Nickel Package: 5 Current Redskins Topics

John Keim analyzes five topics: Good Loss, Campbell, O-Line, Deep Trouble and Injuries.

1. A good loss?

The Redskins looked good for most of the game in the 28-23 loss to Dallas. So what does that mean? Was it the start of something or was it a one-game aberration? After 10 games, it's hard to say that it was the start of something big. The Redskins have proven to be inconsistent all season. However, it's really hard to say because they have thrown the ball better the past two games. So perhaps the offense is coming around. But all this is why Sunday will be the most revealing game of the season. If the Redskins somehow took a step with a ‘'good'' loss, then they will build on it and win in Tampa. If that happens, then it could be a fun December.

2. Jason Campbell.

He's taken a big step in his development by running the no-huddle the past two games and by firing the ball at Dallas. But he remains a work in progress. Campbell still needs to learn to step up when the heat is coming, allowing him to prevent a possible strip. Tony Romo did just that and it's one subtle difference between the two. But Campbell continues to learn. QB coach Bill Lazor said Campbell has done better at little things such as looking off the safety. Sometimes, Campbell will think he has only to discover while watching film that he really didn't. But the following week he'll do it better. That's what the Redskins like.

3. Deep trouble.

The Redskins will again be tested deep against Tampa Bay between QB Jeff Garcia and WR Joey Galloway. LaRon Landry's youth was really exposed. On T.O.'s second TD pass, Landry came flying up and vacated the middle, leaving an easy opening for Owens. Reed Doughty had a horrible pass interference call. Yes, it's a function of youth. But it's also the result of losing Sean Taylor, who will be out again Sunday. And for those wondering why Doughty started over Prioleau, the guess is because Prioleau is better as a safety in the slot. He's just not that good in coverage, but Doughty struggled there too.

4. Offensive line.

The line has done a better job lately, but the guy I worry about is Pete Kendall. He's not one to complain, but he certainly seems to be hurting with some older-player joints. Nobody has said anything, but I wonder how he'll hold up over the next six weeks.

5. Injuries.

Santana Moss remains a banged-up receiver, though he should be able to play again Sunday. James Thrash remained in his boot Tuesday and isn't sure when it's coming off. He's questionable for Sunday. Todd Wade expects to play. The one good thing lately has been Keenan McCardell. It's clear that Campbell trusts him so don't be surprised if he continues to play a big role down the stretch.


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