The Oakland Raiders will host the Washington Redskins Sunday, looking to get back to .500 while Washington looks for their first win. In order to get there, the quarterback play of both teams will be the difference.
The Raiders would like to see Terrelle Pryor leading the offense, but he suffered a concussion last week. He has passed all the NFL concussion test protocols and has been cleared to play by the NFL. The Raiders are being more cautious; making sure Pryor is fully healthy before going on the field. They will administer a final test and if he passes, he will play Sunday.
For the Redskins, Robert Griffin III has come back to the pack after a standout rookie season. Griffin looks to still be bothered by a torn ACL he suffered in a playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks. He has favored the knee both running and passing. He is getting healthier as the season progresses and more comfortable with the knee. The Redskins and Griffin are fifth in the league in passing offense averaging 307.3 yards per game. Just because Griffin has had some early season struggles, the Raiders cannot take him for granted. If they do, he will make them pay.
The main issue for Washington this season has been their defense. Through three games, the Redskins defense has been gross, allowing 333 passing yards a game and 155 rushing yards per game. This is a unit, no matter who is at quarterback for Oakland, which must be exposed. Washington has two solid pass rushers the Raiders will have to mark. Both Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo can get after the quarterback.
If Pryor can go, he has a chance to give the Redskins defense problems. He developed a nice connection with Denarius Moore Monday against the Denver Broncos to the tune of six catches for 124 yards and a 73 yard touchdown. Running back Darren McFadden will be called upon as a primary offensive weapon. After a good start to the season, McFadden was bottled up last week. He rushed 12 times for nine yards. The Raiders are most successful when they run the ball well. That will be a key against Washington.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Raiders want to dial up the pressure. Defensive coordinator Jason Tarver likes to bring pressure from different spots on the field. He had some success blitzing safeties and cornerbacks. The defense will go after Griffin and see if he can use his legs to escape. Defensive end Lamaar Houston has played well this season with two sacks and a forced fumble. He will be a difference maker. Defensive tackle Pat Sims will be a key to clog the middle. Washington wants to run the ball with Alfred Morris and if Sims can get penetration to free up linebackers like Nick Roach and Sio Moore, the Raiders are in good shape.
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