of these players to get to Rodgers for a sack while the Packers starters are still in the game.
Rushing Game Improvement:
As mentioned previously, the Redskins were not able to move the ball effectively at all versus the Ravens a week ago, but expect that to change this week as Samaje Perine, Robert Kelley, and even Matt Jones will help move the sticks against a team that struggled to stop the run last season. If the Skins can get this trio going early, they should be able to take pressure off of Kirk Cousins in the passing game.
Passing Game Explosion:
Fully expect Cousins to bounce back in a big way at the friendly confines of FedEx Field, as he may begin to target receivers Jamison Crowder and Terrelle Pryor Sr. early and often to get into a solid rhythm. Once this happens, look for the Redskins to tinker with taking more chances down the field. Also, I would look for Cousins to attempt to hit Pryor with a fade pattern pass in the red zone, much like we have seen during training camp.
A Safety Emerges:
The biggest question mark for the Redskins this season will involve their reliability within the secondary. I would hope for that answer to begin to emerge this Saturday night. Assuming Su’a Cravens and D.J. Swearinger are up to the task of defending key Packers wide receivers Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson, the Redskins will either feel more comfortable in their secondary, or have to turn to the “next man up” mentality of going further down their depth chart.
Look for a high-scoring contest early, which will then steady out as the second and third-string players finish the game.
Final Score: Redskins 34 – Packers 28.
Photo Credit: The Washington Post