It’s never a good time to face the Seahawks’ hyper-aggressive, ball-hawking, receiver-jostling “Legion of Boom” secondary, and Monday night it’s the Redskins’ turn to try to beat the NFL’s best pass defense.
It seems like a mismatch, especially since the Redskins’ offense is coming off its worst effort of the young season.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins was downright embarrassing 11 days ago against a subpar Giants defense, giving away interceptions like Halloween candy. Receiver DeSean Jackson is banged up and has been largely ineffective except for one big play, and tight end remains a position of attrition.
So how in the world is Washington going to prevent Richard Sherman and company from having a field day?
“The whole group in general, they’re just a physical group,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. “And then when they want to play man-to-man, they do a good job of getting their hands on receivers and rerouting them. And they do a nice job altogether, so whoever we’re going up against, it’s going to take great effort by our wideouts.”
The Redskins came into the season thinking their receivers were going to be a team strength, and while Washington is fourth in the NFL in passing yards, the unit needs to distinguish itself against the Seahawks.
“I don’t care who is out there — I’ll go against whoever,” Pierre Garcon said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s Deion [Sanders], D-Hall, or they put a receiver out there. Names and numbers don’t matter.”
The Seahawks are going to do everything in their power to rattle Cousins, who studied the tape from the Giants debacle in order to prepare himself for this week’s challenge.
“You have to be brutally honest with yourself,” he said. “You have to check your ego at the door when you walk into the film room, and say to the coaches, ‘Let’s make sure this never happens again. However you have to coach me, be hard on me to make sure that it gets through.’ ”
The most effective way Washington can neutralize Seattle’s secondary is to play keep away — using running back Alfred Morris to grind the game along and keep Cousins from forcing the ball down the field.
“The one thing you want to avoid against these guys is third down and long somehow,” Gruden said. “So when we do run the ball, we have got to make sure we make positive plays out of it.”
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