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What To Watch For: Three Redskins, Buccaneers Storylines

By ZAC BOYER

zboyer@freelancestar.com | @ZacBoyer

1. Insuring The Investment: Franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III has been hit nearly 60 times in three games already this season, which is something the coaching staff finally said this week needs to change. That could be tough to do, though, as the Redskins will likely be without starting left tackle Trent Williams after he sustained a bruised bone in his right knee last weekend. Expect to see fewer quarterback carries and a greater awareness from Griffin, who certainly can’t hold up getting hit as often as he has.

2. Changing The Recipe: The Redskins’ secondary has been its glaring weakness over the first three weeks as it has allowed 339, 310 and 401 yards to opposing quarterbacks. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said during the week the number is skewed slightly because of the big gains Washington has allowed – touchdown passes of 73 and 59 yards against Cincinnati sure don’t help – but understands the team needs to tighten things up. Perhaps the likely return of Brandon Meriweather, a two-time Pro Bowl strong safety, could help.

3. Maintaining The Drive: For as high-powered as the Redskins’ offense has been this season – it enters today’s game ranked first in points scored and sixth in yards per game – they cannot seem to prolong their possessions. Their 27.5 conversion percentage on third down ranks ahead of only Tampa Bay, and of its 40 attempts, Washington has been in third-and-seven – or longer – 23 times (and converted only four). Keeping the defense off the field can be a cure for its shortcomings.

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