As expected, the Oakland Raiders are off to a disappointing 1-2 start, but the Silver and Black have looked much improved compared to last season.
Quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game after suffering a concussion against Denver on Monday night, has been the recipe for success in Oakland. Anytime Pryor is out on the field, the Raiders have a legitimate shot at coming out victorious. The electric youngster is indispensable to the Raiders offense, therefore if he’s sidelined on Sunday, the Raiders chances of winning are slim.
Moreover, after winning the NFC East title a year ago, the Washington Redskins are off to a disastrous start. Washington’s beloved franchise quarterback Robert Griffin the Third, better known as RGIII, suffered his second ACL tear in the playoffs of last season. The former second overall draft choice underwent surgery and therapy in which kept him off the field for a significant amount of time.
As a result, RG3’s performance thus far does not look remotely close to how he performed a year ago.
The rust has yet to be cleansed off of Griffin’s game, like that unused bike that’s been sitting in your garage for years. Last year as a rookie, the superstar earned an abundance of well deserved awards, as he became possibly the hardest player in the league to defend just weeks into his career. The former Heisman Trophy award winner led the Redskins to a divisional title with a 10-6 record. Griffin won offensive rookie of the year, was selected to the pro bowl, and set NFL rookie records for passer rating and rushing yards.
As ESPN’s Skip Bayless continues to preach on air, the Redskins go as RGIII does. Griffin has already thrown four interceptions and fumbled the ball four times. Turnovers came very rarely for number ten throughout last season, as he threw just four picks the whole year! In result, the Redskins are off to a 0-3 start and have looked horrendous offensively and defensively.
Nonetheless, RGIII is a ticking time bomb ready to go off. He has not looked particularly sharp quite yet, but the former rookie of the year is bound to explode. Number ten is one of the things to watch out for, along with running back Alfred Morris.
One of Griffin’s great assets is his ability to run the read option. RG3 was one of the fastest players in his draft class, recording a breathtaking 4.41 40 yard dash time at the NFL combine. An enormous reason to his success in the pocket was due to the threat of running. It seems as if Washington’s coaching staff wants to limit Griffin as runner in order to keep him on the field, as RGIII has barely ran the read option so far this year.
If that’s the case in Oakland on Sunday, I give the Raiders a great chance at winning the game. However, if number ten begins to escape the pocket and run the read option effectively like he was able to do all of last season, the Raiders can be in some trouble. Griffin is certainly a player to watch out for.
Washington’s second year tailback Alfred Morris is a big bodied, power back that can hurt a defense in numerous ways. He has carried the ball 40 times in a course of three games, and tacked on a total of 225 yards, 5.6 per carry, along with a pair of touchdowns. Morris is a force coming out the backfield, and he can be a load to handle. The sixth-round pick out of Florida Atlantic set the Washington Redskins’ single-season record for rushing yards last year as a rookie, recording 1,613 total yards. With that being said, Morris is one to watch out for, for he needs to be contained if the Raiders have any plans to win this game.
I’m expecting a good, close game on Sunday. As long as the Raiders can stop the run and contain the pass attack of RG3, I think they have a good shot at becoming 2-2.