Normally on Friday’s, we publish our opponent scouting reports. But we’re going to hold off on our full breakdown until Monday since the game isn’t until that night.
Instead, wanted to give a very brief primer to Washington on offense, defense, and special teams.
Washington’s Best Offensive Weapons
1. Speed. Desean Jackson can fly as well as anyone in the league. Jordan Reed is a unique threat at tight end and Washington does a nice job of getting their guys one-on-one. Their offense is more potent than you’d think as Kirk Cousins has stabilized.
Pierre Garcon nor Jamison Crowder don’t have crazy wheels but are able to win in space. Crowder is especially shifty.
2. Physicality up front. Pass protection is one thing, though Cousins wasn’t often sacked last season, but this group can get after it up front. Brandon Scherff and Morgan Moses are a nasty duo on the right side and Trent Williams is a stud at left tackle. Matt Jones is a big runner. Not going to fun to deal with all game, especially the fourth quarter.
3. Coaching consistency. Not something they’ve always had in Washington under Dan Snyder but head coach Jay Gruden and OC Sean McVay are both entering their third season. They have longevity on the coaching staff, led by Bill Callahan for the offensive line.
Washington’s Best Defensive Weapons
1. Josh Norman. Some have called him a system cornerback and maybe that’s true, but those little digs aren’t going to matter when these teams take the field. Norman is a great cornerback and though Antonio Brown has had no problem beating those guys before, it’s still going to be a challenge. One mistake by Brown – or Ben Roethlisberger – and Norman will capitalize.
2. Pass rush. I’ve watched much more of their offense than the defense at this point but I like their pass rushers. Ryan Kerrigan feels like one of the most underrated players in the league, recording at least 8 sacks in each of the last five seasons, including 9.5 a year ago. Preston Smith is an up-and-comer. Big fan of him coming out of Mississippi State.
3. Su’a Cravens. The rookie from USC can wear a lot of hats. Linebacker, slot, some safety work. Chess piece who can fly around, and to, the football. Steelers will have to account for him. Could cause a lot of chaos.
Washington’s Best Special Teams Weapons
1. Jamison Crowder. Shifty punt returner. Average was not good last season but he’s still dangerous.
2. Terence Garvin. Steelers’ fans know how valuable he was in Pittsburgh. Now he does his damage for Washington. He’ll lead that group Monday night.