Josh Doctson’s breakthrough can solve some of the Redskins receiver issues
Sometimes all you need to boost your confidence in a given sport is to make a big play when everyone is watching. Josh Doctson’s first catch of the 2017 campaign came in primetime on Sunday Night Football for a 52-yard touchdown. It was a spectacular catch, one that fans have been waiting on for two years now. Doctson hasn’t been riddled with injuries in his young career as a pro, but more so battling two injuries that have affected his ability to get on the field. With an Achilles injury in 2016 and a hamstring injury early in 2017, he has missed over 80 percent of his professional career to date. Doctson has played in three consecutive games to start this season, with no talks about injury lately, so his catch against the Raiders may have been the spark needed to spur the emergence of Josh Doctson.
Doctson’s development, for obvious reasons, is critical to the Redskins’ offense. The Redskins currently have no downfield threat at receiver. Were it not for Vernon Davis and Chris Thompson, the effect of the slow development of Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson would be very noticeable and amplified by many. If Doctson’s involvement in the offense continues to increase, it creates another element for a defense to focus on and gives Cousins another option as a passer to go to. With 11 targets for Pryor in the season opener, Pryor had only had four targets in each of the following games against the Rams and Raiders. Whether it’s a lack of trust or just an inability to get the ball to Pryor for a variety of circumstances, Cousins needs either Pryor or Doctson to become a reliable target.
The Redskins are facing a Kansas City Chiefs team which always had a respectable defense. This year the Chiefs defense rank 27th statistically in yards per game but make a living forcing turnovers and getting to the quarterback. I don’t think the receivers will be the bigger reason as to whether the game is won or lost. That does not mean that the position group won’t be a contributing factor – a couple of big plays can be made from that group, especially vertically and Josh Doctson can be that guy. His legs are clearly under him, and now it’s just wait-and-see mode to see how Doctson’s season unfolds.