They’re calling it the Dirty South Miracle, and for good reason. The half that catapulted the Washington Redskins to the NFC Championship game was truly an anomaly in the history of the XCFL. No playoff team had ever erased a 3 score deficit in the history of the XCFL Playoffs.
But if you’re thinking the Redskins getting to the NFC Championship game is a fluke, you are seriously overplaying your hand here. Despite losing their offensive identity before the season in Derrius Guice, despite losing their new Pro-Bowl running back three quarters through the season, the Redskins still put together one of the most statistically balanced seasons in XCFL history.
As you look to make your wagers before the NFC Championship game, here are five reasons to believe the Redskins are a lock in this showdown with the Bears.
Josh Rosen Will Pick Apart a Weak Bears Pass Defense
If you’re an impartial bettor, you have to buy in to the fact that Josh Rosen is not a fluke. This is not an opinion. Statistical analysis like completion percentage, touchdowns and yardage prove this out.
Passing defense (15th) has been the Achilles heel for Chicago in their defeats, and Washington has an efficient, fearless QB with three legit threats in Darrien Newman, Jacoby Webb and Quantavius Mikell.
Redskins Running Game Tailor Made To Exploit Chicago’s Dominant Rush Defense
Can you imagine what this rushing attack would look like with Mu Compton added to the mix? Even without their second year phenom past Week 13, the combination of Berry Hundon, Marquee King and Alan Monds still finished one of the league’s top rushing attacks.
The combination of King and Monds will wear down the Bears defense deeper into the game, and more importantly, their effectiveness will create even more passing opportunities for Rosen.
Redskins Defense Is Dynamic And Balanced
Washington’s defense is 85 Bears or Purple People Eater’s worthy. If they can go on to win the Super Bowl, this defense could go down as legendary. Consider this: the unit is first in total points allowed, first in passing yards allowed, and first in points given up per game.
The Redskins dominated a much stronger offense (Atlanta) for a half, and I mean dominated. They actually ended up scoring more points on defense than Atlanta did on offense.
Washington has weapons at safety, two shutdown corners in Spencer Fairley and Anthony Byrum and a loaded front 7. All this pressure leads to turnovers and havoc for even the best QBs in the XCFL. That leads us to our next point.
Whoever Plays For The Bears Will Be Exposed By The Redskins’ Secondary
Simply stated: The Redskins defense is far too disruptive for Elite QBs much less unproven rookies and backups. Hit them, pressure their throws, take away their run lanes and they will be prone to a breakdown.
Chicago knows they need to get more “chunk” plays to make thier QBs more comfortable. Slight problem there: The Redskins have given up the fewest 20-yard-plus plays and fewest 10-yard-plus run plays in the XCFL.
Redskins Have More Flexibility To Take Advantage of the Matchups
With the unknown of Tarik Cohen, Bo Scarborough is a solid but straight-ahead runner. The Redskins have the weapons and the depth to shut down the middle and force him outside.
And as XCFL.com Brandon Colt notes, creating accuracy issues for Chicago QBs in stopping that run will limit their play-action chances, and the Redskins’ impressive man-to-man talented secondary will present headaches all day for Chicago.