Crap, crap, crap. Alfred Morris is not only the second best running back in the league this season (according to Football Outsiders), he absolutely feasts on bad tackling. Morris has created 19 missed tackles so far this year, ranking him 5th amongst running backs this season. The San Diego Chargers are really bad at tackling.
As bad as the secondary has been at stopping the pass, the run defense has been almost as bad. The cause has mostly been the missed tackles, but Donald Butler's absence hasn't helped and the cornerbacks are also much worse at tackling than they were last season. Butler should play in this game, but he's looked like a shell of himself when on the field this year.
John Pagano would like to get good coverage from his corners so that he can play with more four-man fronts in this game, but that's probably not happening.
Winning at the Line of Scrimmage
Look at the games the Chargers have lost this year. They lost the battle in the trenches, at the point of attack, in all of them. It's why the Texans were able to come back, why Jake Locker looked like a competent QB and why the Raiders shut down San Diego on both sides of the ball.
The Redskins have a solid offensive line. It's a big reason why they have the third best running game in the league this season. Their offensive line is filled with big, strong, nasty men that are looking to push around a poor Chargers defense.
This is a game that will be won with time of possession. Either the Chargers will be able to throw and run to perfection the way they have in their previous four wins, or the Redskins will be able to run the ball all game without stopping. Whichever team gets a better performance from their offensive line probably wins.
Robert Griffin III
You know it's coming. The big, breakout game that reminds everyone of how ridiculously talented he is. Don't those games always seem to happen against the Chargers?
John Pagano's defense has struggled to stop mobile QBs this season. Griffin may not be as mobile as he was last year, but he's still ranked 6th in the league amongst QBs with 240 rushing yards. Would any Chargers fan really be surprised if this is the game that RG3 comes out, takes off the knee brace, and totals over 400 totals yards with a couple of touchdowns?
We know the potential is there and, more often than not, opposing QBs seem to play to their potential against the Chargers. Does Pagano have enough magic up his sleeve to keep the good vibes going for the San Diego defense?
Bonus: Cross-Country Travel
I know it's a bye week, but the stats don't lie. Teams crossing two time zones or more typically play worse, and lose more, than normal. The Chargers are 2-1 traveling east so far this season. 3-1 would be surprising and/or lucky.