Going into this unusual Monday night game against the Pittsburgh Steelers — one that was rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic that has at times turned the NFL world on its head — the Washington Football Team is going to have to put together a near-perfect performance in order to get the job done and come away with an upset.
That’s not to say that they can’t do it; crazy things tend to happen in the NFL. Like the New York Giants going on the road to beat the Seattle Seahawks 17-12 just this week, but a Washington win in Pittsburgh against a team that has been rolling this year would rank among the looniest outcomes of 2020.
In the end, whether Washington wins or loses is hard to predict, but we have a feeling that Ron Rivera and his squad can at least make a game of this. Here are some things that we think will happen along the way:
Washington’s D stays stout in the red zone
We may be able to poke some holes in Washington’s overall defensive rankings, but one thing that is for real is their red zone defense, where they have been pretty impressive as of late.
This season alone, Washington is allowing opponents to score on just 48% of drives that get past the 20-yard-line, and their bend-don’t-break style of play has often kept Washington in a number of games this year. I expect that to continue on Monday.
While the Steelers have a potent offense that is ripe with weapons, they tend to utilize a short passing game rather than airing it out for the long ball each and every drive. I won’t be surprised to see Ben Roethlisberger manage to work his way down the field and get into the red zone, but I have a feeling that Jack Del Rio’s unit will tighten up like usual, and hopefully keep Steelers’ backup kicker Matt Wright busy, with starter Chris Boswell likely to miss the game.