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  • Keys To Victory & Gameday: October 2nd, 2016 – Cleveland Browns @ Washington Redskins – 1:00PM EST

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    Keys To Victory

    Keys To Victory

    The Washington Redskins are currently #5 in total offense and #2 in passing offense.  The Cleveland Browns are giving up 403 yards of offense and 28 points per game.  Those looking for an improved rushing attack may be waiting another week as the Browns pass defense is its weak link.  The red zone scoring offense should receive a major boost this week.

    Conversely, the Cleveland Browns are scoring 18 points per game while allowing 28, however, they are averaging over 6 yards per carry with Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson.  Quarterback-turned-receiver Terrell Pryor is a dual threat, averaging over 17 yards per reception.  Corey Coleman only has 7 receptions but he is averaging 24.7 yards per catch and has two touchdowns.

    Fortunately, the Redskins have the secondary to cover Cleveland Man-to-Man with Norman and man-zone on the other side with Dunbar or whoever is starting and an actual free safety in Ihenacho as opposed to a converted and learning on the job corner in Hall.

    Clearly and convincingly, the task at hand is to pass fifty times and stop the run.  Expect a lot of blitzing into the A and B gaps to contain rushing between the tackles.  It will be critical for the outside linebackers to not overpursue.  They must contain the edges and force runners back into the middle of the field.

    Special teams needs to continue to be special.  The Redskins, who lead the league in fumbles caused, need to continue to force turnovers.

    Overall, this is a game the Redskins should dominate and it would not be surprising to see them post 40+ points.

    While not necessarily a key to victory, it would also be a great game for the defense to figure out how to stop the run as Cleveland will do a lot of it.

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    Game Day: Sunday, September 25th, 2016 – Washington Redskins @ New York Giants – 1:00PM EST

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    FOX | NFL RedZone
    Sirius XM Radio
    Game Pass
    Mobile Applications
    Tickets | NFL Shop

    Kickoff Temperature: 54 degrees, 5mph winds.

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    Gameday: Monday, September 12th, 2016 7:10PM EST – Pittsburgh Steelers @ Washington Redskins

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    Monday, September 12th, 2016 7:10PM EST

    Television: ESPN

    Radio: Sirius

    Online: Game Pass

    Tickets: Ticketmaster (3,548 available of as this entry)

    Kickoff Temperature: 75 degrees, 5 mph winds

    Line: Pittsburgh -3

    Over / Under: 50


    Injury Report



    DE Kendall Reyes (groin)—The story here is not so much about Reyes but what the Redskins will do on the defensive line. There are only six defensive linemen on the 53-man roster. Twice this week Jay Gruden said that there was no concern if Reyes is out because they might go with only five active defensive linemen even if Reyes is able to go. This would be a departure from previous seasons when the Redskins would normally go with six active on the D-line. This would create another spot for perhaps a defensive back or a special teams player.

    DE Kedric Golston(back)—This injury just popped up today. Golston was held out of practice due to the injury. We did not get any details from Jay Gruden as he did not talk to the media after practice. In the locker room, however, Golston said that he would have been “probable” under the old injury designation. He also said, “I’m playing”.

    WR Josh Doctson (Achilles)—He was on the PUP list from the start of training camp up until a week ago and he has just five practices under his belt and he was limited in those. It would not be surprising if it is another week or two until he makes his NFL debut.

    RB Matt Jones (shoulder)—He declared himself to be 95 percent yesterday and vowed he would be a full go on Monday. It will be interesting to see how he holds up if he lands on that left shoulder again.

    G Spencer Long (ankle)—It’s possible that the injury cost him his last shot at holding on to the starting job at left guard. The best guess is that he will be active and the first player off the bench if they need a guard or a center.

    All of these players except Golston were full participants in practice on Saturday. Golston did not practice. OT Ty Nsekhe, who is listed as


    The Steelers are starting out somewhat banged, with OLB Bud Dupree on injured reserve and TE Lararius Green on the PUP list.


