Nickel Package: 5 Current Redskins Topics

John Keim analyzes five topics: Facing Seattle, Letting Up, 05 vs 07, Planning and Todd Collins.

1. Facing Seattle.

The Redskins caught a break with their first-round matchup. The tough part about Seattle is playing at their place, where they're 7-1 this season. It's one of the better home field advantages in the NFL. But Washington will be prepared for it, having played there two years ago. Seattle does everything better at home: they have 29 of their 45 sacks and caused 23 of their 34 turnovers at home. And they averaged five more points per game at home (27.1). However, the Seahawks played such a bad schedule (one team that finished with a winning record played at Seattle).

2. Relax?

One thing the Redskins won't do is somehow feel as if they've achieved their goal by making the playoffs and then let up. That won't happen. After the game, Antwaan Randle El said on the sidelines that there was no Gatorade shower for Joe Gibbs because they had more games to play. And Gibbs is confident they'll continue on this quest based on how they've practiced and their approach. He said it's rare when this happens and has only happened with one of his teams about four or five times.

3. 2005 vs. 2007.

The Redskins last played Seattle in the 2005 postseason, but this is a much better team, albeit with one less win. The Redskins have a better passing game with better receivers (Antwaan Randle El to pair with Santana Moss) and the defense is more balanced. Seattle is not as good as it was that season, with the running game worse as Shaun Alexander did not have a good season. The Seahawks will pass the ball more than that season, but they must be two-dimensional to beat Gregg Williams' defense. Don't forget, the Redskins should have taken a 10-0 lead if not for corner Carlos Rogers dropped interception that would have resulted in an easy touchdown.

4. Good planning.

One thing Williams has wanted to do the past two years is get younger on defense. They've benefited from Randall Godfrey's experience. But the real benefit has been from the young legs of Reed Doughty and Chris Wilson and the young defensive tackles. Old defenses break down, but this one has not. Doughty has played fantastic the past few games and Wilson had a two-sack effort Sunday. Tackle Anthony Montgomery has been the best of the young players lately, plugging the middle and making plays. Give Williams credit for making this a priority.

5. Todd Collins.

There's no doubt that Collins will continue to start even if Jason Campbell returns healthy for the postseason. Why in the heck would they even consider changing? Even the players are pointing out the differences between Collins and Campbell. They point out that, in essence, the training wheels have come off the offense under Collins. They're taking more shots downfield and they're being more aggressive with the lead. Even Clinton Portis said that when Campbell dumps the ball to him, there's usually three or four guys around him. When Collins does, there isn't anybody. Whether or not that's true, that is his perception. For those who wondered if Al Saunders' offense could work, you have your answer.

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