This week, the Washington Redskins (0-2) host the Chicago Bears (1-1) on Monday Night Football. The Redskins have been notoriously horrendous, winning two games since 2008 on Monday Night Primetime, winning those games by a combined four points.
Coming off a terrible loss to the Dallas Cowboys, the Redskins are trying to avoid a 0-3 start, further killing their chances at a potential playoff berth. They were not able to run the ball, allowed too many big plays, and could not stop the run, as Ezekiel Elliot ran for over 100 yards.
The Chicago Bears won their last contest against the Denver Broncos, but not in convincing fashion by any means. A fluke roughing the passer call and getting their last timeout with one second remaining, and a 53-yard bomb to win the game, the Bears could just as well be sitting at 0-2.
The Redskins need to prove to their fanbase and the rest of the NFL that their defense is legitimate. The Bears offense has not shown that they are going to win anything, let alone a football game. The Redskins need to crowd the box, keep 6-8 players in the box, stop the run game, and force Trubisky to beat them.
The running game needs to get in together too. They must find a way to minimize the tough Bears defensive line and protect Case Keenum. The run game ranks dead last in the NFL, but the passing game ranks in the top 10. Yes, some of those stats are inflated by two garbage time TD drives when the outcome of the game was already determined, but this passing game has proven to be able to move the ball. With speculations that TE Jordan Reed could possibly retire from his recent concussion that was his seventh documented since he played at the University of Florida, the passing game led by rookie Terry McLaurin has been a pleasant surprise.
They also need to cut down the stupid penalties and being able to get off the field on third down. The defense is forced to stay on the field longer than needed, tiring out and getting ran into the dirt. Josh Norman and the secondary need to better communicate and stop allowing the deep balls on a consistent bases. The pass rush needs to get to the QB and force turnovers.
Mitch Trubisky and the Bears offense has struggled this year, having an offense that only ranks higher than the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets. Averaging only 9.5 PPG, the Bears do not have an offense that can be relied on. Their passing offense ranks 28th, so the Redskins key to winning this game is making Trubisky play a QB. He is barely an average QB, struggles with accuracy, only completing 58% of his passes, averaging 174 YPG, and has yet to throw a TD pass in his two starts. If they can run the ball and not let Trubisky lose them the game, this could potentially be a cakewalk for Chicago. Just letting that top-ranked defense do what they do is a must. Khalil Mack lined up against Morgan Moses or Donald Penn could be something to look for, but Mack lined up against anyone.
I think the Bears will come out on top. The Redskins and their defense won’t necessarily lose them the game, but it’s more or less the Bears will get a few breakthroughs and capitalize on the mistakes made by Washington. I have the Bears pulling through 17-14, in a game that will look closer than what the final score will show.