Establish the run: The Redskins struggled on first downs last year, and a big part of that was being unable to establish a legitimate running game. Adrian Peterson is a big part of the solution, but it’s going to take more than just him - the offensive line, which has been solid in pass protection over the past few years, just hasn’t given the backs much to work with. We’ll see if that changes with Peterson on board.
His place in history is secure, and even if Sunday’s game is only a marginal success, he could climb in the record books. His next touchdown will be his 100th, tying him for No. 7 all time with Marshall Faulk and Shaun Alexander. His 12,276 yards rushing rank 12th, and he’s only 37 yards away from claiming the No. 10 spot.
Trent Williams didn’t allow a sack last year. Chandler Jones racked up a league-leading 17 of them. The Redskins’ tackle is coming off of a year where he missed six games due to a knee injury and the team is still being cautious with his recovery from surgery. Jones is making a change from being a stand-up 3-4 linebacker to a 4-3 end playing with his hand in the dirt. The outcome of the unstoppable force vs. immovable object will go a long way towards determining the outcome.
The Redskins found that out first hand during their matchup with the Cardinals in 2016. In the middle of a campaign that would land Johnson Pro Bowl and First-Team All-Pro honors, he compiled 175 total yards of offense, which included 12 receptions for 91 yards and two touchdowns in the Cardinals’ Week 12 win over Washington.
Crowder is the receiver most likely to lead the Redskins in catches this year and that should (though not guaranteed) lead to the most receiving yards as well. It’s possible that Crowder gets even a larger target share and challenges for 1,000 receiving yards, but I’d guess the offense is just too spread out for anyone to reach that plateau.