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Previews and Predictions: Washington Redskins at Arizona Cardinals

This is my first attempt at giving a preview of an upcoming game.

So the Redskins start the season on the road vs. the Cardinals. This is the type of game that as a Redskins fan you actually want to see. While the team is on the road, they are facing a team that fully admits that they are in a rebuild mode. They face a non-mobile quarterback in Sam Bradford whom they've had some success against. They also are playing in a stadium that should have a favorable amount of Redskins fans in attendance, as for some reason there are a lot of Redskins fans in Arizona in particular. There are some concerns and I will address them towards the end of the article, but this is a game that the Redskins should and must win if they are to have any chance of building some momentum before their schedule starts to get tough.

Predicted Inactives:
Maurice Harris (Concussion)
Samaje Perine
Geron Christian
Casey Dunn
Adonis Alexander
Josh Keyes
Caleb Brantley

Redskins Offense: This may be a good week for the combination of Adrian Peterson/Rob Kelley/Chris Thompson. I don't expect the passing game to be that great at least into the 1st half. Here's why: Alex Smith has had very few actual game reps and he's working with guys he hasn't had that much game time reps with (Jordan Reed, Trey Quinn and Cam Sims come to mind). I personally expect the Redskins to set the tone early by running the ball. This will give Smith more opportunities to run bootlegs and play action later in the game. I personally would not be surprised to see the running backs have 30-35 touches in this game as the passing group shakes off the rust. I will be real curious to see what happens in the Red Zone and think that we'll see rookie WR Cam Sims in a few Red Zone packages.

Redskins Defense: The strength of the defense will come down to the D-line. For the young secondary, it will be critical for the D-line to contain the run and collapse the pocket. In this game, the D-line should have some success against a veteran line that feels like it has been patched together. Former Giant Justin Pugh should help the Cardinals, but they have lost their starting Center AQ Shipley which should be great news for Daron Payne. Expect a lot of pressure on Sam Bradford early and often.

Cardinal Offensive notes vs. Redskins

Sam Bradford (Career): (W-L) 2-4, 152/239 63.5% 1,666 yards, 11 TD, 3 INTs, 23 sacks
David Johnson: 18 carries/84 yards (4.67ypc) 1 TD, 9 catches/91 yards, 1 TD

Redskins Special Teams: I still have some concerns about Dustin Hopkins. I'll be curious to see how Danny Johnson looks as a kick returner and if Jamison Crowder will return punts as he's been nursing a groin injury most of training camp/preseason.

Concerns: Jay Gruden's teams have been generally flat in season openers and have gone 0-4. Turnovers have played a significant role in those losses. Gruden is aware of the situation but will he be able to get his team up for this came and protect the ball? Also, if the defense does not get to Sam Bradford early and often, he will have a field day picking apart the Redskins Zone.

Final Prediction: I think this will be a slow burn game that will start to get intense in the 2nd half. I see the Redskins taking an early lead, struggling and then coming back big after halftime.
Final Score: 27-17 Redskins
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