Redskins.com's Andrew Walker breaks down the key players and matchups to keep an eye on during Monday’s Redskins-Browns preseason showdown at FedExField.
“Redskins-Browns: 4 Keys To The Game” is presented by Papa John’s.
Every Monday, fans can order a large cheese pizza for only $9.99, plus for each touchdown that the Redskins score, fans get one free topping. And with a Redskins victory, fans get double the toppings.
KEEPING THINGS EFFICIENT
The Redskins excelled all around in their 23-6, preseason-opening victory Aug. 7 over the New England Patriots at FedExField. Washington’s starters proved effective in limited action, their backups outplayed the opposition’s backups, several rookies and draft picks got significant playing time and, best of all, the Redskins suffered no serious injuries.
The overall goal for Monday night’s preseason game vs. the Cleveland Browns remains the same: let’s see the starters be efficient, the backups continue to evolve and compete, the rookies get their feet even wetter and, of course, stay healthy while doing it.
On offense, look for the Redskins to try to show off a little more of their passing attack. Against the Patriots, Washington was without its top two receivers in
And that’s not to say that attempting four passes on one drive is necessarily a bad thing. Against the Patriots, the Redskins were content with feeding their running backs, especially
After bringing in new special teams coordinator Ben Kotwica and then using the offseason to sign players who would buy in and dedicate themselves to their various roles on the kickoff and punt teams, the Redskins were eager to see where they stood in those areas in the preseason opener against New England. The results were mostly positive, but not without a few areas to correct – starting with Monday’s game vs. the Browns.
The Redskins only punted once against the Patriots – a 42-yarder from
And, finally, in the return game, the Redskins had success in limited attempts vs. the Patriots.
KEEP HIM CLEAN
The Redskins are expecting to be tested time and time again against the blitz Monday vs. the Browns, so in order to help ensure his offense can get into a rhythm each time they have the ball, head coach Jay Gruden said he’s been testing his running backs in practice with various pass protection drills and challenges.
“It’s just a matter of getting them out there and picking up some blitzes and seeing how they do – if they stick their face in there and protect,” he said. “We’ll go from there and make the decision.”
The Redskins finished in the middle of the pack in the NFL in sacks allowed with 43 a season ago, but quarterbacks Robert Griffin III and
No, Griffin III and Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel won’t ever be matched against each other Monday night, but much of the hype and attention surrounding the game has been and will undoubtedly continue to be focused on the two Heisman Trophy Award winners.
In his NFL debut last week against the Detroit Lions, Manziel – working with the second-team offense – completed 7-of-11 passes for 63 yards, while adding a team-best 27 yards rushing. In his four offensive possessions, the Browns were able to get one field goal. Hoyer completed 6-of-14 passes for 92 yards with the first-team offense, which put two field goals on the board in three drives.
The hype for Monday’s game will be similar to 2012, when first-overall pick Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts came to FedExField for a preseason game vs. Griffin III – the No. 2-overall pick – and the Redskins.
But, again, these are just preseason games. Both teams are focused primarily on getting better and limiting mistakes, but make no bones about it – the Redskins’ defense will definitely be licking its chops when Manziel comes into the game.