The Oakland Raiders will host the Redskins in Week 4. At 1-2, Oakland has a slightly better record than the Redskins (0-3) but still looks to have more problems than solutions. Like Washington, the Raiders are coming off a loss and they are hoping to add a win against a beatable opponent. The Redskins are a major downgrade from the Denver Broncos, who blew out Oakland in Week 3.
Washington is struggling to stop anyone on defense, which has weighed heavy on the team's offense. While Robert Griffin III has struggled, the defense (or lack thereof) has given the Griffin-led offense an urgency to score more and more points this season, which has made for forced plays. However, against the Raiders, the Redskins should not have an issue against the pass, so they will have to stack the box against Oakland running back Darren McFadden.
Meet the Raiders
The Raiders have had a tough time finding consistency with quarterback Terrelle Pryor. While he has shown flashes, the young passer has been up-and-down and it has shown in the box scores of the Raiders' first three games. While he has his shortcomings, the former supplemental draft pick does offer more versatility than backup Matt Flynn, who will start if Pryor does not recover from a concussion in time for Sunday's matchup against the Redskins. Flynn has been passed over twice for a starting job on two separate teams and two large salaries. He may neuter the production of burners like wide receiver Jacoby Ford, Denarius Moore and Rod Streater if he is the starter in Week 4.
Meet the Redskins
The Redskins defense is among the worst in the league against the run. If they are unable to stop McFadden, Washington may be in for a long day and the offense will be on the sideline for quite some time. The Redskins' offense is not what it was last season with RG3 recovering from knee surgery, but the added weight of the defense's inadequacies have put an even bigger strain on Kyle Shanahan's unit. Running back Alfred Morris may have to shoulder the load early to open up passing lanes for Griffin and his wide receivers against the Oakland's defense.
Local Takes: Raiders
Levi Damien of Silver and Black Pride believes that practicing against Pryor has prepared the Raiders defense for RG3:
In that regard, Terrelle Pryor, is a far bigger threat in the ground game than RGIII. Still, he's known to tuck the ball and run it as evidenced by his averaging 5 carries per game this season - down from 8 carries per game last season. That's a threat the Raiders are prepared to remove from his arsenal.
Pryor may not practice this week while the Raiders prepare for the Redskins but they have practiced against him enough that the Raiders defenders know what to do when RGIII flees the pocket and tries to make a play either on the move or tucking the ball and running.
Local Takes: Redskins
Bernard Samuel of Hogs Haven believes the Week 4 matchup against the Raiders may determine the team's ability to comeback from 0-3 this season:
Operation Patience is still in effect. With the NFC East struggling and facing difficult opponents in the coming weeks, the Redskins season is not over yet. We still haven't seen the light at the end of the tunnel, but that doesn't mean it's not there. The Redskins travel to Oakland who is coming off a short week and may be forced to start Matt Flynn at QB with Terrelle Pryor dealing with a concussion. However, we already know all too well that backups can do damage (See: James Starks and Joique Bell). From the fanbase exclaim a resounding: 'Just win, baby!' If not for the good feeling going into the Bye Week then at least for the good feeling going into the Series Finale of Breaking Bad just an hour after the game. Lose, and we might as well bury the season in an Albuquerque desert.
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From Week 4 Picks:
RGIII was throwing the ball better last week. That's a positive sign for Washington. Weirdly enough, giving this team a lead to protect might be the only thing capable of helping that defense. Remind me again why Jim Haslett still has a job? The Raiders are most likely starting Matt Flynn this week, so ...
The pick: Washington
The Redskins are listed as 3.5-point favorites on the road against the Raiders, according to Odds Shark.
In Week 5, the Raiders will host the Chargers. The Redskins will go on bye week following their matchup against Oakland.