NFL Playoffs: Finding Flaws With the Final 12: How to Beat the Washington Redskins

In a year some have dubbed “The Year of the Rookie Quarterback,” Wild Card Weekend will have its own little “Day of the Rookie Quarterback.” The afternoon matchup will feature two of the more electrifying rookies QB’s this season. First let’s focus on Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins. Washington won the NFC East week 17 in a win and you’re in game against the Dallas Cowboys. Griffin has been nothing short of electric, but a knee injury he suffered a few weeks ago has him in a knee brace and his complete mobility is a bit of a question.

They were 20th in passing yards per game, and fifth in rushing yards per game. This is a run first team, so opposing defenses must turn Griffin into a passing quarterback. The knee might limit Griffin’s ability to scramble like he normally does, putting pressure on him to make things happen with his arm. While containing Griffin is part of the game plan to beat Washington, the key to defeat lies with the defense.

The Redskins secondary is porous. Opposing quarterbacks have picked them apart for most of the year. In four of Washington’s six losses, the opposing quarterback has thrown for 300 or more yards. They have allowed 282 passing yards per game, 30th in the NFL. Clearly, the weak part of the defense is the secondary. If teams can get at the secondary with ease, it forces the Redskins to become a pass-first team, the complete opposite of what they’re built to do. Attacking the secondary of the Redskins will provide teams with a win-win situation: exploiting the weak link of the Washington defense and forcing Griffin to throw often.

Stats obtained from