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The national spotlight will be on the Washington Redskins in a primetime matchup against the Chicago Bears as they gear up for Monday Night Football.
The Redskins are off to a disappointing 0-2 start and in need of a win if they have any chance of saving their season. While many say it’s not time to hit the panic button, if they can’t put together a victory on Monday, it may be time to worry.
“I think you have to feel it without a doubt [pressure to win],” coach Jay Gruden said. “Not a lot has to be said when you lose one game, let alone two in a row in your division against the [Dallas] Cowboys and [Philadelphia] Eagles, one at home.”
Gruden is right that it won’t be easy but it’s not impossible for the Redskins to get back on track. Chicago is entering the matchup with a 1-1 record and a struggling offense.
“We also understand there’s a dang good football team coming into our place, a team that missed a field goal at the end that would’ve put them deeper in the playoffs [last year],” stated Gruden.
In the first two games of the season, Bears’ quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has thrown for 348 yards and completed 58.3 percent of his passes but hasn’t produced a touchdown.
They are also ranked 30th in the league for total offense compared to the Redskins at 25th. The Bears’ offense is desperately trying to find a rhythm and they’re hoping that they can have a breakout game when they face the Redskins.
“We’re so close. I’m always going to stay positive and believe that the next game is going to be our best game. And those guys believe that too. We want to score touchdowns,” said Trubisky.
With that being said, the onus is on the Redskins’ defense to show some improvement. The pass rush is going to be key for the front seven this week.
In their previous game, they applied very little pressure on quarterback Dak Prescott who had plenty of time to take off or use his arm to move down the field.
Trubisky was in the top five for quarterback rushing yards last season, which was more than Prescott and Carson Wentz. It will be imperative to contain the third-year quarterback.
The secondary also has to find a way to gel. With injuries to cornerbacks Fabian Moreau and Quinton Dunbar, the Cowboys and Eagles specifically targeted Josh Norman in one-on-one match-ups. So far this strategy has worked in favor of both teams.
“I didn’t think it would’ve came and hit us like this. We had some tough teams that we faced and the crazy thing is to give up one of these big plays here or there, they turn into a big thing and they turn into us losing a ball game,” Norman said.
Monday’s game may be the biggest challenge yet for the Redskins’ offense. Chicago’s defense, led by Khalil Mack, will not be an easy task. Nonetheless, the showdown on Monday night is a must-win, not only for pride but morale.
Redskins’ cornerback Jimmy Moreland is confident that if the team can overcome the disappointing start, it will make for a more spirited locker room and a better outlook on the remainder of the season.