It’s the Redskins at the Raiders in what hopefully will be a battle between two of the NFL’s most talented young rushing quarterbacks. Robert Griffin III hasn’t really gotten off to a strong start in 2013, as rumours circulating about his injury remain his persistent. It’s clear Griffin isn’t the same as he was last year and something is ailing him. Right now the Redskins enter this game a mess, sitting with an uncomfortable 0-3 record. The good news is in the NFC East nobody is really running away with it at the moment. Washington remains in the hunt but this clash is pivotal for their chances. On the other side with the Raiders, they haven’t been all that bad in 2013, mostly due to the emergence of rookie quarterback Terrelle Pryor. Pryor has provided a boost to a mostly stagnant offense, though his status for Sunday’s game remains in heavy doubt as he remains up in the air with a concussion. All reports suggest that he has passed his latest concussion test but still could sit out for precautionary reasons. For what it’s worth, I think TP2 suits up against RG3 and the ‘Skins on Sunday. It’s a classic match-up featuring two exciting quarterbacks, and one desperate Washington team. Find out our pick and further thoughts by reading on below.
Redskins at Raiders Betting Odds:
Washington Redskins -3 (-110)
@ Oakland Raiders +3 (+100)
Over 45 (-110)
Under 45 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Redskins at Raiders Pick:
Though much of the Redskins issues thus far have been pinned on the health of RGIII, more needs to be said about the struggles of the Washington defense. Through their first three contests, the ‘Skins defense has been last at defending the pass and 30th in the league at defending the run. Those are atrocious figures and must change Sunday if they want to get their first victory of the season. Washington will have to focus on stopping Darren McFadden and the potent Raiders’ ground game. Oakland doesn’t do many things well, but they can pound the football. Washington’s front-seven must be ready for a lot of that come Sunday afternoon. It should also be noted that despite Washington’s struggles on defense, they finally get a bit of a breather in terms of quarterback caliber in Week 4. In the first three weeks, Washington had to face Mike Vick, Aaron Rodgers, and Matthew Stafford. No easy feat stopping those three and their prolific offenses. Expect a better defensive outing from Washington on Sunday.
Look for Washington to get back to what they do best in this contest – rush the football. In their first three games they have always had to abandon the run game due to falling behind early. Against Oakland that won’t be a concern and look for Alfred Morris to finally break out and do big things. Moreover, Oakland’s secondary is very banged up right now and will be without their top two playmakers in that area as Tyvon Branch and Tracy Porter are out injured. Griffin has a great arm and should be able to take full advantage of their absences. RGIII looked very good in the late stages of last week’s game against the Lions, and if he can pick up where he left off, Oakland will struggle to get stops. Look for Pierre Garcon to have a very big day offensively.
Even though I expect Pryor to suit up for the silver and black, I don’t expect this game to end well for Raiders fans. There is a lot of pent-up frustrations within the Redskins camp and expect them to explode in Week 4. A hurt RGIII will still be able to shred Oakland’s porous defense, and the good vibes surrounding Oakland’s respectable start will come to a screeching halt. Three games doesn’t change an outlook on a season, and to me the Redskins still remain a capable group that is quite undervalued entering this game. To only have to lay a field goal against one of the NFL’s worst teams seems like a wise Week 4 wager. Let’s roll with RGIII and the ‘Skins by a field goal.