Redskins vs. Bengals: Washington’s keys to victory

There are the obvious things the Redskins need to do to win their home opener Sunday against the Bengals, like winning the turnover and time-of-possession battles. But the game won’t come down to statistical categories; it’s about playing with pride, control and being physical. I could break the game down by phases like I usually do but the point is every single Redskins player needs to go into this game thinking the same exact thing.

The Redskins were undisciplined and soft in last weekend’s loss to the Rams. The Bengals have seen film of that all week and will try to expose it again. They will try to push the Redskins around, and if they are successful the Redskins will lose and they will lose by a lot.

The Redskins are tasked with coming out of the gate fast with a physical and energetically charged style of play. They shouldn’t worry about referees and their missed calls, but rather play hard from whistle to whistle and be physically imposing all game.

They also need to protect one another — especially Robert Griffin III — and avoid any scraps after the whistle is blown.

If the Redskins take pride in not making mistakes, and in playing hard and with confidence, they should be able to win this game.

They have to overcome some key loses on defense. The best place to start is stopping the run, then pressing the issue with tighter coverage and complement that with an aggressive, attacking pass rush from the defensive front. Get after Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton and stop the run, and the Redskins win this game.

I anticipate a bounce-back game for the Redskins. I believe they will pull this one out.

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