This Sunday, the Cleveland Browns host the Washington Redskins at Cleveland Browns Stadium. The one huge question that awaits an answer is; will Robert Griffin III start at quarterback? Nonetheless, the thing about the game of football is there are ten other guys on the field and it’s not just an individual game. Here’s a break down of the Redskins’ threats both on offense and defense.
Let’s figure that RG3’s noodle knee is not going to go this weekend. There was a reason why Washington selected Kirk Cousins in the fourth round of this past NFL Draft, because of situation like last week. Though fast, RG3’s style of play is somewhat reckless as seen against the Baltimore Ravens. Therefore, Cousins could be at the helm on Sunday. If the second string quarterback is, this will vastly change Cleveland’s game plan. The only thing to really know about Cousins is he came back and beat the Ravens last Sunday. Cousins has two touchdowns and two interceptions on the year.
Who is Alfred Morris? Out of nowhere, Morris has popped up and played physical dominating football. With over 1,200 yards rushing, the Florida native is a bowling ball type back that averages five yards a carry. If RG3 is out of this game, Morris is going to be featured heavily in what looks to be a cold day in Cleveland. There’s not much versatility to Morris as he only has six receptions on the year. However, he picks up blitzes nicely and gives his quarterback more time in the pocket.
Unlike the Browns, the Redskins decided to spend some big money this past off season. Washington upgraded their receiving corps in two nice moves, Pierre Garçon and Josh Morgan. Add veteran Santana Moss and sophomore Leonard Hankerson to the mix, and this group makes one of the deadliest receiving corps in the NFL. All four players combined have 1,799 yards receiving and 13 touchdowns. Those figures are deceiving because RG3 makes up a huge part of the offense with his ability to run (748 yards & 6 TDs). Each receiver averages over 10 yards a catch and are lethal in their own way.
On defense is where the Redskins are weak. Washington is ranked 28th in the NFL and gives up 388 yards a game. Opponents can score points on them too, as they allow 25 points per game. While the Skins have the seventh best rushing defense in the league, it is their passing defense that scares Redskins fans. Washington is near the bottom of the league in pass defense ranked poorly at 31st (289.3 yards/game). However, the NFC East opponent does grab their fair share of interceptions. The defense has 15 picks and tied for sixth in the NFL in that category.
The few players that Cleveland will need to be aware of are Cleveland native London Fletcher, linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, and veteran corner back DeAngelo Hall. The 36 year old Fletcher co-leads the team in tackles with 61 and does have three interceptions. Kerrigan is their sack specialist, leading the way with 6.5 sacks. Washington’s defensive front is full of smart veteran players and have forced 10 fumbles on the year. Hall is their leading man in the secondary with four interceptions.
The 7-6 Redskins are a fighting for a playoff spot and will come ready. Although they give up 25 points a game, they also score 25 points a game. With RG3 most likely not playing, this may be a cold weather hard hitting football game. This is a winnable game for Cleveland.
Ryan Ruiz – Cleveland Browns Writer
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