    WR Markus Wheaton (shoulder)—The fourth-year receiver would be the choice start opposite Antonio Brown if he was healthy but the shoulder has been a concern throughout the preseason. This leaves Sammie Coates s the likely starter.

    FB Roosevelt Nix (back)—He is the only fullback on the roster but the Steelers will work around his absence.

    CB Senquez Golson (foot)—The fifth of five cornerbacks on the depth chart, Golson perhaps would have been inactive even if he’s healthy enough to play.

    C/G Cody Wallace (knee)—Wallace is listed as the top backup at all three interior line positions so the Steelers will have to hope that the starters can make it through the game.

    On the practice participation report this week but not listed on the injury report: Starters DE Cameron Heyward (ankle), DT Javon Hargrave (Quad), and reserves RT Marcus Gilbert (elbow), and DT Daniel McCullers (knee).

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    Inactives Redskins vs. Giants Week 15

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    Washington Redskins inactives for week 15:  Read the rest of this entry »

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    Game Day Preview: Week 1 – New York Giants

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    The Washington Redskins kick off the 2008 NFL season on Thursday, Sept. 4, at 7 PM as they take on the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants at the Meadowlands. The game will be televised nationally on NBC, as Jim Zorn makes his regular season debut as a head coach. The Redskins finished the preseason with a 3-2 record, but the two loses came after a 3-0 start and the team was outscored 71-6, and has quite a bit of the fan base worried. The Giants finished the preseason with a 2-2 record when they defeated the New England Patriots 19-14, in their final warm up for the 2008 season. This will be the 153rd meeting between these two NFC East opponents and the Giants lead the series 86-62-4. The Odds makers have the Giants favored by 31/2 points, that is only half-point more than what is normally awarded to the home team. Home field advantage hasn’t really worked for the Giants in recent years as they have finished 3-5 at home the last two seasons

    News, Notes, and Quotes:

    — With WR Malcolm Kelly out with a sore knee, that leaves the Redskins with just four receivers: Santana Moss, James Thrash and Randle El and rookie Devin Thomas.

    — DE Demetric Evans is expected to start just his second game since 2005 in place of the injured Jason Taylor against the Giants. If Taylor is unable to play his consecutive games started streak will end.

    — The players elected the following players offensive, defensive and special teams captains on Monday: Campbell and Chris Samuels (offense), London Fletcher and Cornelius Griffin (defense) and Rock Cartwright and Khary Campbell (special teams)

    — Punter Derrick Frost, safety Vernon Fox, offensive tackle Todd Wade, defensive lineman Ryan Boschetti, fullback Nehemiah Broughton and receiver Anthony Mix were the only players released that actually took the field for the Redskins in 2007 when the team got down to the 53 man limit over the weekend.

    — First year starters will battle each other as right tackle Stephon Heyer gets the starting nod over Jon Jansen and will line up across from Giants left defensive end Justin Tuck who will attempt to fill the void left when starting end Osi Umenyiora was lost for the season in the Giants third preseason game.

    — “You get him on a roster, with enough time to learn a system to where he gets the ball in his hands in the game, all of a sudden he [is] going to make plays and making plays [is] going to make him money. I think this is really going to work out well for him.” – RB Clinton Portis responding to the news that RB Marcus Mason had been signed to the Baltimore Ravens practice squad.

    — “I didn’t play very well against the Panthers, but neither did anybody else, Until then, I’ve had a lot people in the organization tell me I was having the best camp I’ve ever had. I was disappointed that I’m not going to be out there. It really doesn’t matter how I grade myself. They graded me as not the starting right tackle, so that his how it is.” — Backup RT Jon Jansen on being replaced this week as the starting RT.

    — “I’m not in love with any of ’em. They’re all fine young men. I think they’ll all be good football players. The only thing, is I hope I don’t have to count on any of ’em right away.” — Coordinator Greg Blache on the four draft picks who made his defense.

