By: Ryan Cooley
The Redskins are off to an 0-2 start. They are only just beginning their brutal schedule to start the season. Next up is the Chicago Bears. This will be one of the toughest defenses Washington will face all year.
Coming into the season, the Skins defense was supposed to be the bright spot while the offense was a cause for concern. Two weeks later, and these perceptions have flipped. Playing the 4th ranked defense will show just how good this offense is. On the other side, the defense is playing against the 29th ranked offense, so there is no excuse for another lackluster performance.
How can they win?
Last game I said the defense would need to show up if they wanted to beat Dallas. For the second straight week, they laid a dud. The Bears offense has been nothing short of a disappointment to begin the season. Through the first two weeks, the Bears are only averaging 9.5 points per game. If this defense wants to show any glimmer of hope, they will need to shut down the Bears offense.
The offense will most likely decide the outcome of this game. They have impressed in the first two weeks and must play well Monday. It will be challenging to get the ground game going with the Bears front seven. For that reason, Keenum and the receivers must have a big game.
Players to watch for Washington
Ryan Kerrigan: Kerrigan is one of the most underrated players in the league. He has had back to back 13 sack seasons. He has also only had two missed tackles in those seasons. In week two. He matched that number. Kerrigan will have to be more of a secure tackler when facing Montgomery and Cohen.
Morgan Moses: Moses managed not to allow a sack last game against Demarcus Lawrence. He still allowed two hurries and one QB hit. He will have to hold down Mack for this offense to put up points. However, I do expect him to have help throughout the game.
Case Keenum: The Redskins traded for Keenum for games like these. Many rookie QBs would crumble in a primetime game against a top-five defense. He looks to be playing in his 2017 form with a 111.2 QB rating so far. Keenum has seen it all, and his experience will give the Skins a chance.
Josh Norman: So far, Norman has been a train wreck in 2019. In just two games, he has given up 9 receptions on 13 targets for 170 yds and 2 TDs. Last game against the Cowboys, Pro Football Focus gave him an abysmal 46.1 rating. If this defense wants to win any games, Norman must play better.
Players to stop on Chicago:
Khalil Mack: Mack is one of the best players in the league. If the Redskins want to move the ball at all, they will have to come up with a gameplan to slow him down. I don’t believe Moses can handle him on his own so they will need to double him. Expect to see TE Jeremy Sprinkle be used as an extra blocker to help Moses out.
David Montgomery: Montgomery has the makings to be a very good RB in this league. He forced 185 missed tackles in his last two years at college, the most of any player in the NCAA. He had 19 touches in week 2, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that number went up Monday.
Allen Robinson: The little offense the Bears have produced, has come through Allen Robinson. Robinson has 11 receptions for 111 yds in two games. Since Norman has been getting torched, they will need to throw a safety his way to help him out.
Prediction: Bears win 20-10
The Redskins are dreadful in primetime and have not won a Monday night game since 2014. If the defense is once again embarrassed, expect Manusky to be on his way out. I believe the offense will struggle against the Bears front seven. If the Redskins want to win this game, they will need a strong showing from Keenum and this passing game.