Chicago Bears visita a los Washington Redskins, en juego correspondiente al Monday Night Football de la Semana 3 en la temporada 2019 de la NFL.
En un juego entre equipos que no han iniciado la campaña de la mejor manera, los Osos visitan la capital estadounidense para cerrar la tercera semana de acción en el emparrillado contra los Pieles Rojas. Duelo de alta necesidad para ambos, pues de caer comenzaría a esfumarse el sueño de un buen año.
The Washington Redskins square off with the Chicago Bears in a crucial Week 3 showdown on Monday Night Football. Here are five players to watch as the Redskins look to win their first game of the 2019 campaign.
In his first season with the Redskins, Landon Collins leads the team with 19 tackles through two games. Despite not registering an interception or sack so far, Collins has making plays both at the line of scrimmage and in the secondary. A versatile safety, Collins is placed all over the field and is one of the leaders of the defense in the secondary alongside Josh Norman.
The Bears offense is often at its best when running back Tarik Cohen is heavily involved, and Collins will most-likely shadow Cohen all game long. In addition, Collins will surely come down and help support the linebackers and defensive linemen in the run game.
When assessing the performance of Montez Sweat, who recorded tackles sacks and zero sacks in his first two NFL games, defensive coordinator Greg Manusky made sure to add an important modifier. “Any young guy that comes into the league, they’re used to offensive tackles,” Manusky said earlier this week. “They’re not used to Pro Bowl tackles.
Sweat’s NFL debut came against nine-time Pro Bowler Jason Peters of the Philadelphia Eagles. In his second game, he faced off against Dallas Cowboys six-time Pro Bowler Tyron Smith. Not many players, rookies or otherwise, would have much success against those two offensive linemen
Still, the Redskins coaching staff has identified where Sweat needs to be better. Manusky pointed to his get off at the line of scrimmage, his angle to the quarterback and his ability to win 1-on-1 matchups. Head coach Jay Gruden mentioned similar areas of improvement before adding, “He’s got some length, got some speed, we know that. Now we just got to figure out a way to let him utilize it a little bit better. Hopefully that’ll happen here soon.”
Sweat’s latest chance to showcase his first-round potential comes Monday night against Bears left tackle Charles Leno Jr., who made his first Pro Bowl appearance last season.
The Redskins offensive line has been a talking point all week long, and right tackle Morgan Moses has the toughest matchup of anyone having to face off against Khalil Mack.
Not anticipating any help from his teammates, Moses is locked in on doing his job and preventing Mack from pressuring Case Keenum. With another day of preparation, Moses using the extra time to continue refining his technique for what he knows will be a difficult matchup from the first snap to the last.
As a unit, the offensive line has only given up two sacks, and a strong game from Moses will continue that trend Monday night. Setting the tone early and generating some explosive plays in the run game will be important for Moses and the offensive line early on.
After missing the first two games of the season with an ankle injury, Fabian Moreau is slated to make his 2019 debut against the Bears on Monday night.
Having given up three 50-plus-yard touchdowns through two games, the Redskins secondary will be very happy to welcome back another familiar face on the back end. A starter in 2018, Moreau knows defensive coordinator Greg Manusky’s defense and will look to make a big impact Monday night.
With Quinton Dunbar’s status unknown for the game, Moreau will need to step up in a bigger role to help the Redskins defense. Chicago has several speedy weapons on the outside including Allen Robinson and Cordarelle Patterson, presenting Moreau with a difficult task in his 2019 debut. Expect Moreau to come out and play with a lot of energy and physicality after not playing in a regular season game for nearly nine months.
With just seven receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown through two games, veteran speedster Paul Richardson has yet to showcase his full potential in an offense filled with new skill players. He’s been overshadowed by another deep threat, third-round rookie Terry McLaurin. McLaurin has caught 10 passes for 187 yards and a pair of scores.
Richardson’s lack of production is not a cause for concern, however. Offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell said as much in his press conference Friday, noting that the Redskins have not run enough plays to adequately split up the receptions. With more offensive volume will bring more work for Richardson.
“Paul has been great. Both [Richardson] and [McLaurin] are flying down the field, putting stress on the defense,” O’Connell said. “A lot of what Terry has been able to accomplish is because of Paul doing his job really, really well on the other side.”
ASHBURN, Va. — His introduction to Walter Payton occurred via the internet. A young Adrian Peterson searched for footage of the former Chicago Bears great. He saw Payton run over defenders; he saw him cut one way as a defender fell another; he saw him sprint past defenders on long touchdown runs.
