The word is out and the news is spreading. Washington is ripe for a Lions upset.
This is the theme that has been bandied about every major sports show or website over the past week. If you are judging the Redskins based on their play so far this season you could probably arrive at the same conclusion.
On paper there is no way that this happens. But games aren’t played on paper. If the Redskins don’t break out of their current scoring slump and keep giving teams such as the Lions chances to steal a win this season defining upset could become a reality.
This would be devastating to the Redskins. If they have any hope for challenging teams in their division they must win games like this. I have come up with some tips that could help them break out of their slump and finally allow me to relax in the fourth quarter of a game.
First of all the Redskins need to spread it out in goal line situations and give Campbell the freedom to make decisions. So far this year it is evident that the Redskins’ offensive line is not a dominant unit. The two tight end heavy formations that the Redskins are known for haven’t been giving Portis or anyone else the push to get the tough yards.
A change of strategy is in order. Spreading a defense out with three or four receiver sets will do many things that could help this team. Clinton Portis had his greatest success running for a zone blocking scheme in Denver. Spreading it out gives Portis more cutback options and space to create.
A spread formation dictates that the defense must switch from goal line packages to nickel coverage. This puts a less powerful team on the field and could help give the Redskins the push that they need in the running game.
Spreading it out also takes defenders away from the line of scrimmage and could create opportunities for Campbell to use a QB draw. Even if a draw is not designed it would give Campbell more space to improvise if a play breaks down. Campbell’s mobility hasn’t been effectively utilized in the red zone and this could be the formation that may best utilize his instincts.
Going with a multiple receiver set allows the big targets like Malcolm Kelly and Marko Mitchell to get into the game and help give the Redskins the goal line play making ability that they were drafted to provide. The Redskins wanted the size advantage. Now that they have it they should use it.
The defense played much better last week as they actually managed to create pressure without using all out blitzes. That must continue this week. Pressure creates mistakes. The Skins must keep Stafford uneasy the entire game. If they do the turnovers will follow.
Many people think that DeAngelo Hall is the Redskins’ best cornerback. While he is their best playmaking corner Carlos Rogers is actually a better cover corner. Rogers needs to draw the assignment against Calvin Johnson, but Gregg Blache would still be wise to double team him.
The Skins should let Hall play the opposite side, where he can’t get burned deep and will be in the best position to make big plays.
The Redskins took some of my advice to heart last week, and the result was a win, however ugly it seemed. If they can make these new changes it might save them from the most embarrassing defeat imaginable.