1. How effective will Robert Griffin III be if he plays? Regardless of whether Griffin plays through his mildly sprained knee, he won’t be fully healthy by Sunday. If he can’t make explosive, sudden cuts, it could limit the effectiveness of the zone read running game and the play-action passes off that.
2. Can the Redskins’ defense come down with an interception or two? Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden has 15 interceptions in 13 games. He has thrown at least one pick in eight games. Washington must capitalize on errant throws and effectively disguise coverages. Safeties can’t be late getting into proper position, as they were at times against Baltimore.
3. Will Alfred Morris shoulder a greater load of the offense? If Kirk Cousins has to start at quarterback, or if Robert Griffin III is limited, the Redskins could feed rookie running back Alfred Morris. The Browns give up 4.33 yards per carry. Morris is effective in the outside zone scheme and doesn’t necessarily need zone-read runs.
4. Can the Redskins protect whoever plays quarterback? Cleveland’s 34 sacks are seventh-most in the NFL. Former Philadelphia Eagle Juqua Parker leads the Browns with 5.0. If Griffin’s injury limits his mobility or if Cousins plays, establishing a clean pocket will be more important than usual.
5. Will Kai Forbath remain perfect? The weather conditions in Cleveland can be difficult for kickers. The forecast for Sunday includes a 40 percent chance of rain and winds of 14 mph. Forbath’s kickoffs will be crucial, too, because Josh Cribbs averages 28 yards per return.