Redskins must pressure Trubisky consistently to beat the Bears

Ben Krimmel
September 23, 2019 - 12:08 pm

If the Washington Redskins are going to spring a Monday night upset over the Chicago Bears the pass rush will have to play their best game of the season.

Through two games the Redskins have just two sacks, one from Ryan Kerrigan and one from Cassanova McKinzy, who will not play vs. the Bears due to injury. 

With the Bears defense allowing just 24 points through two weeks, points will be at a premium and it all falls on the Skins defense to keep quarterback Mitch Trubisky out of rhythm and not allow for big plays.

"It's going to be a low-scoring game, so what (the Redskins) are gonna have to do is not give up the easy touchdowns," NFL analyst Charley Casserly told The Sports Junkies

"You gotta believe the Bears are gonna take shots deep on 'em and try to get something out of it," Casserly said Monday. "(With) Trubisky keep him in the pocket, he'll make mistakes. Don't let him run the football. That was the book on him last year, just people didn't do it consistently. They have done it consistently in the first two games this year."

Trubisky, who has run for 688 yards and five touchdowns in 28 games, is averaging over four runs per game and often uses his mobility to extend plays. If the Redskins pass rushers can stay in their lanes and keep Trubisky from extending plays they may be able to force him into bad decisions. And Trubisky has already been sacked five times this season, thrown one pick, and has a poor 58.3 completion percentage and a 65 quarterback rating.

Related:

One of those key pass rushers is rookie Montez Sweat, who is still looking to make a big impact through eight quarters of professional football. Casserly said he is encouraged by Sweat's ability to transition to being an outside linebacker in the Skins' system and playing against the run, but cautioned against high expectations. 

"I've seen flashes, OK. I figured it was going to take some time with him," Casserly said about Sweat. "To me, I'm taking a more patient approach cause I knew where he was coming from. I never had the hype on the guy... but I'm encouraged."

The Redskins have yet to force a fumble and have just one turnover on an interception by safety Montae Nicholson off a deflected pass.

And the Washington secondary could help the pass rush by keeping coverage tight and forcing Trubisky to hold the ball and come off of his first read. With Quinton Dunbar questionable and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on Injured Reserve, a lot will fall on Josh Norman and that could be an issue on Monday night. 

"This is my opinion: When (Norman) presses he doesn't put his hands on the guy... why press him if he's just gonna turn and run with the guy? Stay off five or 10 yards and run with the guy," Casserly said. "I don't think he puts his hands on him because he knows if he misses he can't catch up. He was never a great off-cover guy cause he doesn't have top speed and his transition out of the pedal wasn't great. He seems to have lost another step or two."

"But the reality is, people have targeted this guy and they're going to go after this guy and run deep. He's basically a zone corner who is protecting himself on the speed at this point in time," Casserly concluded.

Overall, the problem in Casserly's eyes: The defense isn't as good as people believed it to be. 

"The defense was over-hyped. The defensive line was strong but had no depth... the inside linebackers are very average, we were just talking about Norman at corner, the other corner position, Dunbar, he's inconsistent, (Fabian) Moreau's been hurt, (Jimmy) Moreland's their best corner as a nickel guy. Kerrigan's Kerrigan, and we talked about Sweat. Have we had the production from Sweat? No." Casserly said. "All the stuff on the defense was inaccurate and I said it before camp, I said it during camp." 

What can Washington do differently? Casserly suggested more blitzing, but with a mediocre secondary that is a dangerous proposition and would mean the Skins have to play more zone defense.

-----

The full conversation with Charley Casserly and The Sports Junkies can be heard here, starting at 15:15:

Follow @BenKrimmel and @1067theFan on Twitter.