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2017 Regular Season
Preview: Cards @ Washington

Setting the Stage:
Redskins are 5 & 8 - behind Philly and Dallas in the NFL East and out of the playoff hunt. Last week they got blacktopped by the Chargers 30 -13. The 6 & 7 Cards used 4 FG's to win a 12 - 7 "pitchers dual" vs. Tennessee.

Washington's Last Game
They lost to the Chargers 30 - 13. Wash fell behind early (13 - 0 after 1st quarter/23 - 6 by halftime) and never got going. Score was even more lopsided save for a 96-yd Wash pick 6 with only 2:31 left to play. It seemed to this writer that the main Wash vulnerability was their inability to cover the long ball. But "on further review": Giving up 174 yds on the ground didn't help Washington's cause very much.

First Quarter
Skins won toss and deferred. TB on KO. SD parlayed a Rivers to Ty Williams 34 yd completion and a bunch of dinks and dunks to reach the Wash 15 where they settled for a 33 yard Coons FG. Chargers 3 - Redskins 0.

KO returned to Wash 22. Despite a Cousins to Crowder 18 yd completion, Wash was forced to punt friom their own 49. Punt fair caught at SD 8. Rivers put together a 10-play TD drive capped by an 8-yd TD pass from Rivers to Henry. (Other key plays: Rivers to Henry for +20 and +14. Penalties on Anderson and Norman for +15 and +10). Chargers 10 - Redskins 0.

TB on KO. On first play of the Wash possession, Cousins pass for V Davis was intercepted. Chargers ball on Wash 29. They reached the 3 but settled for a 21-yd FG. Chargers 13 - Redskins 0.

KO returned to Wash 23. Quarter over.

First Quarter Score: Chargers 13 - Redskins 0.

Second Quarter
Redskins bounced back with a 9-play TD drive. Final play was a 23-yd Cousins to V Davis TD completion. (Other key plays: Cousins to Grant for +28. Cousins to Paul for +15). XP was no good. Chargers 13 - Redskins 6.

TB on KO. On the first play from scrimmage, Rivers hit Ty Williams - deep right - for a 75 TD.Chargers 20 - Redskins 6.

KO returned to Wash 40. They reached the SD 37 in 6 plays and "went for it" on 4th & 4 and didn't make it. Chargers took over on their own 37, reached the Wash 18 and added three points via a 36-yd FG. (Key play: Benjamin around LE for +22). Chargers 23 - Redskins 6.

KO returned to Wash 21. 2:23 till half. After a 10-yd Perine run off RT, Skins couldn't get much going and punted from their own 39. Fair catch at SD 15 with 1:25 left. Despite gains of +15 yds (Rivers to K Allen), +10 yds (Gordon up the middle) and +20 yds (Rivers to Ty Williams), Chargers ran out of clock at the Wash 37.

1st Half Score: Chargers 23 - Redskins 6

Third Quarter
Wash received. KO returned to Wash 20. Drive fizzled at their own 40. Punt downed at Charger 4. Drive stalled at their own 24. Punty (net holding penalty) returned to Wash 8. Three & out. Punt from their own 15 fair caught at Charger 45. On the second play of the SD possession, Rivers hit Allen for +51 yards and, on the following play, Gordon ran one-yd up the middle for a SD touchdown.Chargers 30 - Redskins 6.

KO returned to Wash 20. Three & out. Punt O-O-B at Charger 41. A couple of penalties pushed SD back to their own 33. Punt eturned to Wash 22. 3 & out (again). Punt (net face-mask penalty) returned to the SD 15. A roughness penalty on Wash moved ball to Chargerf 39 to end the quarter.

Third Quarter Score: Chargers 30 - Redskins 6.

Fourth Quarter
SD punted on third play of quarter. Punt returned to Wash 22. Despite gains of +13 yds (pass to Doctson) and +10 yds (pass to Crowder), Way punted 27 yds. Punt O-O-B at Charger 28. They stayed on the ground to use up clock and punted from their own 45. TB on punt. Wash held to 3 & out. Punt returned to Wash 27 with 6:29 left. SD reached the Redskin 9 in five plays, but on the sixth play, Clemens pass for M Williams was intercepted by Breeland and returned 96-yds for a Wash TD. Chargers 30 - Redskins 13.

KO returbed to SD 22 with 2:36 left. Game over five plays later.

Final Score: Chargers 30 - Redskins 13.

Key Game Stats

Passing - Cousins was 15 of 27 - 151 yds, 1 TD'a and 1 interception. (Rivers: 18 of 31 for 319 yds, 2 TD, 1 Int).

Rushing --Perine ran for 45 yds on 17 carries. (SD's M Gordon carried 22 times for 78 yds. (SD runners gained 174 yds on 35 carries)

Receiving - Perine caught 4 passes for 7 yards. Crowder and Doctson each caught 3 passes for 34 yds. Wash cover folk were abused by T Wiliams, Henry and K Allen.

