Trent Williams, Shawk Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses. Those five men potentially are about to get a rude welcome to the 2015 NFL regular season. The Washington Redskins host the Miami Dolphins in the opening weekend of the season, meaning those five men, Washington's offensive line, have to deal with a Miami defensive line featuring Cameron Wake, Ndamukong Suh, Earl Mitchell, and Olivier Vernon.
This is the same offensive line that allowed three sacks of Robert Griffin III against the Detroit Lions during the Preseason. Three sacks which led to a concussion, which then led to Kirk Cousins overtaking Griffin as the starting quarterback for Washington.
"It's unacceptable," Scherff told the Washington Times after the Lions game about the line's performance.
"It didn't feel good," Lichtensteiger added. "Felt like we were picking Robert up after every pass play."
"It definitely makes you cringe," Williams, who did not play in the game, said. "You don't want to see your quarterback get hit at all, in the preseason or regular season."
Now, they face two of the top defensive linemen in the game, and a total defensive line that should finish 2015 near the top of all defensive stats.
Lichtensteiger has struggled against bigger defensive tackles in the past. Suh might qualify in that category. Brandon Scherff will likely be called upon to help Lichtensteiger block Suh, which only puts Moses trying to block Wake one-on-one. That is not going to be a good day for Moses.
The biggest concern for Washington's offense is clearly the line, where Miami's defensive strength is their line. This game should see Wake and Suh simply dominate an outmatched set of blockers in front of them, and make it a very long day for Cousins. Washington is likely going to try to establish a running game early in an effort to negate Miami's pass rush strength. Suh and Mitchell up the middle, with linebackers free to plug the holes, should be able to limit that.
The first game of the season is set up for Miami's defensive line to establish itself early and often. Will Washington's offensive line be able to slow them at all? Will Cousins be able to stay upright?
It's nice to be asking these offensive line questions about a team other than the Dolphins.