    Complete Tale of the Tapes (2008 Preseason):

    Total Offense: Washington is ranked 21st with 287.8 yards per game and The NY Giants ranks 18th with 300.2 ypg.
    Rushing Offense: Washington is ranked 8th with 129.2 yards per game and The NY Giants ranks 6th with 136.5 ypg.
    Passing Offense: Washington is ranked 23rd with 158.6 yards per game and The NY Giants ranks 22nd with 163.8 ypg.
    Total Defense: Washington is ranked 26th, giving up 341.6 yards per game and The NY Giants ranks 10th with 280.0 ypg.
    Rushing Defense: Washington is ranked 16th, giving up 116.6 yards per game and The NY Giants ranks 2nd with 74.0 ypg.
    Passing Defense: Washington is ranked 30th, giving up 225.0 yards per game and The NY Giants ranks 24th with 206.0 ypg.

    Injury Report:

    Malcolm Kelly (Knee) is listed as Out
    The Redskins do not expect to have Kelly on the field before Week 3

    Khary Campbell (Thigh) is listed as Probable
    Campbell is slowed by a nagging thigh injury

    LaRon Landry (Hamstring) is listed as Probable
    Landry did extra work and stretching after missing all of camp with a hamstring problem.

    WR Antwaan Randle El (Hand) is listed as Probable
    Randle El has a broken bone in his left hand and will wear a protective brace

    Shawn Springs (Calf) is listed as Probable
    Springs missed practice on Tuesday with a bruised

    DE Jason Taylor (knee) is listed as questionable
    Taylor was limited in practice for the second straight day Wednesday.

    Injured Reserves:

    The following players are done for the 2008 season:

    DE Alex Buzbee (Achilles Injury)
    DE Phillip Daniels (Knee Injury)

    Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Bernie Marshall

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    Fifth Quarter – Dallas Cowboys I

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    Wow. What an ugly game of football. Just like last week, the Washington Redskins showed flashes of what this offense can do, and flashes of ineptitude. There were breakdowns in every phase of the game. Some of the credit should go to the Dallas Cowboys defense, and some goes to learning a new, complex offense in a short period of time, but neither is of any comfort to the distraught fans in Redskins’ country. By the end of the season, Redskins fans will be able to look back at these first two weeks and chalk it up as growing pains, but it sure is hard to think that far ahead after tonight’s performance.

    Usually the Fifth Quarter starts by reviewing the passing offense, but given tonight’s game, this week’s edition will start with the lone bright spot of the game.

    Special Teams

    Rock Cartwright proved he can be a dangerous return man tonight. His 100-yard dash looked effortless, and is hopefully a harbinger of things to come. Brian Mitchell sums up the qualifications of a good return man whenever he is asked: follow your blockers, read the coverage, and run full bore, straight up the field. Another advantage Rock has is his size. When Rock’s 5-7 frame gets behind a wedge of guys half a foot taller than him, it makes it awfully difficult on the would-be tacklers trying to pick him up while running full speed down the field.

    Also of note was John Hall’s performance this evening. Not only did he make a field goal of more than 27 yards, but his kick-offs were consistently deep. Hopefully for the Redskins, this will be the beginning of a renewed confidence on the part of the beleaguered kicker.

    Derrick Frost also continued his effort to quiet his doubters. Frost averaged almost 52 yards per punt, including a 59 yarder, and in stark contrast to his punts from last year, these yards were had in the air, and not off the bounce. Given the fact that the Redskins had to punt 8 times tonight, it is reassuring to know that Frost has made a drastic improvement over last season.

    Unfortunately, that is where the good news ends. The coverage units had a less than stellar evening. The Cowboys averaged 26 yards per kick return, a quick path to sure defeat. This was a sore spot last week as well, and Danny Smith will need to improve his coverage teams if the Redskins are going to push for the playoffs this season.

