Tale Of The Tape: Detroit Lions At Washington Redskins
- QuarterbackQuarterback Matthew Stafford is going to be facing a desperate team after the Redskins endured back-to-back humiliating losses in the first two weeks of the season. The Redskins will come after the Lions with everything they have and Stafford has to be prepared. While he is a physically gifted leader, he has not always taken advantage of these types of situations.RGIII does not resemble anything like he did for the majority of his rookie season when he was the most dynamic player in the league. He does not appear to have the quickness, acceleration or confidence that he did a year ago. If he can’t shake off the rust or improve quickly, it will be a long season for the Redskins.
- OffenseThe Lions have the potential for a big offensive year because they have a solid offensive line in addition to the skill players needed to make big plays. Calvin Johnson is almost certainly the best receiver in the game. In addition to his physical gifts, Johnson will sacrifice his body to block for others. Reggie Bush (knee) is unlikely to play and that means Joique Bell will most likely get the bulk of the carries.The Redskins have solid offensive weapons but not spectacular weapons. Alfred Morris was a huge force last year, but when the Redskins are behind by two touchdowns or more, he is not as big a factor. Pierre Garcon and Leonard Hankerson are decent receivers, but they are not able to turn a game around when the Redskins trail by multiple touchdowns.
- DefenseThe defense has a chance to be quite good, but head coach Jim Schwartz needs the Lions to be disciplined. This means that defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh must refrain from crucial penalties that hurt the team. Fellow DT Nick Fairley (knee) did not play vs. the Cardinals in Week Two, but he should be back for this game. Outside linebacker DeAndre Levy can be a game-changing force.The Redskins have been more than a step behind in their first two games against the Eagles and Packers. The Lions have the kind of big-play ability to take advantage of this deficiency. Outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan may be their most dynamic player, but he’s not enough to turn this unit around.
- Special TeamsDavid Akers has taken over as kicker for the Lions and while he has a powerful leg, he is no longer the consistent threat he was during his prime with the Eagles. Punter Sam Martin is just ordinary while return specialist Micheal Spurlock is not a proven threat.The Redskins don’t have much on special teams, and when they don’t have placekicker Kai Forbath, as they didn’t in Week Two vs. the Packers, they are at a severe disadvantage. Backup John Potter looked shaky in missing a FG attempt vs. Green Bay. Sav Rocca is a good but not great punter.
An 0-2 hole is difficult to climb out of, but 0-3 is just about the end of the line. The Redskins are home, they are desperate and they are facing a team they have dominated at home over the years. RGIII may not be at his best, but he should be good enough to keep Washington competitive in this one. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor