The Redskins blew it up last week. The team fired Jay Gruden as head coach and reinstalled Case Keenum as starting quarterback.
Will it make any difference in Miami?
Maybe, as interim head coach Bill Callahan wants to run the ball more and play more physical football. And Keenum had some good games early in the year before he started to turn the ball over at warp speed in Weeks 3 and 4.
But the real difference, and opportunity for Washington, is just how bad the Dolphins are. The Redskins should get their first win of the year in Miami, and if they don't, the problems will only amplify.
- The Redskins run game is awful, and without one long run from rookie Steven Sims, the numbers would be even worse. The team is averaging less than 70 yards-per-game on the ground and fewer than 4 yards-per-carry. But good news Hog fans - Miami's run defense is actually way worse than the Redskins run offense. The Dolphins rush defense is worst in the NFL by a fairly wide margin. Miami is giving up 175 rush yards-per-game and near 5 yards-per-carry. Callahan says that the team needs to establish veteran running back Adrian Peterson to make their game plan work and help the defense. There has never been a better week for that plan.
- Going back to Case Keenum is a curious move. He played well in the season opener in Philadelphia but things detiorated from there. In his last six quarters, Keenum has six turnovers. Now, it's not like the Redskins are benching Steve Young to go with Keenum. Colt McCoy played last week against the Patriots and was largely ineffective.
He completed 66 percent of his passes but for only 122 yards and he threw an interception. McCoy also got sacked six times in the game, though the Patriots defense is a freight train. This week, McCoy seems likely to be inactive with rookie Dwayne Haskins backing up Keenum. Remember in Keenum's last start he got benched just before halftime in favor of Haskins.
If Keenum and the Redskins struggle against Miami, a defense that has given up nearly 300 passing yards-per-game, then maybe Haskins goes back in. Earlier this week Callahan said that the team will have a package of plays available for Haskins.
- For all the consternation about the Redskins offense, their defense has also been terrible during the 0-5 start. The Dolphins have given up 12 passing touchdowns this season. The Redskins have given up 13. The Dolphins defense gives up first downs on 58 percent of third down plays. The Redskins defense gives up first downs on 56 percent of third down plays. But make no mistake, as bad as Washington has been, Miami has been worse. The Dolphins have given up 163 points in just four games. The Redskins have given up 151 points in five games.
- As always with the Redskins injuries will be a factor. Special teams captain Deshazor Everett will miss Sunday's game, as will veteran tight end Vernon Davis and rookie guard Wes Martin. Jordan Reed hasn't played yet this year and that won't change in Miami either. And don't forget Trent Williams is healthy but refusing to play for the organization.
News & Notes
- Dating back to last season, the Redskins have gone 1-11 over their last 12 games.
- During that stretch, Alex Smith, Colt McCoy, Mark Sanchez, Josh Johnson, Case Keenum and Dwayne Haskins have all taken snaps at quarterback.
- With his first carry Sunday, Adrian Peterson will move past Eddie George into 15th place on the NFL's all-time rushing attempt list. With 13 carries, Peterson will surpass Thurman Thomas for 14th place.
- Ryan Kerrigan has started every Redskins game since being drafted in 2011. A remarkable streak.
- In the past four years, the Redskins have gone 4-0 in Week 6 games. Maybe that will do it...
They said it
Speaking a few hours after firing Jay Gruden, Washington Team President Bruce Allen when asked about the culture surrounding the 0-5 Redskins and no playoff wins in the last decade:
The culture is actually damn good. These people care. We have a very young core of players that we have brought in here who are accustomed to winning. If you look at the records of these guys, they’re accustomed to winning, they want to win.
MORE REDSKINS NEWS:
- Mailbag: Your questions, answered
- New Tone: How Callahan's practices are different from Gruden's
- Starter named: Case Keenum QB1 on Sunday