The Washington Redskins started the 2019 season off in just an absolutely miserable way. They were 1-9, and there appeared to be no end in sight to their abysmal start.
The only real positives seemed to be they had a young core that was finally all playing together. Terry McLaurin was the stud young wide receiver (I’ll throw in Kelvin Harmon and Steven Sims Jr. as well). Derrius Guice was finally healthy at running back, and Dwayne Haskins was the rookie quarterback.
Outside of that though, the most exciting thing for fans was probably that the Redskins had a legitimate chance at the top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Since that 1-9 start though, Washington has rattled off two straight victories. Now at 3-9, the record is still poor, but there is actually some life in the team.
In Week 14 they face the 9-3 Green Bay Packers. On paper, it’s a blowout. Can Washington carry momentum into the game though?
Here are four reasons the Redskins could shock the Packers in Week 14.
Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson
Okay, yes. The Carolina Panthers’ run defense is really bad. You still can’t discredit the ridiculous production from Guice and Adrian Peterson in Week 13, though.
Peterson had 13 carries for 99 yards and a touchdown (7.6 yards per carry) and he had the bad day out of the two. Guice went for 129 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries (12.9 yards per carry). Oh, and two of his runs were one-yard touchdown scores. So, it’s safe to say he went about as off as you possibly can.
Those two are finally healthy and active at the same time. And they are proving that the Redskins season could be going a little bit differently if that were the case all year long.
Sure, the Packers present a little bit more of a challenge. However, they are still one of the worst teams at stopping the run this season. There’s no reason to believe Guice and Peterson can’t run all over them as well.
If that happens, the Redskins will not only move the ball down the field, but they will control the pace of the game and the time of possession. That’s a winning recipe right there.
Haskins has had a lot of doubters in recent weeks. Sadly, this is extremely prevalent amongst Washington fans themselves. However, even the most negative Redskins’ fans have to see that he’s improving.
In Week 13, Haskins did not have an interception. He also connected on a few more of his throws. He still has a lot of improving to do. However, there are a lot of positives in his game. The rookie has a cannon and is really good in the pocket. He moves around nicely and avoids pressure very well.
That being said, Haskins really needs to work on putting some touch on his throws. That’s what killed him in Week 12. He looked better in that category, if only slightly, in Week 13. Still though, if he keeps improving each week, the Redskins will continue to have a chance in each game.
Haskins is still looking for that big game in the NFL though. The one that he can point to and say he has arrived. Maybe he pulls out all the stops in Week 14.
The Washington defense was supposed to be a strong point coming into the season. That wasn’t the case for the longest time though. They were putting up disappointing performances nearly every week.
Now, they’ve found their footing though.
In the last two weeks, the Redskins have four interceptions (three by Fabian Moreau). They also had six sacks in Week 12 against the Detroit Lions, and seven in Week 13 against the Panthers. That was their first back-to-back six sack games in a long time.
Is this finally the Washington defense that we have been expecting all year long?
The defensive line is starting to play great. Jonathan Allen, Da’Ron Payne and Tim Settle all play vital roles. They can help immensely in the pass rush while being elite run stuffers. Meanwhile, Matthew Ioannidis might be the most underrated defensive lineman in football.
Oh, and rookie Montez Sweat just had the first two-sack game of his career. And he did so even with leaving due to injury well before the end of the game.
Meanwhile, Landon Collins flies around the field, Quinton Dunbar has been awesome and Fabian Moreau is improving rapidly (yes he still has issues but it’s ignorant to not notice how much better he’s playing since moving outside).
This defense has a lot of great pieces. If they figured it out they can help Washington win a lot of games.
This one is simple. The Packers are 9-3. Meanwhile, the Redskins are 3-9. Oh, and Green Bay’s last three games are against the Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, and Lions. So that’s three divisional games, one against the Vikings who are just one game behind them in the standings.
It’s not crazy to assume the Packers might be looking past the Redskins just slightly. I mean, the last three games of their season are against three teams with better records, all divisional games. By all accounts, they will likely be “tougher” challenges for Green Bay. And that game against the Vikings could mean a lot for the postseason standings.
Maybe Green Bay slips up. They aren’t in the right mind frame and the Redskins pounce and shock the Packers and the NFL world.