Washington may have played one of their most complete games of the season in their Thanksgiving Day victory in Cowboys Stadium. The Redskins offense exposed the weaknesses in the Cowboys defense as they totaled 437 yards. The Cowboys defense, up to that point, wasn’t too bad. Dallas’ defense was once ranked in the top five in the NFL, but are now ranked just 19th. They have regressed throughout the season, in which injuries have played a significant part in that.
At that point both teams were 5-6 and looking up at the New York Giants in the NFC East. However, in the last four weeks the Cowboys are 3-1 and the Redskins are 4-0 (six straight victories). As of now, the Giants are eliminated from playoff contention and the winner of Sunday night’s game will continue their season, loser goes home.
Here are the keys to a Redskins victory:
Win the Turnover Battle
One way the Redskins have continued to be successful this season is by winning the turnover battle. They are tied with the Houston Texans as third in the NFL in that department (+14). It is primarily due to the fact that Robert Griffin III has been brilliant at protecting the ball. He has 20 touchdowns to just five interceptions on the season, which puts him in the top 10 in the league in touchdown-to-interception ratio. Redskins defense forced three turnovers in the first meeting against the Cowboys. If they can continue to win the turnover differential for one more game, they will head into the playoffs and win the NFC East.
Secondary has to Hold up vs Dez Bryant:
Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant has been playing out of his mind here lately. The broken hand that he suffered in week 14 has seemed to light something underneath him, and he has been playing even better. He has caught at least one touchdown in each of the Cowboys last seven games, and has a total of 10 TD’s in those games. Cornerbacks Josh Wilson, Deangelo Hall and that Redskins secondary that has struggled all season, has to step up to the plate. If Tony Romo gets ample time to throw the ball, I’m sure he’ll be throwing a few deep balls to Bryant.
More RGIII Magic:
In the first meeting against the Cowboys, RGIII threw for 304 yards and four touchdowns, with just one interception. His quarterback rating for that game was 131.8, astounding! He has seemed to live up to the hype whenever the pressure starts to build. This game will be another test for him to pass. With the Redskins playoff hopes on the line, RGIII has to continue to play the way he has all season. Since he has played that way all season, literally, then he shouldn’t have a problem sustaining his strong play Sunday night. I think he will have a huge game for the Redskins and will outplay Romo when it matters most, the fourth quarter.