Zac Boyer will be entering his third season covering the Washington Redskins for The Free Lance-Star this fall. Make sure to follow Zac on Twitter (@ZacBoyer) for the latest updates or e-mail him with any questions at email@example.com.
What To Watch For: Three Eagles, Redskins Storylines
1. Many Happy Returns: The Redskins will benefit from having two players return from injury – receiver Pierre Garçon, who will make his first appearance since Oct. 7, and strong safety Brandon Meriweather, set to make his season debut. Concern still exists about whether Garçon can be productive with a right foot injury, but the coaching staff conceded this week it’s better to have Garçon back at less than full health than it is to not have him at all. Meriweather, a two-time Pro Bowl safety, should boost a defense that ranks 30th against the pass.
2. Griffin’s Guarantee: When Robert Griffin III left for the Redskins’ bye week, he said he would return focused and refreshed. He said Wednesday he has done just that, returning “hungrier” than he was before the break. Griffin has already accomplished much during his rookie season, but the last two weeks have been inconsistent. With five games remaining against NFC East opponents, Griffin hopes to reignite the offense and set Washington up for the stretch run.
3. The Time Is Now: Head coach Mike Shanahan’s message before the Redskins played, and lost, to Carolina on Nov. 4 was that it was a must-win game. Now Washington truly faces that scenario if it hopes to make any progress in the NFC East. The team has tried to approach today as a playoff game – which is essentially true, with both teams at 3-6; no team has made the playoffs with a 3-7 record since the current format was instituted in 1990. How motivated the Redskins are to play this game should set the tone for the rest of the season.