Tennessee Ten Spot: Redskins vs. Titans

The Ten Spot, Redskins vs. Titans--This is a game that the Redskins should win--but will they? Our John Keim looks at why they should prevail and at some potential obstacles in their way.

  1. Is Tennessee dangerous? I guess so. Just look what they did at Indy last week. They also have an excellent coach. And they nearly beat Miami, which is not such a grand accomplishment. So I don't buy it. The Titans have a young, albeit talented, quarterback and a defense that struggles against the run (ranking 32nd). They're 0-5 for a reason. That doesn't make them desperate; that makes them bad.
  1. But what about the Redskins' injuries? Now that's what worries me. The gut of the Redskins' middle is banged up and might not play. That's trouble. Now they'll have two rookies inside along with Demetric Evans and Ryan Boschetti. Tennessee will attack the interior – and it's not as if Lemar Marshall has had a great season. This will make it a tougher game than it needs to be. Remember, Tennessee opened the Colts' game with eight straight runs. The Titans will run it right at them.
  1. Will Shawn Springs play? And this is what is nice to see; Springs is close to returning. It's a game-time decision, which is better than what anyone thought it would be before Wednesday – Springs included. Either that or he's one heck of a poker player.
  1. What impact will Springs have? A big one, but what bothers me is the sloppy tackling and lack of a pass rush. Springs will help in some areas, obviously coverage, but other players still need to improve. Where he helps is by bumping Mike Rumph and Kenny Wright back to spots better suited for them. Neither is anything more than a fourth corner. And Adam Archuleta, perhaps, will finally be used the only way he should be used, as an in-the-box safety. When he has to do anything else, he's not good.
  1. When will Brandon Lloyd break out? When teams stop playing cover 2 defenses all game; the only way to force them out of it is by running the ball. It's a physical defense and Lloyd is anything but a physical receiver. That is his No. 1 problem in this offense right now. That and a quarterback who is more worried about staying mistake-free than taking shots downfield. And he's a downfield guy. But I have a hunch Lloyd will finally make a few big plays.
  1. What should the Redskins pay attention to defensively? The gimmick plays. With Young, the Titans can do a lot of different things, with options and runs and throwbacks, etc. The Titans will try a couple of those. The Redskins have to be ready.
  1. Which defenders should the Redskins be worried about? Linebacker Keith Bullock; linebacker David Thornton and corner Pacman Jones. But there's no way Jones can handle Moss, which is why he won't be asked to that often – at least not in solo coverage. If Moss is manned up against Jones, look out. Also, end Kyle Vanden Bosch is good enough to give Jon Jansen trouble. He's struggled against worse players this season.
  1. Which offensive players should the Redskins be worried about? Young, receiver Drew Bennett, running back Travis Henry. The interior of the line is also Tennessee's strength up front and, with Cornelius Griffin and Joe Salave'a unlikely, that's a tough matchup. It helps that receiver David Givens is out.
  1. Will the Redskins' defense ever create turnovers? This is the week to do it; Tennessee has thrown 10 interceptions. They just don't have many playmakers to create them. We'll give them a couple picks in this game. But this defense has slipped considerably from two years ago, starting with the defection of Antonio Pierce.
  1. Will the Redskins win? Of course. They lost to a bad Oakland team last year, but this team is worse (but with a better coach). The trick is getting on top early. Tennessee will win a game at some point; if the Titans hang around in a game they'll eventually break through. But the Redskins will control it on the ground, Lloyd will finally make a big play and the defense will create enough opportunities to win. Redskins 24, Titans 10.

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