By JL Herrera
The Oakland Raiders are set to play the first NFC team this season, the Washington Redskins, on Sunday for the NFL’s Week 4. The Raiders will get to host the winless Redskins for their 12th match since 1970.
Oakland leads the all-time record against the Redskins at 7-4. At home, the Raiders lead as well with a 3-2 record.
The biggest game for these two was in the 1984 Super Bowl XVIII, when the Raiders, playing in Los Angeles, took a third title by defeating Washington 38-9.
The 12th edition of the Redskins and the Raiders will be exciting on Sunday—the Redskins are looking to win their first game this season while the Raiders are looking to stay with a 500 record by defeating Washington.
The Redskins Record
Washington is on a sinking ship as the team has not won a game so for this season. The Redskins have lost to the Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers (away game), and the Detroit Lions. In all three games, the Redskins put up a fight, but it was not enough to get a victory.
Robert Griffin III has been criticized for his inability to lead the Redskins, but he is still putting up numbers. This season, RG3 has 975 passing yards with five touchdowns. Not bad, but he does have four interceptions.
The Redskins stats are good, but had the bad luck of being on the losing end in the last three weeks.
Washington’s Offensive and Defensive Strategies
The Redskins are attacking their opponents with the passing game. RG3 is on pace to break the record for number of passes made per game with an average of 46.3 passes per game—and that’s exactly coach Mike Shanahan likes to see.
Everyone knows that Shanahan loved working with John Elway and his incredible passing abilities back in the 90s when Shanahan coached the Denver Broncos. With the Redskins, Shanahan has a QB with talent that he’s never gotten the opportunity to work with—the scrambling ability. So far, RG3 has been putting up the numbers. However, the defense is not holding out for the Redskins.
Washington’s defense uses three cornerbacks with one safety. Also, the team runs a man to man coverage at their base. With this package, the Redskins can stop the run from time to time, but their secondary is hurting. The Redskins have allowed 999 passing yards in the first three games. The Raiders will have to take advantage of this weakness if they want to defeat the Redskins.
Redskins’ offensive and defensive strengths and weaknesses
The offensive strength is RG3, a quarterback that is going to try to bomb the Raiders. And why not? Peyton Manning did it. RG3 is no Manning, but he throws more than anyone, so he’s bound to make a good amount of connections. That’s something that the Raiders need to watch out for.
The Redskins offensive weakness? Not having the ability to win. Their rushing yards are OK (they have a total of 304) and have the potential to be very effective, but their third down conversions are a bit low.
Washington’s defensive weakness is their secondary. If they fortify the secondary, the Raiders will be able to run on them, just like the Packers and the Eagles did in the first two weeks. So, if one side is strong, the other becomes weak, as far as the Redskins defense goes.
Their defensive strength is hard to pinpoint. The defense has allowed too many rushing and passing yards, which has led to the loss of the first three games for the Redskins. Strictly speaking, the defense needs to sharpen up or they will lose in Oakland.
Even with Mike Shanahan as the Washington Redskins coach and RG3 at the helm, the Oakland Raiders should be able to hold their composure. Shanahan’s a great coach, but he might be hard pressed to find a way to defeat an Oakland Raiders team with enough talent to pick apart the Redskins defense.
For more Raiders news and updates, visit Raiders Central.
J.L. Herrera is a huge fan of football and has been following the Raiders since the 1980s during the LA era. J.L. is also a freelance writer and copywriter on the web. He taught English for a little more than a decade in Los Angeles at the secondary level. While writing for web based news outlets, J.L. enjoys reading, creative writing, and watching sports. His work can be found on Examiner.com.