    3 Quarters

    Passing Offense

    In a game that the Redskins professed a desire to establish the deep ball, the story of the night is easily summed up in one statistic: Ladell Betts led the team in catches with 8 for 57 yards. Chris Cooley had one catch tonight, coming in the final drive against a prevent defense. Santana Moss was held in check, as was Antwaan Randle-El. At least Brandon Lloyd finally got his first catch as a Redskin.

    It is hard to pinpoint the cause of the problem. Pass protection broke down, particularly in the second half when the ‘Skins were forced to play catch-up. Mark Brunell had several passes come up short or off the mark (pun intended), although it is ridiculous to call for his benching two games into the season. Only the coaches and players know the real cause of the strife the passing game has been battling through these past few weeks.

    What is known is that 152 yards receiving with a paltry 3.8 yard per completion average is not the offense Al Saunders is trying to run. This will get better as the season progresses, but it is painful to watch right now.

    0 Quarters

    Rushing Offense

    The rushing offense actually had a decent game. Ladell Betts and T.J. Duckett combined to average 4.7 yards per rush. Unfortunately, the Redskins got behind early, and the Redskins were forced to the air to play catch up. This lead the team to a disappointing 20 carries. Would this have been the case if Clinton Portis was in the game? It is hard to say. It can be said that we are not seeing the Joe Gibbs, Al Saunders, Washington Redskins smashmouth rushing attack that we all expected to see coming into the season. As is the theme of the Fifth Quarter these last two weeks, it will get there, but it is hard to watch now.

    2 Quarters


    The good news here is that the Redskins secondary stepped up and shutdown T.O. He finished the game with 3 catches for 19 yards, all of which came in the first quarter. After Sean Taylor hit him once, however, Owens suddenly started dropping passes. By the end of the game, Owens was in the locker room having his hand x-rayed for an injury no one knew had occurred or even when it occurred.

    Besides Owens, the defense started slowly again, but actually played well for a good chunk of the game. As the game progressed, the Cowboys began taking control again. The inability of the offense to stay on the field made for a long day for the visibly tired defenders, as the Redskins defense squad spent 53% of the game on the field. This is another sure precursor to failure by any team.

    1 Quarter

    Bonus Material


    Has there been a game in recent memory with more yellow hankies? It is highly unlikely that the person that washes the flags sees that many on Tuesday morning. To clarify, this is not a lame attempt at an excuse for the game’s outcome or an indictment of either team, just an observation that bore mentioning. It seemed that any time either team made any kind of play, there were three flags on the field.

    Here is a novel idea, let the teams play. They seemed to let the offensive lines hold most of the night, why not ease up on some of the other calls, too.

    0 Quarters

    Sunday Night Football Coverage

    Thank goodness the Redskins do not play on Sunday Night Football any more this season. Madden is senile; Al Michaels seems to be more worried about Madden’s inane quips than the game that he is calling; the guys at the desk are annoying at best. This is one football fan that will stay far away from NBC on Sunday nights for the remainder of the season.

    They owe their viewers a quarter.

    Keep your collective chins up, fans. It’s only week 2, and while the Redskins are 0-2, the other three teams in the division are only 1-1. There are 14 more games to go, and next up is the 0-2 Texans. The coaches are definitely not satisfied, there is no doubt that the players are not satisfied, and in the next few weeks, some of the hard work will start to pay off.

    – Scott Hurrey

    Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Scott Hurrey

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    Fifth Quarter: Minnesota Vikings

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    In what turned out to be an exciting game to watch, the Minnesota Vikings pillaged the Washington Redskins in a heartbreaker, 19-16. Typically, after a hard-fought, close game is over and the dust has settled, a fan can accept defeat, even if he or she does not like it. Unfortunately, the Redskins had plenty of opportunity to take home a victory; stupid penalties at inopportune times and a badly missed field goal led to the team’s demise.

