The Washington Redskins will travel to Houston this Sunday to take on the Texans. Both teams are looking to rebound from a terrible year in 2013 that saw double-digit losses for both respective franchises. While the game will come down to many deciding factors, the following five are the top things to look for as it pertains to the Washington Redskins.
Redskins vs Texans
1- The Redskins MUST protect Robert Griffin III: This is so important it could have been written twice, and no one would have cared. If the Redskins want RGIII to continue his progression toward being a pocket passer, they must first build an offensive line in front of him that will allow the young man enough time for a play to develop. Here’s to hoping they shift Kory Lichtensteiger over to center, and signing Shawn Lauvao to start at left guard is enough to improve over last year’s line.
2- The Redskins HAVE to find a way to be successful in the red zone: One of the major issues the 2013 Redskins had was that once they found themselves inside the opposing team’s twenty-yard line, they stalled out. This year’s team needs to take advantage of the easy things and put 6 points up on the board when they find themselves inside the red zone.
3- Will the Redskins be able to put pressure on the Texans backfield?: The Redskins looked impressive on defense in preseason, but that really means nothing now. Many times teams deliberately make their offense “vanilla” or simple. If the Redskins defense plays as they did in the preseason, on Sunday, this could be a battle in the trenches. The Texans feature a shaky quarterback situation and a first-year coach who has no experience in the NFL calling plays or coaching. After missing most of last year, Arian Foster will return to the starting lineup.
4- Improvement on Special Teams: This could be the most important part of the entire season, much less a top 5 list in Week 1. The Washington Redskins had the worst special teams in team history in 2013. Several reasons/people are to blame for that but to be honest, it’s a team failure first and foremost. The Redskins brought in key players who did well elsewhere on special teams, and this year’s team looks to make a big jump in the special teams’ department.
5- Getting Comfortable: First-year head coach Jay Gruden has to learn on the job immediately and keep his head above water as well. He has many weapons on offense and a defense ready to prove many wrong. Gruden just needs to find his comfort groove.
Gruden and Griffin appear to be getting along well, but not too well. Often, coaches get too close to their players, which most of the time ruins the player. Both of these guys need to get things in their minds comfortably collected.