October 8, 2010

Redskins Vs. Packers: Five Burning Questions

The Packers blog Ol Bag of Donuts asked me to break down this week's Redskins-Packers matchup for their site. Here's a bit of my analysis with more after the jump. Thanks to Adam from OBOD for setting this feature up.

In less than 36 hours, OBOD will touching down at Dulles International to toss some donuts around the nation’s capital for four days.  In our first roadtrip of the season (and quite frankly our first roadtrip as Ol’ Bag of Donuts) we will be taking in some of the historical sights and sounds, have a few barley pops at the Hawk and Dove and pray that Gene doesn’t lead into the mean streets, where we will undoubtedly sacrifice Lempesis first. That is if he survives the flight Saturday morning because apparently Chris is scared of flying. Like that big, old, creaky plan will come just crashing down out of the skying and leaving all passengers left to perish. Man, I hope I have time to get a few bloody’s down before I venture on the experience of Lempesis on a plane.

But I digress.  Before we skip town we need to take a look into the Packers’ opponent this week and for that we reached to Jack Anderson from SkinsTalk.  Jack seems to be blogging about everything in the D.C. area and we couldn’t source to give us some answers about the Redskins that were not of the cookie cutter variety.
1.) What are your thoughts on Ryan Torain taking over the reigns from Clinton Portis this week?
With Portis out for 4-6 weeks, the load is squarely on Torain’s shoulders. After a solid preseason, I expected him to make the final roster, but he was put on the practice squad and didn’t reach the big time until two weeks ago against St. Louis.
Torain is a straight-ahead running back with a ton of power and a tough running style. He carried the ball 18 times against the Eagles this past week, but one carry stood out. With the Redskins driving on their first possession, Torain steamrolled safety Quintin Mikell with a shoulder en route to a 12-yard touchdown run. The play was just a phenomenal display of brute physicality.
While Portis remains a physical back, he just doesn’t have Torain’s willingness to initiate contact anymore. Torain should be able to provide a solid presence in the running game, but it’s tough to envision him as a feature back for a long period of time. He can’t pass block (something Portis excels at) and has a bad habit of dancing in the hole. He’s at his best when he hits the hole hard and doesn’t hesitate. He needs to learn to take what the defense gives him and go down when there’s nowhere to go. Torain had several runs against Philly where he tried to extend a play laterally, but he isn’t that type of back and it cost him yardage.
2.) Who on the Packers’ offense outside of Aaron Rodgers worries you the most come Sunday?
With the injury to Ryan Grant, the Packers have yet to develop a threat running the football. Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn won’t strike fear in the Redskins so I would have to look to tight end Jermichael Finley. Finley’s combination of size and athleticism is tough to cover against. The Redskins don’t really have a linebacker who can matchup with him man for man down the field. Safety LaRon Landry might have the ability to keep up with Finley, but the tight end has five inches and 30 pounds on him.
Finley poses a serious problem to the Redskins secondary who will already have to play sound football on the outside against Donald Driver and Greg Jennings. Sure tackling (which hasn’t been a constant for Washington) is a must in this game for the Redskins.

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