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Preseason Week 3: Redskins Keys To Victory

redskins keys to victory C Watts via Flickr


Washington Keys To Victory Against Cincinnati

The Washington Redskins aim to claim their first win of the preseason in week three. They will be facing the Cincinnati Bengals at home. There are a few areas that they will look to continue to improve on as the preseason reaches its final two weeks. Here are some keys to victory for the Redskins as they prepare for their third game. Which one is the most important?

Offensive Rhythm

The third game in the preseason usually means that the first-team offenses and defenses will stay in longer than they did in the first two games. This will surely help Kirk Cousins and the first-team offense who have been unimpressive so far in the preseason. The good news is that star tight end Jordan Reed is coming back after being on the PUP list. This will give us a good chance to get a first look at what the full first-offense will have to offer. Reed makes things much easier for Cousins. He is a target that can find open space and can be very effective after catching the ball.

If Washington manages to reach the red zone, look for Jordan Reed to be targeted by Cousins as he is effective in that area as well. Reed makes this offense even more dynamic. After abysmal starts by the offense in their first two games, getting the ball to one of their biggest stars has been one of the major keys to victory in the past. It shouldn’t change here. Overall, the offense will operate at a higher level.

Running Game Improvements

A big reason as to why Washington’s offense has been stagnant is because they have struggled running the ball. Out of all of the keys to victory, this is the most important to accomplish. In two preseason games, Washington has only gained 51.5 yards which is the worst in the league. It hasn’t been all on the running backs however, the offensive line seems to be struggling with staying with blocks and creating lanes. If they want to win their first game, they have to improve in this area. Success will be found by continuing to feed Semaje Perine the ball. Each week he is gaining confidence and is the only running back who is gaining positive yards for the offense. I would like to see Washington continue to use him in zone stretch plays specifically. Perine is showing that he can be patient, effective, and gain positive yards.

Defensive Aggression

The new look Washington defense has been a bright spot for the team this offseason. It is clear that Greg Manusky’s message is getting through to the players. He wants a high energy, aggressive defense that can pressure the quarterback and so far that’s what they have been doing. So far, they have recorded nine sacks and have allowed 145.5 passing yards. That puts them at fourth best in the league. The key to victory here would be Washington continuing their stellar play and aggression.

There are a couple of things to look forward to. Zach Brown will get his second consecutive start at linebacker beside Mason Foster. This will likely be the opening day pairing so it is important that they get used to one another. Junior Galette could finally make appearances in pass rushing situations. This is important because this would be the first time Washington fans will get to see Galette in a game since he signed with the team 2015. As an effective pass rusher, any improvement would be vital. Especially now with Trent Murphy out for the year with a torn ACL.