Preview of Washington Redskins @ Cleveland Browns
The pistol formation may look more like the six-shooter formation at Browns Stadium this Sunday. RGIII, the Redskins first round drafted rookie quarterback has been struggling with the knee injury picked up against the Ravens last week and could have to sit out.
In the event Griffin fails to recover suitably enough to take the field, Kirk Cousins, the Redskins fourth round draftee QB will step in as custodian of the offense.
Cousins went two-for-two on passes against the Ravens, with one touchdown, and the offense didn’t appear to suffer despite Griffin being unable to complete the final drive.
If Cousins plays, expect to see more of a conventional offense from co-ordinator Kyle Shanahan, rather than the triple option read run by RGIII. Shanahan’s mum Peggy probably hasn’t designed any plays for Cousins yet.
Cleveland’s own rookie quarterback, Brandon Weeden, has looked more like the player the Browns drafted than he player they saw in the fist five weeks of the season, they went 0-5. Though he only has one touchdown pass in his last four games; of which the Browns have won three and lost just one.
Weeden has formed a decent partnership with supplemental draft pick, wide receiver Josh Gordon, who needs an unlikely 268 yards from the remaining three games to reach 1,000 yards for his debut season.
Weeden himself has thrown for over 3,000 yards but has 15 interceptions to his 13 touchdown passes, he will be aiming to add to his touchdown tally and to get into positive figures, by giving away no more INTs.
Trent Richardson though, has struggled. The third overall pick of the 2012 draft underwent pre-season knee surgery and has recently been struggling with injured ribs. One consolation is that Richardson can still finish the season with 1000 yards rushing. He needs 131 yards from the remaining three games to achieve that milestone.
The Redskins have London Fletcher and Trent Williams listed as questionable again this week, though both are likely to make the field, with Fletcher looking to extend his record of having played in 238 consecutive games, a record he shares with Buccaneer Ronde Barber.
Fletcher, known as “Iron Man”, is a key reason the Redskins defense has not been terrible this season in the wake of injuries to so many Washington defenders, the Cleveland native is 37 and playing with the enthusiasm of a 20 year old.
Alfred Morris, the sixth round pick continues to look a steal and could feasibly run for 1,500 yards. He currently has 1,235 off 253 carries, with an average of 4.9 yards per carry, he is coming off a career-high 129 yards against the Ravens and Cleveland will need to find a way to stop the former Florida Athletic man.
The Redskins have the 7th best offense when Griffin plays, averaging 26.4 points per game and the Browns have the 9th best defense in terms of points allowed, with 20.9 points per game allowed.
Washington should have enough to beat Cleveland in this one; regardless of which quarterback takes the field, providing Morris is on his game and the secondary keeps up the pressure on Wheedon, Gordon and Greg Little and the defensive line keeps Richardson in check.
The Redskins though, once more have to watch those fumbles and cannot afford to give away so many stupid penalties. Against the Ravens the Redskins gave away eight penalties for 70 yards, that’s a large portion of the field.
As a final note, there will be no fantasy voodoo this week, as, like the Chiefs, I didn’t make the playoffs. I’m going to predict the score instead. I think it will be 24-17 in favour of the Redskins.
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For more on Kyle Shanahan getting help from his mum read this post by The Onion:
Peggy helps Kyle