Ten Spot Preview: Redskins vs. Packers

Ten burning questions going into Sunday's game. John Keim makes his predictions.

1. What impact will the injuries have?

It depends on who you're talking about. With Marcus Washington, the Redskins are fortunate that they have Randall Godfrey, who is exceptionally physical. They'll be hurt with Chris Wilson subbing on pass downs; he's very one-dimensional, though he is fast. However, I think they'll be OK because of Godfrey. And if the Pack starts passing, then they would use a safety at this spot anyway, which they did last week with Pierson Prioleau. As for Antwaan Randle El, he's a tough loss if he can't play. James Thrash can handle punt returns. But Randle El's ability to run after the catch will be missed offensively. Our guess is that Keenan McCardell will play a lot in this spot. He will be pressed vs. the Packer corners; can he still get away from it?

2. Has Jason Campbell turned a corner?

Well, yes and no. Here's the thing: Washington used a conservative passing attack last week, with lots of short throws. Where Campbell improved was his patience and his accuracy in terms of hitting guys where they could make plays after the catch. But he's still a work in progress. The Pack presents a different challenge, a much tougher one than the defensive-challenged Lions.

3. What should the Redskins worry about offensively?

The Packer ends are pretty good, with Aaron Kampmann and Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila could give Washington trouble. Todd Wade will be matched vs. Kampmann. But the Redskins often don't have Wade matched one on one with quality ends. They usually have he and Jason Fabini work together to block areas and have the tight end, Todd Yoder, help. Chris Samuels has to handle KGB by himself to allow Chris Cooley to get out on routes.

4. How good are the corners?

Al Harris and Charles Woodson are an excellent combination. They love to play press coverage, so some of the short stuff that worked so well last week won't work this week. But that doesn't mean you can't throw on them by any means. It just means the wideouts have to do a good job getting off the line. Santana Moss is good at this, and McCardell's experience should help here either.

5. Where should the Redskins attack offensively?

The middle of the field, going at the safeties. Green Bay's outside backers are good and play that area well. But the middle, specifically the seam routes, should be there for Chris Cooley. He has to be more involved. As far as the run, the Redskins have to be patient. Which they usually are. Green Bay allows 4.0 yards per carry, but much of that was built in one game. The Pack isn't bad here and their DT's are solid. Run at the ends.

6. What will the Packers try to do offensively?

Well, it's easy to say they're going to pass. That's what they do and it's what they do well. But in the first half against Chicago they got the lead by running the ball and being balanced. You won't beat Washington's D if you're not balanced. Which is why the Redskins are bracing for the Packers to run the ball. What Detroit showed last week is that if you don't try to establish the run, the Redskins will tee off on the pass. The Redskins GAVE the Lions running lanes they weren't interested except on occasion. It enabled the Redskins to pressure the passer. Green Bay won't make the same mistake. The Pack might not run more than they throw, but they will try to be more balanced.

7. Where can the Redskins exploit Green Bay?

Up the middle. The Pack will be starting a backup center who is not nearly as physical as starter Scott Wells. Jason Spitz does not seem to fit what Green Bay wants to do. Take advantage.

8. What about Brett Favre?

Well, he's still pretty good, isn't he? The problem is, how do you prepare to stop him? He's so unconventional and gets rid of the ball so quick that it's hard to emulate in practice. He's only been sacked nine times. Green Bay is also very smart, using a formation that nobody else does to protect him. So watch for this: the tight end will sometimes line up next to Favre -- an automatic pass, and a deep one at that. He's there in case the line pinches down, leaving a defensive end looping outside. Other teams try to pick this up with a back; the Pack uses the tight end to slide over. Much better. But if the defense doesn't run that, then the tight end will release as a safety valve over the middle. It'll be curious to see if Washington can apply pressure.

9. What's an intriguing matchup?

Tackle Chad Clifton vs. end Andre Carter. The Redskins end had a big game last week against a sub-par tackle, but he'll have a good test this week. It would be nice to see him get one on one blocking to see how well he does against a better tackle. Clifton is solid.

10. Who will win?

We love what the Redskins did last week, but Detroit on the road is a horrible team. Green Bay at home is another matter. Plus the Pack blew that game last week. Nothing like playing a ticked-off team at home. The Redskins have made strides and I believe in their defense. But I'm not sold on this offense yet to pull off a road upset. To do so, they must harass Favre into a couple Favre-like picks. Will that happen? Not enough. Pack 23, Redskins 17.

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