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“I would say I’m more similar to Walter Payton than anyone else,” the Washington Redskins running back said as his team prepares to host Chicago on Monday (8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN). “A lot of people say Eric Dickerson because I run upright, but if you look at Walter’s and my game, I would say it’s similar as far as getting it by any means.”
Which is why Oct. 14, 2007 — a date Peterson loudly introduced himself to the NFL in Week 5 — meant so much to him. He rushed for a Minnesota Vikings franchise record 224 yards against Payton’s old team and at Soldier Field, Payton’s former home. Nobody has rushed for more yards or gained more all-purpose yards (361) against the Bears.
All of this coming against a team whose defense led a run to the Super Bowl the previous season.
“That’s what made it a big game for me,” Peterson said. “It was something I was looking forward to, not only that but playing in this historical stadium where Walter Payton played. It’s like, come on, how can you not be prepared to play there?”
Adrian Peterson’s framed jersey from his 2007 game in Chicago. Courtesy of Adrian Peterson
There’s a reason Peterson has his white No. 28 Vikings jersey from this game framed in a glass case at his home in Houston.
As Peterson prepares to play the Bears once more, it’s worth remembering that game. Three weeks later, Peterson made an even louder pronouncement with 296 yards rushing against the Chargers. But Peterson never had more all-purpose yards in one game than he did against the Bears — and it ranks as the third most in NFL history.
“I get in that zone and get locked in and my nose is smelling that end zone,” Peterson said.
His nose must have been working like a bloodhound on a hunt: Peterson found the end zone three times. Here’s how it went down:
Touchdown No. 1: 67 yards
Peterson’s speed to the outside was among the reasons Minnesota drafted him No. 7 overall in 2007. But it stood out even more seeing it in person during the team’s rookie minicamp. The quarterback in that camp, Jimmy Terwilliger, had a tough time on the outside zone handoffs.
“I remember how hard he had to run away from center to reach the ball out to stretch it to Adrian,” said Brad Childress, the Vikings coach at the time and now a senior offensive assistant with Chicago. “You couldn’t deny what kind of speed he had to the edge and watching him cut up was like: Holy cow!”
Adrian Peterson had touchdown runs of 73, 67 and 35 yards on his way to 224 rushing yards as a rookie against a star-studded Bears defense in 2007. AP Photo/Scott Boehm
This play ended with another “holy cow.” Peterson again ran untouched on an outside zone to the left, running through a wide gap in the defense five yards downfield. He remained untouched for the first 12 yards. Then Peterson took over: He broke a tackle at the 46-yard line, cut inside a safety sprinting from the middle, stutter-stepped and left cornerback Charles “Peanut” Tillman (a future first-team All-Pro) leaning backward as Peterson bounced around him to the right.
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“He was all-of-a-sudden, and once past that initial wave, be careful,” former Bears All-Pro linebacker Brian Urlacher said. “That was his whole career. He was so all-of-a-sudden. You didn’t want the DB to be one-on-one with him. You always had to make sure you took leverage with him and force to the help. It wasn’t like you were tackling Jerome Bettis. That’s not to say he was easy to tackle — in no way shape or form was he easy. But once you got hold of him he went down. You just couldn’t get hold of him.”
Urlacher said the Bears were well aware of Peterson. He had rushed for 383 yards and a touchdown in the first four games that season. The linebacker had even seen highlights of Peterson from his Texas high school days.
“He might have come out of high school and been good in the NFL,” Urlacher said.
Peterson made it look easy on this day, too.
“Just some great blocking and just the effort I was putting in there to get to the end zone,” he said. “I was just out there playing football, enjoying myself.”
Though Adrian Peterson has been compared to Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson, he says his running style is more like that of “Sweetness” — former Bears great Walter Payton. Manny Rubio/USA Today Sports
Peterson has used vision and speed to help accumulate his 13,343 rushing yards. This play provided a perfect example of both. He starts right and, as the Bears linebackers flow hard with him, a gulf opens to the left.
Cornerback Danieal Manning has contain, but out of the corner of his eye Peterson saw him falling for quarterback Tarvaris Jackson’s boot action. As Manning starts at Jackson, Peterson quickly stutter-steps and bursts to the middle of the field. He shakes another defender, cuts outside to the left and is off.
