Behind Enemy Lines With Rich Tandler, Part 2

Warpath's Rich Tandler, the publisher of our Redskins site at, handles questions about Washington's pass rush, trying to handle Indy's speedy pass-rushers, the impact of adding cornerback Troy Vincent this week, and more in the second half of "Behind Enemy Lines".

Ed Thompson:  How do you expect Mark Brunell and the offensive line to handle the Colts pass rush?

Rich Tandler:  The O-line has had its share of cringe moments, such as in the Dallas game when the officials waved off a holding call on Jon Jansen because, in the words of the referee, "the defender ran through" the attempted hold.  Overall, they've done alright, maybe a C+. Brunell has lost a step--OK, maybe most of the staircase--but he can still scramble away from pressure and find a receiver or at least throw the ball to the popcorn vendor working the cheap seats to avoid the sack. We should know early. Generally if the Skins give up a couple of sacks in the first few series, it's going to be a long day for Brunell. If they can get through the first few series unscathed, they should be able to hold their own.

ET:  The Redskins have scored plenty of points in the 2nd quarter of games this year, but are only averaging about 7 points per game in the second half.  What's going on?

RT:  I'll go back to what was addressed in yesterday's installment--the relatively light workload the team had in August. The offense can't sustain drives and the defense is gassed in the second half. It's also taking teams the first half to figure out that Brunell's primary receiver is almost always going to be Santana Moss. They deal with that fixation and Brunell is lost. On top of all that, they're not giving Clinton Portis his typically heavy workload because his injured shoulder isn't quite 100%, so he's not dominating in the second half like he did last year.

ET:  How has the Redskins' pass rush looked this season? Which guys are most likely to find some success getting pressure on Manning on Sunday?

RT:  The Redskins paid end Andre Carter a ton of money this past offseason to get a steady pass-rush presence. So far, he hasn't provided much, at least not
consistently. Through the first three weeks he had as many sacks as Jimmy Carter. He's heating up a bit, though, and if he gets some heat on Manning the Redskins chances of springing the upset will increase dramatically. If not from the line, hopes for hurrying Manning will fall on LB Marcus Washington and S Adam Archuleta.

ET:  How much do you think the addition of cornerback Troy Vincent is going to help the secondary?

RT:  At his age he's not going to be a savior, but he should be of some help. He's been getting work at both safety and as a nickel corner. The latter role is likely to be more critical on Sunday as starting corner Carlos Rogers is out with a broken thumb. Gregg Williams wants DBs that can hit and be assets against the run and it seems that Vincent fits that mold.

ET: Any key injuries that could have an impact on this game?

RT:  Rogers, as mentioned above, is the biggest given the opponent. Defensive tackle Joe Salave'a was upgraded to probable today and if he can play that will take some of the heat off of the rookies, Kedric Golston and Anthony Montgomery, who started last week. However, it looks like they'll sit the other DT, Cornelius Griffin, to give him this week and the bye to heal an injured hip. Missing a starting corner and your best run stuffer doesn't exactly make it like the Skins are bringing a knife to a gun fight, but they'll be a few bullets short of a full chamber.

In-story photo of Andre Carter: Getty Images

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