Tha Sports Junkies 101

Washington Redskins: 3 X-Factors For This Season

x-factors Red Weasel Media via Flickr


Redskins X-Factors

As the season approaches, teams around the league will start to gain more insight as to what most of their players have to offer. When the rosters are set, there will be a question as to who the players that can make or break a game will be. Usually, there are established players that you already know can be game changers. X-factors are those that can be game changers but aren’t necessarily established. The Washington Redskins have a few potential X-factors who could help them win games this year. Here’s who I think can be X-factors for them.

Su’a Cravens

The Washington Redskins selected Su’a Cravens in the second round of the 2016 draft. Coming out of college, Cravens was regarded as a “hybrid” type of player. That is exactly the type of player that Washington likes for their defensive scheme. Cravens is someone who can play linebacker and safety. Last year he saw a little bit of time at both and showed flashes of potential. Unfortunately, Cravens suffered a concussion and an arm injury which left him frustrated while shortening his season. This year there is a new-found hype around the young player. A big reason is that he will now be playing safety full-time instead of playing middle linebacker. This will give him more room to showcase his skills and versatility. In addition, it gives him a good chance to become an X-factor this season. He can play into coverage and can be useful in the box as well to stop the run. As a result, he will be able to make plays all over the field. This is something that the Redskins have been missing from that position for a while. Su’a Cravens will be a big key to the success of Greg Manusky’s defense, thus making him an X-factor.

Zach Brown

A signing that flew under the radar in the NFL was that of linebacker Zach Brown. For the Redskins, this was a key position that they needed to upgrade. Washington finished last year with the 24th ranked rushing defense and had issues tackling ball carriers. With Brown, the Redskins are getting a player who went to the Pro Bowl last year and finished second in the league in tackles. Brown will fight for a starting position in the preseason along with Will Compton and Mason Foster.

Because of his efficiency, I expect Zach Brown to be one of those starters. According to Pro Football Focus, Brown finished fourth among linebackers in total stops and sports a run-stop percentage of 8.9. Both of those numbers are better than Compton and Foster. In a defense that struggled in stopping the run last year, Zach Brown will be an X-factor in why the overall defense should improve this year.

Terrelle Pryor

The Cleveland Browns decided not to re-sign Terrelle Pryor this offseason. As a result, Washington decided to give the 28-year-old a shot. They signed the receiver to a one-year, $6 million contract. This is a signing that excited many around Redskins Park. Last year, Pryor showed a lot of potential to become a very dangerous receiver in the NFL. He has the ability to do damage to opposing defenses. The main thing that makes Pryor an X-factor is the potential he possesses. Playing with six different quarterbacks, Pryor was able to record over 1,000 yards receiving and scored four touchdowns. It is important to remember that Pryor is still trying to adjust to the receiver position. He and Kirk Cousins still have work to do to get on the same page. When they actually start to gain chemistry it could make the Redskins offense really scary.