1. Is this the week Washington's offense shows up?
I expected a better effort, but not 29 points worth. Jason Campbell hit a stride in the second half, but missed throws early. However, the running game led the charge all day and the line gave Campbell enough time to make big throws.
2. What should they do offensively?
Run the ball, we said. Mike Sellers had a fantastic day as a lead blocker and tight end Chris Cooley had one of his better days blocking as well. When you can run the ball successfully, other things open up.
3. What else can they do?
We said to give Campbell some layups by using shorter, quicker throws. The Redskins did just that, particularly early. It took Campbell time to hit longer throws, but he eventually did.
4. Who must they worry about on the Saints' defense?
We thought the ends, Grant and Smith, had to be dealt with. Also, DT Sedrick Ellis was disruptive in the opener. The Redskins did a fantastic job up front. Grant was silent; Smith made a couple plays as did Ellis. But, overall, the Redskins won.
5. Can they throw deep?
We thought they could – if they protected Campbell. Which they did. We thought they should take a shot at the corners. Which they did – and succeeded. There weren't many, but the 67-yarder won the game.
6. OK, how explosive is the Saints' offense?
We thought the Saints' could be explosive, but did not see them as formidable. They're not. The Redskins' D only allowed 17 points and bottled up Reggie Bush, thanks to great team defense. The DT's, especially Kedric Golston, did a nice job. The linebackers had better fits. And when Bush got the ball, there were a number of defenders swarming.
7. What are the biggest concerns with New Orleans' offense?
We wondered if Bush had matured as a runner. Not to repeat ourselves, but we felt if the Redskins swarmed him, Bush could be stopped. He was. Much of his yards came when the Redskins played soft in the final 30 seconds of the first half. Bush did score on a punt return when the Redskins had a bunch of guys who would lose a battle against Bush every single time. That's the result of losing players such as Reed Doughty and Khary Campbell to injuries.
8. What's the big key?
Getting to Drew Brees, we said. The Redskins did this on occasion. Cornelius Griffin made a couple plays in getting to him and Demetric Evans helped with a tipped pass. Jason Taylor had a sack and was a little more active. The Redskins won more one-on-one battles than the previous week. The defense was opportunistic, especially Chris Horton.
9. Can the Saints run the ball?
We said yes. The Saints tried to run wide as the Giants successfully did in the opener. But it didn't work for them. They lacked a power touch, with Deuce McAllister still recovering from a knee injury. Also, the Redskins' D did a much better job of playing the run and getting off blocks.
10. Who will win?
We didn't think the Redskins were ready to play a complete game. We expected a better effort, but a Saints four-point win. Uh, we were a little wrong. Thought Clinton Portis would keep them in the game, which he did. But we did not expect Jason Campbell to take such a big step in the fourth quarter. That had been lacking.
John Keim covers the Redskins for the Washington Examiner and is a contributing editor for Warpathinsiders.com. He has covered the team since 1994. Some of his other stories can be found at dcexaminer.com
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