Five questions facing the Redskins entering Week 4

|
Sports,NFL,Redskins,John Keim

1

Can the secondary recover? Well, it helps that the Redskins play Tampa Bay, which has the NFL's 30th-ranked passing attack. Receiver Vincent Jackson has played well, but the Bucs have issues. The Redskins need to find a way to get quicker pressure. Other teams do it to them. They need nose tackle Barry Cofield and end Jarvis Jenkins to provide more help in rush situations, just pushing the pocket a little deeper.

2

How badly do they need a win? Very badly. The players have remained positive about the direction of the franchise, but this is year three in the Mike Shanahan regime, and the first two only produced 11 wins combined. A third straight loss with Atlanta up the following week would put them in a terrible spot. And the rough part of their schedule comes in the second half of the year. It's tough to keep selling players on a direction if you're not winning.

3

How many hits can Robert Griffin III take? So far quite a few. But that's not the formula you want to follow if you want him to last 16 games. On Sunday, he was hit in some fashion 28 times. It wasn't always a vicious hit, but compare that to Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton who was hit five times. The Redskins' offense still must prove it can move with just his arm for longer stretches.

4

Will Pierre Garcon return? Wait, wasn't this asked last week ... and the week before? Yes it was. All we know is that Garcon's nagging foot injury will be tested in practice starting Wednesday. The Redskins need him, just to add another big-play threat. The passing game lacks that right now. Leonard Hankerson played fine in his spot, especially with his blocking. Both on the field would be better.

5

Can they survive without Trent Williams? The left tackle is day-to-day with a bone bruise in his right knee. Jordan Black replaced him Sunday and had a handful of bad plays, but right tackle Tyler Polumbus had more consistent issues. Williams is tough to replace because of his athleticism. He makes plays other tackles can't make. They rallied for two touchdowns and nearly a third without him Sunday.

- John Keim

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

View article comments Leave a comment