Redskins-Browns preview: Avoid The Trap

If Washington wants to be taken seriously, they have to do what they did last year. Beat inferior teams.

MatchupWashington Redskins (1-2) vs. Cleveland Browns (0-3)

Kickoff: Sunday, October 2, 1:00 PM EDT

Location: FedEx Field

Television: CBS (Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon, and Stacey Dales)

Radio: Redskins Radio Network, Compass Media Network

Odds: Redskins (-7.5), O/U: 46

Social media: Twitter: @BreakBurgundyFacebook

Last Week: Washington came back from 21-9 down for a potentially season saving victory over the New York Giants. The Browns were heartbroken in an overtime loss, which could have been prevented if Cody Parkey did not miss three field goals.

Matchup History: Washington actually trails in the all-time series history, 11-33-1, but have won the previous two matchups in 2008 and 2012. The latter of course was Kirk Cousins's first victory as a starter in the NFL.

2016 Rankings (Yards Gained/Allowed):

Washington – Offense (5th), Defense (29th)

Cleveland – Offense (16th), Defense (25th)

Cleveland’s Strength: The Browns have the worst quarterback history in recent years, but it is helpful to have one of the league's best running attacks to make up for it. Cleveland's dynamic duo of the bruising Isaiah Crowell and dynamic Duke Johnson has catapulted the Browns into the fourth best rushing team in the NFL, averaging 144.7 yards per game. Washington already has a weak run defense and when you throw in the additional weapon of Terrelle Pryor, things could get ugly. The Redskins should sell out to stop the ground game and make the Browns beat them through the air.

Cleveland’s Weakness: It is hard to fathom, but the Browns might actually have a worse defensive line than the Redskins. Danny Shelton is a 2015 first round pick and solid player, but behind him Cleveland is looking at a bunch of unimpressive youngsters. Rookie Carl Nassib is sidelined with a broken hand and the only player along the line that has more than two years of experience is former Redskin Stephen Paea who was cut after training camp. Cleveland is giving up 109.3 yards per game on the ground in 2016 so Washington should plan to fix their running woes once and for all.

Prediction: Washington is simply too talented on the offensive side of the ball not to light up a Browns defense that only has Joe Haden holding them together. On the other side of the ball, the Redskins defense will look for redemption against rookie quarterbacks by disrupting Cody Kessler. Forcing Kessler to make plays instead of Crowell, Johnson, and Pryor will be the key to a Washington victory.

Final score: 34-20 Washington.

Follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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