The Washington Redskins are coming off of a heartbreaking loss to the Detroit Lions in week 7. They now face a tough opponent in week 8, the Cincinnati Bengals. Not only is the opponent descent but they have to go across the pond and play them in London. This sometimes throws off a team. Let’s hope it does not do that for the Redskins. Here are my five keys to victory for week 8.
Do not London get to you
There is going to be a lot of activity over in London. There is going to protests and name bashing. There is going to be time for site seeing and off football stuff as well. However, you cannot let any of that get to you as a team. Your focus is to still go over there and play football. Do what you do best and move the ball on offense and play man-to-man defense. Take everything else out of the equation. If you do that then flight back across the pond should be a nice one.
Run the ball 30 times
We know that Matt Jones will not play. I would this chance to get a strong look at Robert Kelley. I believe that he is more than capable of handling this load. And he does not have to do it all by himself. Jay Gruden and Sean McVay can also use the speed of Chris Thompson as well. If they are able to establish a strong run game the Kirk Cousins should be fantastic at finding his playmakers. This is a strong key for the game on Sunday.
On defense, there needs to be a strong mantra of disgust. The way they performed on the final drive last week should make them extremely irritable. So much so, that they had trouble sleeping that night. That disgust should carry over to this week. We know that AJ Green is going to get his plays in and you cannot stop him 100%, however, the defense needs to do its best to limit big plays. They can do this by playing strong man-to-man defense like they have done prior to the final drive collapse in Detroit.
Get DeSean Jackson involved early
Jackson is the type of player that if you do not get him in the game early and often he checks out. He will eventually quit on routes and not give a full effort in blocking. Get him some touches early and often. This will not only keep him involved but it will also help open up the rest of the offense. Jackson is along the lines of AJ Green, he can take over a game by himself. The Washington Redskins offense does not need this as much as the Bengals, but it is nice to have him involved.
Red Zone, Red Zone, Red Zone
The Washington Redskins have had their struggles scoring TDs inside the red zone. This must change this week. They are highly capable of moving the ball on any defense. That had not been the issue. The issue has been TDs. They get inside the 20 and all of a sudden stall out. Most of the time they have to end up kicking FGs. They need to punch the ball in. Somehow, some way they need to figure how to get TDs inside the 20.
To me, this is a must-win game heading into the bye week. The Redskins are now playing in the best division in football. They need to win this game in order to keep pace in the division. It is most certainly a very winnable game. Do your thing Skins! Always HTTR!!!