Are the Redskins really good enough to beat the Ravens?
Before the season almost everyone had this game marked as a loss for Washington. Even all the way back on the morning of Nov. 22, the day of the Dallas game, the thought that the Redskins could beat the Raves was not rational. That was all of 15 days ago.
But then the Redskins beat the Cowboys and the Giants. Baltimore needed a fourth and 29 miracle to beat the struggling Chargers and then they lost to the Charlie Batch-led Steelers at home.
So, even though the Ravens are three games better than the Redskins in the standings, they will be underdogs by two to three points. Yes, the Redskins are favorites.
Is all of this real? Are the Redskins just on a lucky hot streak? Are they bound to come crashing back to earth sooner rather than later?
Offensively, they seem to be very real. With a 12-game sample size to work with, the Redskins are the top rushing team in the league and Robert Griffin III is one of the top quarterbacks in the game by nearly every statistical measure.
Defensively they are 4th against the run and, as is well know, they have problems against the pass.
Those numbers don’t add up to a rock-solid team but they do point to a team with some strengths that are good enough to win some games with minimal use of smoke and mirrors.
I don’t know if the Redskins will win out and get into the playoffs. But I do think that this week they have a distinct advantage at quarterback. Flacco is a competent signal caller; RG3 is on his way to becoming elite. And the Redskins should be able to run against Baltimore’s 23rd-ranked rushing defense.
The key for the Redskins will be getting seven points instead of three when they get deep into Ravens territory. Baltimore has the league’s top-ranked red zone defense. Or, better yet, don’t stop in the red zone; let Pierre Garçon or Aldrick Robinson run right through it on the way to the goal line.
The Ravens will put up some points, but not enough.
Redskins 24, Ravens 20