Redskins vs. Giants

On the spot offensively: Right tackle Kenyatta Jones. The Redskins gave him lots of help against Greg Spires of the Bucs. What do you think they'll do against Michael Strahan?

Give him even more help. Jones has a tendency to get off-balance and lunge too much. If he does that this week, it'll mean trouble. But the Redskins will also help, likely, by rolling out Mark Brunell to the left, away from Strahan. And trouble.

What the Redskins must do offensively: Establish a passing game. Brian Westbrook had a strong day against the Giants last week. But here's why: the Eagles also passed the ball well against the Giants. Teams can game plan to stop the run, walking up an extra defender. But the Giants' secondary is suspect and Washington must take advantage. It could be hard to get Chris Cooley involved in the pass game because of linebacker Carlos Emmons, among the best covering tight ends -- if he's healthy. But they do need to stretch the defense a bit, which means a shot or two downfield to Laveranues Coles.

What the Redskins must do defensively: Get to quarterback Kurt Warner. When he gets rattled, he's a turnover machine. But there's no doubt the Giants will be better prepared than Tampa Bay for the Redskins' blitzes. The Bucs rarely, if ever, used max protection. Expect the Giants to use this tactic, knowing that if they give Warner a little time, then he has weapons to throw to -- guys who have had big games against Washington in the past.

On the spot defensively: Corners Fred Smoot and Shawn Springs. If the Redskins plan to pressure as much as last week, then the corners must have good games. They're facing a stiffer test this week in Amani Toomer and Ike Hilliard. Toomer is a legit No. 1 receiver while Hilliard's double moves have given Smoot fits in the past. If the Giants pick up the pressure, then it's up to the corners to stop this offense.

Good matchup: LB Marcus Washington vs. TE Jeremy Shockey. They won't always be matched one on one, but Washington has shown he can cover. But can he stop a guy like this? And what kind of help can Sean Taylor provide in coverage. These are the sorts of players Taylor was drafted to stop.

Pay attention to: If Taylor starts or not. If he reallly didn't start last week because he was sick for one day, then he'll start this week. If it's really about something else, as we suspect it is, then he'll come off the bench again. Gregg Williams is a master of spin saying Taylor did a great job on kick coverage. Sorry, that's not what he was drafted to do.

Quotables:

Redskins OL coach Joe Bugel: ''[Strahan] is a super pass rusher. He's one of the most complete ends in the league. Kenyatta will have a heck of an afternoon against him and has to do a great job preparing. He reminds me of Reggie White. He can club you, run by you or over you. He has the whole package.''

Redskins RB Clinton Portis: ''We can't let one win change the way we prepare. New York will come out and play a lot tougher at home. We can't go off what happened in Philly. This is their home opener. They'll be loud. They'll feel like they've got something to prove.''

Redskins QB Mark Brunell: ''If there's one guy who gave me a shot in this league it was Coach Coughlin. I'm in great debt to him because he gave me an opportunity a long time ago.''

Redskins coach Joe Gibbs: ''I've got bad memories from up there. I had a tough time up there.''

Injury update: Washington -- LB Mike Barrow (knee) is questionable; LB LaVar Arrington (knee) is questionable; K John Hall (hamstring) and TE Brian Kozlowski (calf) is probable. The Redskins do expect Arrington to play. If Hall can't kick -- he expects to -- they'll sign Ola Kimrin, already in town Friday.

New York -- OL Wayne Lucier (back) and LB Carlos Emmons (groin) are questionable; DE Michael Strahan (back) is probable.

Prediction: Redskins 20-17.


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