The Washington Redskins are looking better and better as the season progresses with QB Robert Griffin III seemingly back up to all of his scrambling tricks again. But that progress hasn’t brought wins and at 1-4, Washington isn’t looking for any moral victories — only real ones will do.
Last week, RGIII scrambled for 77 yards versus the Dallas Cowboys while second year RB Alfred Morris continued racking up more and more yardage each game, and even WR Pierre Garcon seems to be getting his groove back.
The confounding part is that none of the successes of these players has translated into victories. That is likely because while the Redskins have shown some ability to score, their defense has not shown themselves capable of stopping anyone on a consistent basis. They give up nearly 29 points per game, which ranks them 27th overall in the NFL. That’s not going to win anything and, truth be told, the Redskins are lucky to have even won a game with that type of effort.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Bears are still trucking along and are currently in a tie for first place of the NFC North Division with the Detroit Lions. A win on Sunday and a Lions loss would give them sole possession of first place. Head coach Mark Trestman likely realizes that his team needs to start creating some distance between themselves and other teams in the congested division, especially with the explosive Green Bay Packers waiting in second place for the Bears and Lions to flounder.
QB Jay Cutler was once infamous for his volatile nature and his inability to win the big games. While I cannot say whether any of the Bears’ four victories were truly big games, his demeanor on the sidelines is much improved over that of years past. WR Brandon Marshall, while still a bit mouthy in front of the cameras, has shown tremendous maturity this season and has become the Bears’ no. 1 offensive threat — a threat the Redskins’ secondary has no answer for.
Also, while the Chicago Bears are no longer the Monsters of the Midway from decades past, their defense is good enough to stop the run, and they are currently second in the league with 17 forced turnovers. If the Bears successfully stop the run, the ‘Skins may find themselves playing from behind once again and will need to abandon it against a Bears team that fields a formidable rushing attack of its own.
RGIII will likely have to shoulder the entire offense if Washington is to defeat the Bears. I think that may be too much to ask. Head coach Mike Shanahan’s game plan will be the difference.
Prediction: Chicago wins by two touchdowns, no matter what coaching adjustments are made.
Ricardo A. Hazell is a freelance sports writer for RantSports based in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter at NikosMightyDad or add him to your network on Google Plus.