What’s crazier: That the Redskins have managed just 37.5 rushing yards per game, or that two teams are behind them in that category?
With his team 0-2, coach Jay Gruden would like to get that part of his offense clicking. The problem is that the Bears are No. 2 in the NFL in run defense over the last two seasons.
“I say we want to run the ball, but they’re a very difficult team to run the ball against,” Gruden said on a conference call with the Chicago media Wednesday. “I might have to wait until next week.”
He probably wasn’t joking.
The Redskins’ leading rusher this season is 34-year-old Adrian Peterson, with 25 yards on 10 carries.
The Redskins seem more likely to test the Bears through the air, and journeyman quarterback Case Keenum has 601 yards, a 70.3 completion percentage, five touchdowns and no interceptions for a 111.2 passer rating.
That comes with its own risks, of course, because the Bears have a dominant pass rush and All-Pros at cornerback and safety.
“They’re very sound in what they do, not overly complicated,” Gruden said. “They’re just in their right gaps, and they play a physical brand of football. Old-school Chicago Bears football.”
O-line steps up
The Bears’ offensive line looked much better against the Broncos than it did in the opener. The unit kept Mitch Trubisky from getting sacked, led the way for 153 yards rushing and muscled toward the end zone with five consecutive run plays from the Denver 5-yard line.
The line will need to continue to play at that level to help the offense straighten out its issues, and right guard Kyle Long thinks the unit still hasn’t played at its full capability. He singled himself out as someone who needs to raise his game.
“There’s a lot of things I can do better — a lot of blocks that I’m not making, a lot of guys unaccounted for,” he said. “I’ll be on guys at the beginning of the play, then at the end of the play they’re around the pile. I need to make it my personal goal not to allow my matchup to make the play. If we all do that, we’ll have a lot of success.”
Long shaved his beard before the game against the Broncos to change things up and get himself going.
“Anything I can do to try to make my play better,” he joked. “I think when I was younger I probably played better, so I’m trying to look younger.”
Receiver Allen Robinson is fifth among NFL receivers with four catches of 20-plus yards this season.
• Linebacker Roquan Smith played every snap in Denver and has been on the field for 145 of 146 defensive plays this season. He leads the Bears with 18 tackles.
• Rookie running back David Montgomery is tied with Robinson for the team lead with seven first downs.