Beware of: Chicago's secondary. Corner Jerry Azumah and safety Mike Brown both are playmakers. If Patrick Ramsey is careless with his throws, or tries to force plays downfield, both these defenders can hurt him.
Don't worry about: Adewale Ogunleye. Redskins right tackle Jon Jansen draws him, but it's someone he knows well. Jansen shut him down two years ago in Miami and did so routinely in college. Ogunleye likes to beat tackles with inside moves, but that's about all he has. Watch for Jansen to set up more inside, not worrying about anything else. And look for the Redskins to run at Ogunleye.
Needs a good start: Quarterback Patrick Ramsey. But in this game, pay less attention to the final numbers than to his overall effectiveness. This could be a game he needs to manage more than one he needs to win. Ramsey gets himself in trouble when he gets greedy, which could happen in the Redskins new emphasis on downfield throws. He still hasn't proven he can make the kinds of decisions quarterbacks must make to guide their team to the playoffs.
Feel good about: the offensive line. This unit, plus the defense, is why I dismiss many of the national skeptics. The line is so much better and the trickle-down effect will be big. When will it be noticeable? Who knows. But I put a lot of stock into what Joe Bugel says when he calls this the line he's most enjoyed working with. That's a pretty heavy statement. This unit, combined with the defense, is why Washington will be better than many think. Maybe the Redskins aren't Super Bowl caliber, but they're also not a five-win team.
And feel good about: Corner Carlos Rogers. It's his first real game, but you'd never know it from his demeanor. The kid is cool. I really, really like him. As he matures in the NFL, look for him to be used in many ways, similar to Shawn Springs. Aren't you glad they drafted him instead of getting stuck with Pac-man Jones? I am. Rogers probably will be matched against Muhsin Muhammed at times. Muhammed could give him fits with his route-running -- he's very good and he's also very big and physical.
Unleash the playmakers: It'll be interesting to see how a defense with Marcus Washington, Sean Taylor, LaVar Arrington and Springs plays. All are playmakers, particularly Taylor, Arrington and Springs. Washington will set them up many times and make a few himself.
Defensive key: Confuse Kyle Orton. The rookie quarterback comes from a passing offense in college, but he also played mostly in the shotgun until this summer. He's cool in the pocket which will help. But he's a rookie, which won't. This is not Ben Roethlisberger surrounded by lots of talent. The Redskins need to make Orton throw on the run, something he doesn't do well. That means pressure.
Special teams key: Beware Azumah, again. He's a dynamic playmaker on kick returns, someone who can scare any team. Especially one whose coverage play has been spotty this summer. Antonio Brown needs to make good decisions; let's hope he can but I'm not sure he always will. He's a bit scary, but he has the speed to break one at any time.
Prediction: The Redskins force two turnovers early, leading to scores and then massage the clock from there for a 13-7 win, setting up a big Week 2 showdown in Dallas.
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