Tackles - Everett was credited with 11 tackles followed by Z Brown (10) and Z Vigil (9)

Sacks - 2 (Lanier and Ionnidis). Cousins was sacked twice.

3rd Down Conversions - Wash converted 2 of 12 (16%) SD converted 6 of 15.

Rushing Avg - Wash averaged 3.1 ypc rushing (& gave up 5.0 ypc)

Net Punting Average - Wash was 37.3. (vs. 46.2 for SD).

Penalties - Wash was penalized 4 times (SD was flagged 5 times)

Red Zone Efficiency - Wash was 0/0 = 0% (SD was 2/6 = 33%.

Turnover Ratio: Even. No fumbles. Each team picked off once.

Redskins Stats to Date

First Downs - Wash 235 / Opponents 253

3rd Down Conversions - Wash 59/169 / Opponents 70/174

Passing YPA- Wash 7.8 / Opponents 7.5

Rushing YPC - Wash 3.8/ Opponents 4.3

Sacks - Wash 31 / Opponents 37

Field Goals - Wash 19/22/ Opponents 26/33

Time of Possession - Wash 30:21 / Opponents 29:51

Turnover Ratio minus-4

Titans in a Thumbnail
Mariota can beat you with his legs. The Titans can beat you up with their RB tandem of Murray and Henry. Top receiver by far is their TE Delanie Walker (but you'd better also watch Decker). . Byard is a playmaker at SS. Titans can put pressure on a QB from the outside (Morgan and Orapko. Woodyard is their leading tackler - 33% more tackles than the next guy on the Tenn roster.

Key Player Stats

Passing:
Cousins: 22 TD's...9 Int...3,440 Yds..97.7 QBR

Rushing:
Perine: 142 for 510 yds...3.6 YPC...1 TD'.
Thompson: 64 for 294 yds...4.6 YPC...2 TD's
Cousins: 41 for 159 yds...3.9 YPC...3 TD's.

Receiving:
Crowder: 54 for 662 yds...12.3 YPR. 1 TD
Thompson): 39 for 510 yds...13.1 YPR. 4 TD
V Davis TE: 37 for 568 yds.....15.4 YPR...2 TD's.
Grant : 137 for 445 yds....12.0 YPR...4 TDs.

Field Goals -
Rose: 10/11
Hopkins: 9/11
Opponents: 26/33

Punting
Way (#15): Avg: 44.5

Punt Returns
Crowder: 21...5.1 YPR

Kickoff Returns -
Breeland: 7 for 147....21.0 YPR
Thompson: 8 for 165...20.6 YPR

Tackles -
Z Brown (127)...Swearinger (60)....Norman (48). ..Spaight (46). Fuller (43)

Sacks - (Wash 31 (Opponents 37)
Kerrigan (9.0)....P Smith (5.0)...Ionnidis (4.5)...Lanier (3.0_Z BVrown (2.5)....

Interceptions - Tenn 10 ( Opponents' 14)
Fuller (4)...Swearinger (3)

Redskin Offense
WR.....18 Doctson....83 Quick
LT........71 T Williams..79 .Nsekhe
LG    ...60 Kouandijo....67 Kalls
OC    ..73 Roullier...66 Bergrstrom...74 Rhaney
RG......75 Sherff...68 Catalina
RT    ..76 Moses
TE......86 Reed...85 V Davis...84 Paul...87 Sprinkle
WR ...80 Crowder...13 Harris...19 R Davis.
WR....14 Grant.    
QB ....08 Cousins..12 McCoy
RB.....32 Perine...34 Marshall...46 Daniel
s

Cardinal Defense

LDE      97 Mauro..........72 Pierre..............94 X Williams
DT        98 Peters .........95 Gunter                
DT        92 Rucker.........90 Nkemdiche
SLB     55 C Jones........54 Albright           
ILB       20 Bucannon....58 Wright............50 G Martin 
ILB       56 Dansby........57 Bynes       
WLB    43 Reddick.......96 K Martin
LCB     21 Peterson.....26 B Williams              
RCB    25 T Williams...28 Bethel.          
SS       36 Baker..........xx H Miller
FS       32 Mathieu ......41 Bethea

Matchup: Redskin Passing Attack vs. Cardinal Pass Defense
Card pass defense had solid outing vs. Tenn. For the first time we can remember this season, we received strong play from both cornerbacks.

Cousins' play has been sound if not all that spectacular. (a QB Rating of 97.7 ain't all bad). He gets good production from Crowder and Doctson. Their TE (Vernon Davis) is a perennial Card Killer from back in the Niners days.

Against Tennessee, Bynes stepped in for Bucannon and continued his high level of play. Look for Joah and Cardinal safeties to contain V Davis.

Key Matchups: V Davis vs. Bynes or Bethea. Peterson vs. Crowder. T Williams vs. Doctson. C Jones vs. T Wiilliams

Matchup: Redskin Rushing Attack vs. Cardinal Run Defense
Washington's running attack, while close to League norms, doesn't dominate its opponents the way most of the Cardinals' 2017 opponents have done. Whether or not the Cards contain the run is mainly up to the Cardinals. If they put their mind to stopping the run, they'll do so.

