Week 1: Washington Redskins (0-0) v. Miami Dolphins (0-0)
Kick Off: Sunday, September 13, 1PM EST
Location: FedEx Field
Radio: Redskins Radio Network
Odds: Miami (-4)
What to know
- As the Redskins head into their opener, they look to put a preseason full of turmoil behind them. The most notable drama was, of course, the quarterback situation. As it stands, Not Robert Griffin III, but the former “best backup in the league,” Kirk Cousins, will take the helm come Sunday in a move that many felt was way overdue.
- Speaking of Griffin, he's now cleared medically from a concussion that kept him off the field for the final two preseason games and then some. Will he serve as the primary backup? Will he even be on roster by Sunday?
- Cousins brings an aggressive streak onto the field. Based on the weapons around him, playing the role of game manager can work. Ideally the Redskins allow running backs Alfred Morris and, to a lesser extent, Matt Jones take control. Helping all of the above, the return of DeSean Jackson. The dynamic wide out missed all of preseason with a sprained shoulder. Now he's back and Jackson will have a major role in expanding the offense beyond the run game. Have the Redskins figured out the best way to use the home run threat entering his second season is the question.
- The play of the defense, a unit that disappointed last season, will be on true display for the first time this year. You only get one first impression. The secondary won't be at full strength because of Bashaud Breeland’s suspension. That means others must hold steady against a heavy dose of slot receiver Jarvis Landry and tight end Jordan Cameron.
- Also in the spotlight, the play of Preston Smith and Trent Murphy, the two players expected to fill in at OLB for the injured Junior Galette. The potential and playmakers are there to make Joe Barry’s aggressive defensive style work, but the Redskins will need to remember their fundamentals if they want to succeed. Missed tackles were all too common in the preseason.
- Here' a take from the other side via our friends with Dolphins Report.
Matchup History: The Dolphins lead the all-time series 8-5. The two teams have only gone head-to-head twice in the last decade, but have played two Super Bowls against each other. We know who won the last one...
Rankings (2014): Washington finshed 26th in points scored and 29th in points allowed. Miami ranked 11th and 20th respectively.
Miami’s Strength: Boasting the combination of Ndamukong Suh, Cameron Wake, Olivier Vernon, and Earl Mitchell, the Dolphins have one of the best, if not the best, defensive lines in the NFL. Washington struggled on the O-line last year but has overhauled the talent on the line over the offseason, and seems to have put together, overall, a much better unit. Combined with Bill Callahan’s power blocking attack, rather than the zone blocking of year past, the boosted O-line will have a chance to establish the inside run against Miami, but it won’t be easy.
Fantasy Focus: Start your Dolphins. Expect Jordan Cameron and Jarvis Landry to catch quite a few passes on check down routes as Ryan Tannehill will have to get rid of it more quickly than usual. Lamar Miller will be a viable RB2 for much the same reason, especially in PPR leagues.
Prediction: The additions to the receiving corps and defensive line are shaping up Miami to be one of the most improved teams in the league in relation to last season. The Skins will falter in this one with a poor defensive effort. Score: Miami 24-10.