- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 22, 2014

Five questions facing the Redskins as they head to San Francisco on Sunday:

1. What’s up with Robert Griffin III? The quarterback’s quixotic performance in the Redskins’ loss to Tampa Bay has the offense stagnant and the coaches stumped. How a player who has looked brilliant at times could be so fundamentally flawed is a head-scratcher. Griffin has to improve immediately, or else the questions surrounding his future aren’t going to be constrained to the field.

2. Will Trent Williams be healthy enough to play? Always determined to play through injury, the left tackle may have met his match as he recovers from a sprained MCL in his right knee and a sprained right ankle. If Williams can’t go, rookie Morgan Moses would be in line to start — and he’d have a tall task against outside linebacker Aldon Smith, who has 42 sacks in 44 games.

3. Can the defense contain Colin Kaepernick? Though the 49ers have all but discarded running the zone read this season, their quarterback continues to be a threat on the ground, rushing for an average of 4.9 yards per attempt. Washington was caught off-guard by Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson’s running ability earlier this season and was foiled late by Minnesota quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s wheels.

4. How can the Redskins score against San Francisco’s defense? The 49ers enter the game ranked fourth in the league in total yards, fourth against the pass, sixth against the run and 10th in points allowed. Washington, meanwhile, has the 22nd-ranked scoring offense despite ranking in the top half of the league in yards. Third downs and red zone situations, where the Redskins have struggled, are crucial.

5. Where do the Redskins go from here? Washington has made myriad mistakes on offense and defense this season, and this two-game swing — at San Francisco and at Indianapolis — is the most challenging segment remaining on its schedule. If some measures of improvement aren’t demonstrated in the next two games, serious introspection will be needed.


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