The great thing about this week’s match up pitting the Oakland Raiders against the Washington Redskins is, well, it’s NFL football. Aside from that, I honestly can’t think of anything that great to say about this duel between two woefully bad teams. The Redskins are 0-3, but were supposed to be in the chase to claim the NFC East divisional crown this year. While some prognosticators believe their losses are the result of QB Robert Griffin III struggling to overcome lingering mental and physical hurdles as result of his surgically repaired knee, I feel their woes are not quite so simple to zero in on.
Griffin is actually playing better than at least two-thirds of the starting quarterbacks in the league. He is completing better than 60 percent of his passes and has thrown for over 320 yards in each of his last three starts. But the Redskins’ signature play last season was the zone read option; it was so successful, that it helped Washington field the top rushing attack in the league, with RB Alfred Morris rushing for over 1,500 yards.
Morris would certainly love to run the ball more this season, but that’s hard to do when you’re constantly playing from behind. Though fans have only been able to ingest a small sampling, the second-year signal caller isn’t being asked to run the play with nearly as much frequency. Perhaps coach Mike Shanahan has an ace up his sleeve as far as game planning is concerned.
As a result, teams aren’t nearly as concerned with the prospect of Griffin making mad dashes into their secondary. But I’m almost certain Raiders head coach Dennis Allen noticed RG3 ran for a season high 37 yards last week. It might be troubling, because it is an indication that Griffin is gaining more and more confidence as a runner. That spells bad news for the Raiders. QB Terrelle Pryor is still listed as questionable for Sunday’s game and will likely be spelled by back Matt Flynn, should he not be fully recovered from the concussion he suffered against the Denver Broncos last week.
No matter who starts for Oakland, they should feel pretty confident about being able to move the ball against a Washington defense that is ranked last in the NFL. A heavy dosage of RB Darren McFadden could be just what the doctor ordered. Robert Griffin III appears to be steadily improving from week to week, and is primed for a break out rushing attack. Surely he’s tired of throwing the ball 46 times a game, and throwing four interceptions as a result. Be that as it may; I have the Redskins by a touchdown, 28-21.
Ricardo Hazell is a freelance writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @NikosMightyDad or add him to your network on Google.