Redskins-Titans keys to the game: offense
The Redskins are visiting a talented but inconsistent Titans team. After losing three out of the last four games, the Redskins' playoff hopes are starting to dwindle. They have to get on a winning streak if they want to have a chance.
Here's what the Redskins offense must do to help win this game.
The offense has struggled with 3rd down conversions all year and had its worst showing on Monday against the Eagles, converting 0 times out of 10. That's unbelievably bad. If the offense can figure out how to have some success on third downs it will go a long way toward helping the team win on Sunday.
You may wonder what makes 3rd down conversions so important. If a team is able to convert on 3rd downs, it is lengthening the drive and gaining field position. It also means more chances to score. Third downs are critical to both the offense and the defense. If an offense goes three plays and out all game, the offense will spend way too much time on the sideline and the defense will spend way too much time on the field. That means the defense will get tired and eventually will wear down.
So again, the Redskins must do better on 3rd downs.
The Redskins offensive line continues to struggle and it's costing this team success in the passing game. They must block better for this team's passing attack to improve. They only allowed two sacks against the Eagles, but that is not indicative of how poorly the o-line blocked. They must create a more comfortable pocket for Donovan McNabb to stand in. They haven't been doing this and defenders are having success at forcing McNabb to alter his passes.
Allowing defenders to get their hands in the quarterback's face or to make contact with his hand or shoulder also rattles a QB. These are all things that this o-line is allowing to happen to McNabb. They have to figure out how to stop it.
Mcnabb must throw the ball better. He has been inaccurate at times and it has cost the team. He must improve on the consistency of how accurately he is throwing the ball. The o-line shoulders the blame for the lack of protection, but that's no excuse for McNabb. He must still perform his duties better, controlling what he can control -- and that is to throw the ball better.
The receivers must catch the ball. There were way too many dropped balls against the Eagles. When a receiver drops the ball it hurts so many things. It hurts the drive. It hurts his confidence in his ability to catch the ball. More importantly, it hurts the confidence of the quarterback to throw the ball to the receiver, which in theory helps the defense by having one less target to worry about.
The Redskins will need to try to establish their ground game. The passing game has struggled, so the ground game has to improve. It rained on Monday night. It's getting to that time of year where the weather will be a factor in the games. The teams that are able to run will be the hardest teams to play against in November and December.
In this week's match up, the Titans defense is a pretty physical and talented group, and the Redskins offense hasn't shown it has the ability win games. I give the edge to the Titans defense.
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