Key Matchups: Perine vs. Dansby. Cardinal 6-man DL rotation vs. Redskin 5-man OL front


Cardinal Offense

WR1    11 Fitzgerald.......14 Nelson.........16 C Williams.
LT        69 Holden...........xx Painter              
LG       75 Boone                    
C         53 Shipley...........79 Tuerk       
RG      70 Boehm   
RT........73 Wetzel...........69 Holden
TE       .87 Niklas............86 Seals-Jones
WR2   .13 Ja Brown......12 Jo Brown.....10 Golden     
QB       07 Gabbert.........05 Stanton.......09 Barkley
RB       23 A Peterson....33 K Williams....35 Penny.....37 Foster....48 B Hill
TE        84 Gresham

Redskin Defense

DE........92 McGee.....97 McClain..................86 Reid
NT.........90 Hood...
DD........98 Ionnidis....72 Lanier.....................64 Francis
SLB......94 P Smitrh...52Anderson................55 Carter
MLB.....50 Spaight....40 Harvey-Clemons.
MLB....53 Z Brown....56 Vigil
WLB....91 Kerrigan.58 Galette
CB......26 Breeland....47 Dunbar...................31Moreau
CB......24 Norman......29 Fuller.....................38 Holsey
SS .....35 Nicholson...22 Everett
FS......36 Swearinger..23 Hal
l

Matchup: Cardinal Passing Attack vs. Redskin Pass Defense
The Cardinal OL is a shambles. Even with Veldheer and Watford in there, the Cards gave up 8 sacks vs. Tennessee. And now they'll be lining up with a patchwork consisting of Holden, Boone, Shipley, Boehm and Wetzel.

Judging from their performance vs. San Diego, the Redskins are vulnerable in two defensive areas - (1) containing the run) and (2) covering deep. Look for BA to test both these potential points of weakness, but balancing those priorities to keep Gabbert as safe as possible.

So look for BA and his coaches to keep things simple - probing the Redskin front seven to see if we can run the ball and taking a few shots down field when the opportunities present themselves...but not to the extent that Gabbert too often finds himself on his back.

Key Matchups: Card OL vs. Kerrigan, P Smith and Ionnidis. Fitz vs. Norman. Seals-Jones vs. Swearinger. Ja Brown vs, Breeland

Matchup: Cardinal Running Attack vs. Redskin Run Defense
The Card running attack - sans A Peterson - was totally non-existant in the first halft vs Tennessee last Sunday, but it slwly began to pick up steam in the second half, and K Williams ended up with something like 74-yds rushing by game's end. Begs the question - Was the difficulty running the ball early in the game due to Watford and Veldheer trying to play "hurt?" Or was it due to other factors.

Our expectation is that we'll try to run the ball behind our young, inexperienced OL and exploit Washington's potential weakness in the run game. If we can do that, expect to see a low-scoring game fairly similar to what we saw vs. the Titans.

Note - If we get extremely lucky and A Peterson is able to play Sunday, it would be even more likely that BA's offensive game plan would stress the run.

Key Matchups: K Williams vs. Ionnidis, Hood. Card OL vs. Redskin Front 7.

Special Teams

Washington

K        06 Rose          
P        05 Way                    
H        05 Way
LS      57 Sundberg          
KR      34 Marshall
PR      80 Crowde
r

Cardinals

K          04 Dawson                      
P          02 Lee                                   
H          02 Lee                       
LS        xx Brewer                          
KR       10 Golden   
PR       10 Golden

Matchup: Redskin Special Teams vs. Cardinal Special Teams
Rose and Way are OK but nothing to write home about. We're not aware of anything special about Redskin returners,

Cards - Dawson has been far from perfect but still remains a formidable weapon at crunch time. If our offensive game plan is a conservative one stressing the run, Dawson's leg becomes all that more important. If KW is our feature runnner, expect Golden to return kicks and punts. But if AP is our feature runner, expect K Williams to be our returner.

Key matchups: Nothing of note

Coaching
TN- HC Jay Gruden. OC M Kavanough. DC G Manusky. ST B Kotwika.
Don't know much about Coach Gruden and his staff other than that they appear to stress fundamentally sound football.

Cards - When the Cards win, BA's credibility increases - doubly so as a playoff spot becomes less and less likely.

Medical
Cards - Watford and Veldheer are out.

Skins - TBD

How to Beat the Redskins
1. Keep offensive line play simple and physical. 2.
Establish the run. 3. Take at least 4 - 6 deep shots down the field

Last Word:
Injuries to the OL are killers, but just about evert NFL team has to manage injury problems at one position or another at this point in the season. If we were somehow able to run the table (Beating Wash is possible. Beating the Giants is do-able. Beating Seattle is...er...do-able but tough - but what fun if we were able to pull that off) - we'd wind up 9 & 7 with an outside shot at backing into a playoff shot. First stop - Our Nation's Capital. Sic "Em!

 


 
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