Patten's loss: It shouldn't hurt the Redskins too much because, in truth, he wasn't productive. His size often worked against him; it seemed to be a primary reason for the first interception last week. He wasn't big enough to prevent the DB from running through him and grabbing the ball. I doubt it's picked off against even James Thrash. He and Taylor Jacobs will now get more time. It's time for Jacobs to show something.
Norv's revenge: There's no doubt that Norv Turner would love to beat a Dan Snyder team. Unlike Marty Schottenheimer, he has not remained on good terms with Snyder. But it's been five years. And I doubt his players love him in Oakland that much where it will make a difference in the game. If the Raiders win it's because they're not as bad as their 3-6 record. Remember, they've lost some heartbreaking games, too. At some point, those games will go their way. Of course, Redskins thought that for seven years under Turner.
Beware: Jerry Porter. He was slowed by a pulled muscle in training camp, but is now rounding into form. With Randy Moss having various nagging injuries, Porter could become more of a threat. And if the Redskins don't get to Kerry Collins, Porter becomes an even bigger threat. Of course, that goes double for Moss, injury or no.
Attack: The Raiders' secondary starts two corners who were pressed into the first unit because of injuries to others. Teams have passed well on the Raiders.
But: Washington needs to pass protect well. Oakland has 16 sacks from its defensive line, including seven by free agent pickup Derrick Burgess and five by tackle Warren Sapp. He's back inside and is again an effective player. Burgess is a concern; he'll play both end spots, but we're guessing he'll line up more often than not against Chris Samuels, who has struggled at times.
Extra work: The tight ends did not do a good job helping against Simeon Rice last weekend. They'll have to do a better job Sunday and they know it. That's why they stayed after practice Thursday, working on their pass sets, taking better angles.
Still hurting: Defensive tackle Joe Salave'a had a cortisone shot nearly two weeks ago, but he said the pain in his foot hasn't subsided. Don't know how he's getting through this, but the Redskins need him. Especially to stop LaMont Jordan.
Beware: The Raiders have blocked three kicks this season.
Turnover battle: Neither team is adept at causing turnovers. Oakland has intercepted two passes -- one on a tip at the line by Sapp and the other on a Hail Mary by now-injured Charles Woodson. But the Redskins have only four. They haven't been close to too many and they particularly have been very ordinary against veteran quarterbacks.
Prediction: This is a dangerous game. Oakland is better than its 3-6 record and seemingly due to win a close game. Then again, the Redskins are 4-0 at home and don't turn it over nearly as much as they do on the road. Considering the background of both teams, is there little doubt this will be a close, last-second game? We'll close our eyes and take the Redskins, 24-23.