Adrian Peterson’s 200-Yard Games
The future Hall of Famer has rushed for more than 200 yards six times:
YR. OPP. ATT. YDS. AVG. TD LONG
’07 Bears 20 224 11.2 3 73
’07 Chargers 30 296 9.9 3 64
’12 Packers 21 210 10.0 1 82
’12 Rams 24 212 8.8 1 82
’13 Bears 35 211 6.0 0 23
’15 Raiders 26 203 7.8 1 80
“That’s a great example of feeling that flow,” Peterson said. “You feel the flow and actually trusting your eyes and use your God-given ability and quickness, the explosive power to stop on a dime and get back and take over.
“Vision is key to everything. You can take care of the body and all, but you have to have the eyes to be able to see that crease, or to see a hole develop, or to see if a linebacker is scraping over the top.”
As on the first touchdown, it became a footrace between he and Tillman. The cornerback dove helplessly at Peterson’s feet at the 10-yard line.
“He went from zero to full speed in two steps,” said Urlacher after rewatching the play. “It was amazing how fast he was running at the line; he hit the holes and it felt like he was running full speed every time. Maybe he wasn’t, but it looks like he was. I saw Peanut trying to catch him; he’s not gonna catch him.”
Peterson said, “Tillman tried his hardest to get there.”
Touchdown No. 3: 35 yards
Once again: excellent blocking from the line and speed from Peterson. A one-handed swipe at his legs nearly seven yards downfield failed, as did an attempt by Manning to knock the ball out at the 10-yard line.
“I don’t know what he was thinking,” Peterson said of Manning.
But this play was indicative, once more, of Peterson’s burst. For the day, Peterson averaged a career-best 11.2 yards per carry, a career best.
“If everyone’s in their gap, then there’s no place to run,” Urlacher said. “The problem is he runs through arm tackles. If you pop your head out of the gap for half a second, he’s gone. You can’t peek and see where he’s going. If you do, he’s running through the gap. It’s his ability to set guys up good, too. He’ll set you up and the cutback makes you peek, and once you peek he’s gone.”
The kick return: 53 yards
Minnesota blew a two-touchdown lead in the final four minutes and, with 1 minute, 38 seconds remaining, Chicago opted to kick to the rookie.
“Because our kickoff coverage was good,” Urlacher said. “Until it happens, you never expect [opponents] to break one on you. We thought we could pin him and didn’t. It’s not like Devin Hester back there, plus he’s still a rookie. We didn’t know what we didn’t know because he was still a rookie.”
Peterson, catching the ball at the 9-yard line, returned it 53 yards to set up the game-winning field goal. It was his fourth return of the day; the first three totaled 75 yards. Hester, a first-team All-Pro return man and receiver gained 272 all-purpose yards that day; he was upstaged.
“We had practiced [Peterson] at kick return, but he wasn’t going to return kicks in that game,” Childress said. “Right at the end of the game, he had a tremendous game and he says, ‘Coach, let me take the kickoff return.’ It was good blocking, but sheer force of will.”
This was the sort of game Peterson knew he could have; it was the kind of game that Minnesota dreamed of after the draft.
Now in the twilight of his career with Washington, Adrian Peterson moved up to No. 5 all-time with his 107th rushing touchdown in Week 2. His 1-yard score against Dallas broke a tie with Jim Brown. AP Photo/Evan Vucci
“I had a lot of confidence in what I could do,” Peterson said. “I remember doing an interview before the draft, not cocky, but with confidence that it would be an easy transition for me. I remember seeing the faces of some of the people I was talking to like, ‘He’s in for a rude awakening.’ But they were in for a rude awakening, you know?”
Minnesota knew. That’s why the Vikings engaged in subterfuge before the draft. They sweated out Arizona at No. 5, knowing the Redskins — who picked sixth — already had their back in Clinton Portis.
“We were so happy Arizona took [lineman] Levi Brown,” Childress said. “We were like, ‘Yeah!’ We were putting disinformation out on [Peterson] that the collarbone was broken and wasn’t going to heal and was chronic. He only knew one speed, even in walk-through on Saturday morning we had to grab him by the back of his pants to slow down so he wouldn’t run into the offensive linemen. When I watch him with the Redskins, it’s full blast.”
After the Chicago game, teammates chanted Peterson’s nickname — “All Day! All Day!” — in the locker room after the game. Peterson, too, knew what this game meant.
“You had some good guys on the other side of the ball,” Peterson said. “You had Urlacher; [linebacker Lance] Briggs, Tillman. That Chicago defense was good and me coming in as a rookie and really trying to prove myself. That was the first time we played a defense that solidified ‘we’re serious as an offense and I’m serious as a ball carrier.’”