Behind Enemy Lines: Redskins vs Patriots

While posting a "W" isn't important, for the Redskins, playing better than they have in their first two games is. Get inside for exclusive insider analysis of what the Redskins need to see from their team tonight.

What needs to be seen: A better outing by everyone. The Redskins don't have to win -- if they allow a couple scores late, who cares? But they do need to be highly competitive and play well in the first half. The offense hasn't done anything and it makes you wonder about Joe Gibbs' strategy of not playing his starters much. They have no rhythm, at least not in games. The first defense, we're guessing, will respond well. Gregg Williams has been in a foul mood all week. That's a good sign.

How much action: The first offense needs to play more than 13 snaps, but Gibbs is reluctant to say how much they'll get. Look for the defense to get at least a half, depending on how they're playing.

QB rotation: Mark Brunell will be followed by Todd Collins and then Jason Campbell. Yes, Collins played well last week but he should. If a veteran can't do well against third- and fourth-stringers, he shouldn't be in the league. We need to see him against live pressure again, to see if the first outing was an aberration.

Needs a good night: Kenny Wright. He has to inspire confidence in his teammates and can do that with a second straight solid outing. The flipside is something the Redskins don't want to consider. With Shawn Springs' status for the first couple weeks in doubt, Wright must come through.

Needs a good night, II: Nehemiah Broughton. The Redskins like his physical style, but they can't trust him with the ball; too many fumbles. So he must earn a spot on special teams. They will keep an extra player at a couple positions, if they can play here. And he's becoming a decent teamer.

How much for the new guy: T.J. Duckett is expected to play, so it'll be interesting to see how he's used. Clearly it'll be in limited situations. But think of this: a backfield of Mike Sellers and Duckett. That's a lot of beef running upfield; it's almost like having two extra guards in the backfield. It's doubtful they'll put Duckett in when there's a pass situation. From what we hear, he doesn't pass protect well.

The importance: For many players, this game is a huge deal; it's their last chance to impress the coaches with the first round of cuts Tuesday. The Redskins need to trim 12 players by 4 p.m. Tuesday. The first round, though, is usually easy to predict.

Keep an eye on: safety Adam Archuleta. He's in a new defense and with new teammates, but we'd like to see better coverage and downfield tackling.

They're out: DE Phillip Daniels (back), DT Cornelius Griffin (knee), TE Robert Johnson (ankle), LB Robert McCune (hamstring), OL Jim Molinaro (knee), RB Clinton Portis (shoulder), LB Kevin Simon (abdomen), CB Shawn Springs (abdomen).


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