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Grant's Slant: Redskins primed for 2-0 start

September 14, 2018 - 12:24 pm

By Grant Paulsen

You can't play a better game than the Redskins did in Arizona. They dominated the Cardinals in every phase of play. Twice as many yards, twice as many first downs, only six points allowed, four times as many points scored. Not too shabby.

A win in Sunday's home-opener against the Indianapolis Colts would give Washington its first 2-0 start since 2011. I get that Arizona isn't very good and the Colts might be worse, but you can only play who is on your schedule. If the Redskins are able to beat two inferior teams, and potentially handily, it would be a great sign that Washington might actually be formidable. 

Let's get to it. Here are my slants for Week 2.

Redskin To Watch: Daron Payne 

I really liked what I saw from Payne in his NFL debut. He was disruptive as a block-attracting, havoc-inflicting presence in the middle of Washington's defensive front. On some plays he battled double teams and on others he shed blocks to penetrate the backfield. In the end he made three tackles, two solo, making an immediate impact on a much-improved run defense. 

Payne would have been more noticeable if he played more. The Redskins defense was on the field for just 14 first-half plays and 51 total snaps last weekend, and Payne and company only defended 15 rushing attempts. As ideal a workload as that is, seeing that little action is not repeatable. Keep an eye on Payne as he gets more chances to take a game over. 

Colt To Watch: Ryan Grant

The former Redskins great makes his triumphant return to FedEx Field. A former teacher's pet who used to present Jay Gruden with shiny apples, Grant was always lauded for his route running while in Washington. The coaches loved him. His teammates liked him. He just didn't produce that much. 

Grant spent four seasons in D.C., finally eclipsing the 40-catch plateau in 2017 as he posted career highs with 573 yards and four touchdowns. Having signed in Indianapolis after a contract offer fell through in Baltimore this offseason, Grant seems to have found an opportunistic home. He caught eight passes for 59 yards last week and should get a chance to make his old team pay for letting him walk. I doubt he'll be able to light the Redskins up, but my guess is he will run really great routes while not doing so.

Stat Of The Week: Jordan Reed

A week after catching his 23rd career touchdown, Jordan Reed is now just two scoring grabs away from cracking the Redskins' all-time Top 10. That's crazy, right? Reed is 28 and has only played in 51 games and he is already on the verge of cracking the organization's Top-10 list in touchdown grabs.

Prediction: Redskins 30, Colts 20

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