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Matt Jones Running Out Of Time?

Sitting at 4-3, the Redskins ride the plane over the Atlantic to face the Bengals in the 3rd and final International Series game to be held in the UK; but not without a bitter taste in their mouth after a late-late defeat to the Detroit Lions in Week 7. Many will remember the clutch drive by Matt Stafford with less than a minute to go. But you could argue that barring a couple costly fumbles, with Running Back Matt Jones involved in both, the Redskins may have put this one out of sight.

Matt Jones has had many critics since coming into the league last year behind Redskins stalwart Alfred Morris, and it was abundantly clear that the coaching staff earmarked Matt Jones as “their” guy by the share of carries he was getting despite his more proven and esteemed team-mate. There were flashes last year with mammoth performances against the Rams and Saints, but he committed 5 fumbles, which is far higher than it should be for a a starting back; and these arose again with a big goal-line fumble against the Lions.

Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

A Did Not Practice for Jones on Wednesday means there’s a small cloud of doubt about his status for the Redskins’ first regular season trip to Wembley, but they have a couple young Running Backs who have done well in limited showings so far this season. Chris Thompson (pictured, left), playing in his 4th season in DC has been highly regarded as an above average pass-catching Running Back, even in last season’s crowded backfield. Whenever he gets into space he can be a difference maker and makes linebackers miss with relative ease. The main knock on him has been his build and could be a battering ram to get the 3rd 1 plays done through the middle, which he hasn’t proven able to yet.

Photo Credit: Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Photo Credit: Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Rob “Fat Rob” Kelley (pictured right) who joined the team this off-season as an undrafted rookie free agent and has done nothing but impress as a powerful runner in the Eddie Lacy type mould. He beat out stiff competition from Mack Brown to make the 53 man roster, and if Matt Jones continues to struggle; Kelley is the favourite to handle the early down work for Jay Gruden’s men. At Thursday’s press conference Gruden confirmed that this would be the case if Matt Jones was not able to suit up for the Wembley clash, but I suspect that even if he does Kelley may steal a lot of work after some Jones’ iffy performances this season.

The running game will be key for the Redskins this Sunday, and if they can establish this early like they have tried and failed to so many times this season, it could open up a lot of offensive play-calls for a high-powered offence. I would expect a finely poised game and if the Redskins can play turnover-free football they may well be favourites to snatch a victory.

Main Photo Credit:  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Article written by:

I'm Blake, and I'm a big Washington Redskins fan despite their best efforts to put me off the first few years I watched NFL. You may find me either swearing at a computer or standing in a baseball field.

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