WASHINGTON — The high of the Redskins’ win over the Rams can’t last forever.
Looking ahead to next week — Washington hosts the Raiders at FedEx Field on Sunday Night Football — former Redskins corner Shawn Springs forecasts Oakland’s offense will be unstoppable, demanding Kirk Cousins to play lights-out for a chance to win.
Asked for his prediction during an appearance with The Sports Junkies Monday morning, Springs shot back, “Oh man. JP, why you always putting me on the spot? You know I hate to say the truth on the air. They’re gonna blow my Twitter up and say I’m a Redskins hater!”
“I think the Raiders, Denver and the Chiefs — that is the best conference and I think it’s gonna get bad for the Redskins if they don’t play their absolutely best football,” he said. “And Terrelle Pryor better show out in front of his former team or it could get real bad, because I don’t think they’re stopping that Raider offense at all.”
Asked if he thinks they can beat the Raiders in the same way they beat the Rams, Springs didn’t hold back: “No way. Noooo way.”
“Because the difference is Derek Carr,” he said. “Now they’ve got a running game with Marshawn Lynch, and the receivers outside? Uh uh. Amari Cooper and [Michael] Crabtree — no, you’ve got to cover now, and you’ve got a quarterback that can get them the ball.”
“They have a challenge,” he reiterated. “The offense has to show up. The defense is going to get scored on. Y’all can chalk that up. Oakland’s gonna score 28 points on our defense. The problem I see is the offense is going to have to compete. Kirk’s gonna have to ball.”
The Raiders have the fourth-most productive offense through Weeks 1 and 2 — racking up 384.5 yards per game — and lit up the Jets’ porous defense for 45 points on Sunday. Conversely, Washington ranks in the middle of the pack: 16th, at 324.5 yards per game.
The most noticeable difference? The Raiders — who have scored 27 more points than the Redskins (the same number of points the Redskins scored against LA) — have no trouble converting in the red zone. Oakland is successful 71.4 percent of the time in the red zone; the Redskins are batting 33.3 percent in that category.
“It looked like the receivers in the first half were non-existent,” Springs said of the Redskins in Sunday’s win. “It was a running back and tight end. And I’m a little nervous about that, to be honest with you. It doesn’t look like the Rams feared anybody out there that was going to run past them.”
“Terrelle Pryor’s a talent, but he’s got to catch the ball,” he said. After catching six of 11 balls thrown his way in the season opener, Pryor was only targeted four times on Sunday, and caught two of those balls for 31 yards.
“In the NFC East when we come into our conference play, I mean, jeez, you can’t beat people just with a running back, Chris Thompson, out of the backfield, and Jordan Reed,” Springs said. “Receivers — I mean, we need D-Jax. Somebody has to emerge.”
“I would like to see Crowder get a little more involved,” he said. “I think he’s a special talent, especially on third down. He’s a guy that you’ve got to account for — between him and Chris Thompson — on third down, that Kirk’s gonna trust those guys. And you have Reed, who can stretch the middle, but he’s got to be healthy. If he’s not healthy, the guys on the outside are just guys to me.”
Springs saved plenty of praise for second-year defensive back Kendall Fuller, whom he believes could be talented enough to one day replace Bashaud Breeland on the outside.
“Good football player,” he said. “And one of the plays that you’ll remember: [Robert Woods] had caught a crossing route on Josh Norman, and Fuller came off his man — a guy was supposed to run him off — came off his man and really saved the first down.
“Came off his man and smacked Woods. Great play. Now, that’s football instincts. That’s not something that you can just take lightly. I mean, not a lot of guys even playing 10 years do stuff like that.”
“And you can tell the kid, and the way he attacks bubble screens, avoiding the blocks and wrapping up the receivers, I mean this kid has come along,” he said. “He is a perfect nickle back and I think he has a bright future ahead of him. And Breeland has to be careful, because, if not, [Fuller] can also play on the outside, too. I think Breeland is talented and I think Breeland is stepping up, but this Fuller is a football player.”