Week 8 Pregame: Redskins & Bengals in London


When the Washington Redskins play the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday it won’t be in Cincinnati Ohio, rather in London England with 90,000 fans in Wembley Stadium. Let’s accept it, our Redskins are now International. I knew we had fans all over the world, but never expected our Redskins to play all over the world.

leonardskinsX LeonardSkins
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Since I started following NFL football in the 1960’s, I can remember milestones the NFL made over the years.  I remember the NFL and AFL merger, In 1969 Vince Lombardi became the new head-coach of the Washington Redskins and I became a fan. I have witnessed the St. Louis Cardinals become the Arizona Cardinals, the Cleveland Browns become the Baltimore Ravens, the Los Angeles Rams become the St. Louis Rams and back to being the Los Angeles Rams, I also remember Johnny Unitas and Mike Curtis of the Baltimore Colts. Earl Campbell was a great running-back with the Houston Oilers who are now the Tennessee Titans. But, I never expected to see my almost 90 year old Washington Redskins play in London England!

XXRegardless, it’s still football and here are this old Redskins historian’s Keys to Victory. Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry must dial up blitz packages in addition to our pass-rush and pressure Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton like he did against Carson Wentz of the Philadelphia Eagles, Dalton is very good when he is not pressured and hurried. Our defensive line must get penetration, force their center back into the pocket and force Dalton into errant passes and mistakes.  

No quarterback likes to be in 3rd and long situations. Hopefully Josh Norman gets cleared to play and help control great wide receiver A.J. Green from scoring touchdowns. In the red zone, Dalton likes to find A.J.Green and his tight-end Tyler Eifert, 6’6″ tall in the red zone. Finally, our defense must stop their running game – the Bengals have two excellent running-backs in Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard.

From film study of Bengals previous games, I conclude the Bengals defense is better at stopping the run than guarding against the pass. Offensive Coordinator Sean McVay should have more pass plays than run plays, but enough run plays to keep from being one dimensional. We must run the ball enough to win the time of possession battle and keep the explosive Bengals offense on the sidelines as spectators.

Play-action passes, screens, and even more of the read-option plays that quarterback Kirk Cousins ran successfully versus the Detroit Lions would work.  Like to see more deep throws  to wide-receivers DeSean Jackson and Rashad Ross.  Hopefully Jordan Reed will be cleared to play by the independent doctor. Reed missed last game due to a concussion.

One more important offensive key to victory is our offensive line must give our quarterback Kirk Cousins time to read,plant, and throw.  Bengals have an excellent pass-rush.  Two worth mentioning are Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins. McVay may have to keep an extra blocker to assist protecting Cousins.

I do feel our defense will force turnovers in this game and our punter Tress Way will do his magic and pin the Bengals deep, I see Kirk Cousins leading the Redskins to 4 touchdowns or more and Dustin Hopkins making 2 of 2 field-goals.

Last but not least, our Redskins must play mistake free, penalty free, and stop beating themselves!  Time to be more productive in the red
zone, and stop playing “soft coverages” defensively when we get a lead.  Attack and keep attacking until the final second because its a 60 minutes game! We gave away two games already playing not to lose instead of playing to win. Time to win this one, be 5 and 3, get our bye week to get healthy and focused.  Then watch our Redskins dominate in 2nd half of the 2016 season.

HAIL and thanks to the “Redskins Tweet-team” and Skins fans who went to London to support our Redskins. Thanks to them we will not be the “visiting team” but be the home team favorites. They have recruited hundred of Washington Redskins fans, The English people love their soccer, other sports, and make great fans.

“London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down,London Bridge is falling down on the Bengals.” My prediction is head-coach Jay Gruden gets the best of his old Bengals team and Redskins win 34 to 20.

Hail, HTTR!

Picture Credit: Pic courtesy of Twitter.com

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