This week, and for four of the next five weeks, the Buccaneers invade the NFC East. That means we get to talk to our two gurus from that division. This week it’s Al Curtiss giving us insight on the Washington Redskins.
LH : Al, you and I are both old school guys. If you’re playing up north where Mother Nature is normally a factor late in the season, you need to be able to run the football. Is that still a vital part of a pass-happy NFL offense?
AC : Even in the Air Raid era of Professional football, you still need to be able to run the ball. In recent weeks the Redskins have been unable to do that. They average under 4 yards per carry and have only 26 rushing first downs this season.
LH : With that being said, the other big factor is stopping the run and making the opposition one-dimensional. How is Washington doing in that respect?
AC : Leo, not well at all. Opponents are averaging 4.6 yards per carry and have also rushed for 40 first downs. Can’t run it and can’t stop the run. Not a recipe for success.
LH : The team has been embroiled in a quarterback controversy this season. Robert Griffin III or Kirk Cousins with Cousins coming out on top. How is that working out?
AC : The jury is still out on this one. Kirk Cousins has 6 TD’s and 8 Interceptions and Washington in -2 in turnover margin. As you can see, he and the offense are not setting the league on fire right now.
LH : What’s the biggest reason this team is not succeeding at a higher rate?
AC : The injury bug continues to hamper the Redskins on both sides of the ball. This week is no different as they will be missing, according to head coach Jay Gruden’s announcement Friday, cornerbacks Chris Culliver and DeAngelo Hall. On the offensive side they will be without center Kory Lichtensteiger and wide receiver DeSean Jackson, further hampering their ability to move the ball offensively. Without DeSean’s big play presence on the outside, defenses can further pack the box, and now without your center, running the ball becomes tougher. On defense, you’re going to ask back-up corners to cover that basketball team the Bucs have at wide outs with Jackson and Evans both in the 6’5″ range.
There’s some rumblings that there was an off-the-field incident that has been a distraction for the team. What have you heard?
AC : Here’s what I’m hearing. Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson’s California home was the scene of an armed
home invasion on Oct. 21. The Los Angeles Police Department said four armed people entered Jackson’s home in the 19000 block of Santa Rita Street in the Tarzana neighborhood of L.A. on Wednesday. There were five people in the house at the time, but their relationship to Jackson is unknown at this time. Jackson was at Redskins Park at the time of the invasion. LAPD is not reporting any injuries from the incident, nor are they releasing any information on possible suspects. They do not know if anything was taken during the event. According to other sources, this isn’t the
first time this happened. Jackson has had trouble in his own home before when his Philadelphia home was robbed of $250,000 in 2014 while he was still playing for the Eagles. Redskins head coach Jay Gruden says Jackson is anxious about the incident, but will let police handle the situation.Leo, not something you want to have happen any time but especially while you’re preparing for a football game.
LH : OK, Al, the big question. Who wins and why?
AC : This will be a close game, but with Washington at home and Tampa sporting the 25th ranked pass defense, the Redskins should be able to win late with a passing TD. Skins use their ground game to close out, or more appropriately, hang on to a late lead to win a very close game.