The Bears have spent the past two weeks trying to get QB Jonathan Quinn up to speed after a dismal debut. Quinn has to play more effectively and throw more accurately to give the Bears' best offensive weapon, RB Thomas Jones, any chance at all against the NFL's 2nd ranked run defense. Offensive coordinator Terry Shea would like for Quinn to establish TE Desmond Clark in the passing offense, which he said would help open things up for Jones. The Bears' featured runner was off to a phenomenal start until Quinn's first start, when the Eagles focused on stopping him and let Quinn try to beat them. That plan worked as Jones managed just 32 yards on 13 carries and Quinn repeatedly missed open receivers.
The Bears are as close to full strength defensively as they have been since Game 2, and they have probably their best opportunity this season to dominate, facing an offense that has struggled running and passing. Even though Redskins RB Clinton Portis is off to a poor start, the Bears still consider him a much bigger threat than Mark Brunell's passing.
BEARS MATCHUPS TO WATCH
• Bears DLE Adewale Ogunleye, who led the AFC with 15 sacks last season, vs. Redskins 41-year-old ORT Ray Brown, who wasn't even added to the roster until starter Jon Jansen went down with a season-ending injury.
• Redskins RB Clinton Portis, who rushed for more than 1,500 yards his first two seasons with the Broncos but is still trying to find his way in a new offense, vs. Bears MLB Brian Urlacher, who had 14 tackles in each of his first two games but hasn't played since then because of a strained hamstring.
REDSKINS GAME PLAN
The Redskins continue shuffling the offensive game plan, searching for some plays that fit the personnel and work. The pre-snap motion and overall complexity has been trimmed back significantly, and the only consistently effective setup seems to be the bootleg roll by QB Mark Brunell. The onus is on the offensive line to open up some bigger holes in the run game and give Brunell some time. Coach Joe Gibbs is eager to get the ball downfield and undoubtedly will take some shots against the Bears' corners. The no-huddle set, which worked well at Cleveland, could make a return.
Defensively, the Redskins will focus on stuffing RB Thomas Jones, who is off to a solid start as a Bear, and putting some pressure on QB Jonathan Quinn. Expect to see a fair amount of eight-in-the-box because the passing game doesn't scare anyone. It is obvious that Washington's front four struggles to generate a pass rush, but assistant head coach for defense Gregg Williams has done a great job using the back seven to rush yet not miss assignments in pass coverage.
REDSKINS MATCHUPS TO WATCH
• Redskins RT Ray Brown, a part of a modest platoon in place of Jon Jansen, vs. Bears LDE Adewale Ogunleye, a pass-rush star whom Washington tried hard to obtain -- The Redskins offensive line has played with little passion in recent weeks. Improvements on offense likely will start up front, and Brown's play against this talented sack artist will be key. Brown, a guard most of his career, will try to crowd Ogunleye, who will counter with his speed.
• Redskins NT Joe Salave'a, a key part of Washington's second-ranked run defense, vs. Bears C Olin Kreutz, a three-time Pro Bowl pick -- Salave'a is nursing a calf strain and could be limited, yielding snaps to Brandon Noble. Salave'a has been very stout in anchoring Washington's defenese, but he'll face one of his biggest challenges of the season assuming Kreutz is healthy. Kreutz is probable after having right elbow surgery during the bye.