When it comes to watching the Washington Redskins, there are many things to look for. Can they run the ball? Is the offensive line producing? How does Kirk Cousins look? All of this and more are compelling to keep your eyes on. In 2016, I bring back my five things to watch during the game series. Up next is preseason week two against the New York Jets.
Redskins run game. In week 1 of the preseason, the run game was non-existent. For the Washington Redskins to improve on their 2015 performance, they must be able to run the football. Matt Jones is powerful; punishing back that can be a three down back if needed. He has great hands, pass protection abilities and finishes runs. However, last week he and rookie Keith Marshall did not perform up to par. Keep your eye on the run game this week vs. a stout Jets defense. There needs to be more of it and better output.
The Redskins secondary is much-improved n 2016. The additions of free agents Josh Norman and David Bruton have strengthened up a unit that started to come on strong at the end of 2015. They join veterans DeAngelo Hall and Bashaud Breeland. This secondary should give Defensive Coordinator Joe Berry the freedom to be creative on defense. Watch how they handle Jets WRs Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker on Friday night.
Cousins was very efficient in short work during the week one game against the Atlanta Falcons. This week will be a great test for Cousins. He had one of his worst games of 2015 against the Jets. If Cousins proficiency can continue to improve the Redskins should one of the better teams in 2016. Watch and see how Kirk Cousins handles the Jets defense in week 2.
Redskins run defense
In 2015 the Washington Redskins run defense was one of the worst in the NFL. The opposing run game would repeatedly gash them. Week after week running back went wild. The Redskins front seven needs to handle this better. There has been an improvement at middle linebacker, but the interior defensive line needs to find improvement. The Jets do not have a very strong run game. If the Redskins can keep it that way, then that should be a good sign moving forward.
Redskins Pass Rush
The 2015 Redskins were average. Ryan Kerrigan was his normal self. They had a surprise performance out of rookie OLB Preston Smith. They are going to need more from their defensive ends to improve their pass rush. The loss of Junior Galette hurts this area. They now are going to have to bounce Trent Murphy from defensive end, a more natural position for him, back out to outside linebacker. If they can find a way to keep him at defensive end, especially in pass rush situations, they would be better off. Watch and see how this is handled on Friday night.
The Washington Redskins are looking to defend their 2015 NFC East Championship. To do this, they need to improve in a couple of areas. Week 2 should see about a quarter from the starters. Watch these five things for improvement.