    Passing Offense

    On paper, quarterback Mark Brunell had a decent game. Brunell racked up 163 yards, while completing 17 of his 28 pass attempts. In reality, Brunell seemed to hone in on Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle-El, and completely miss wide-open targets like the newly acquired Brandon Lloyd and last year’s playmaker Chris Cooley, particularly on some of the downs that Mark Brunell threw the ball away. When he did throw to Lloyd, the throws seemed to be off. Whether it was because of not being on the same page or because Lloyd has not fully grasped the playbook is unclear. What IS clear is that integrating Lloyd into the offense is essential to building the type of dynamic offense the Redskins are after.

    On a good note, it was exciting, especially in the first half of the game, to see all of the motion and movement in the passing formations. The pre-snap movement was clearly different from anything the ‘Skins showed in training camp or the preseason. The pass protection was decent on the day as well, as the Redskins’ offensive line faced one of the more talent defensive lines in the league and did not give up a single sack.

    2 Quarters

    Rushing Offense

    Ladell Betts got the starting nod, but clearly, the story of the evening was the amount of playing time Clinton Portis got Monday night. Portis not only got into the game, but his 10 carries for 39 yards and a touchdown paced the team, and was reminiscent of CP when he is 100% healthy. Clinton scored the Redskins’ only touchdown on the sweep play Priest Holmes rode to stardom, and is indicative of what the team will be able to do when Portis is healthy. He did seem to favor that shoulder a bit and was obviously not at full strength, but 80% of Clinton Portis proved to be very effective.

    The offensive line looked decent in run blocking schemes, especially on the plays that that allowed them to run down the field and demolish people. There were a few breakdowns in assignments throughout the game, but nothing these guys cannot overcome this week in practice.

    2 Quarters


    The defense is the biggest question mark following Monday night’s game. Obviously, it is hard to analyze how good or bad the defense was because no one really knows how good or bad the Minnesota Vikings offense is yet. They obviously have a very good offensive line. Steve Hutchison is a beast and Bryant McKinney is a top-flight tackle. In the middle is Matt Birk who is one of the top centers in the game. That being said, there have not been many occasions in recent memory that Cornelius Griffin was shutdown, but Steve Hutchison dominated Griffin on Monday. To make matters worse, pass rusher extraordinaire Andre Carter was manhandled by Bryant McKinney. Chester Taylor ran at will at times yesterday. The overall numbers were only 88 yards on 31 carries, but the Redskins could not stop Taylor when it counted.

    They also could not seem to stop the Vikings at all on third and long. Brad Johnson picked them apart with his smart yet conservative play. His numbers were not much better than Brunell’s, but the timing of his plays were better. The Redskins secondary was unable to cover Troy Williamson when it counted. The score could have been much worse had Williamson not dropped three or four passes that could have at least extended drives, if not finished them. To make things worse, Pierson Prioleau was lost for at least 4-6 weeks – and probably the season – on the opening kick-off with a knee injury, and his duties as a cover safety were sorely missed. With Shawn Springs likely missing the Dallas game, the secondary will need to step it up if the team is to avoid a 0-2 start.

    1 Quarter

    Special Teams

    This is the toughest phase of the game to analyze. There was some very good and some very bad in this part of the game. Antwaan Randle-El was as advertised on punt returns. Plus, who can forget the crushing blocks made by Carlos Rogers and Sean Taylor threw on Randle-El’s 15-yard scamper that almost broke free. While one can respect his request to avoid kick returns, hopefully the Redskins can talk him into spot duty in big situations.

    Derrick Frost had easily his best game as a Redskin. His kick-offs were outstanding, driving two into the end zone, one of which was downed for a touchback. In addition, for the first time this reporter can remember, bounced a punt on the two-yard line and it stuck.

    Kick coverage units had a less than stellar day, allowing Troy Williamson 98 yards in kick returns, including a 44-yard scurry at the end of the first half, which led to a Vikings field goal in the waning moments before half-time. That field goal marked the shift in momentum that ultimately led to the loss.

    Last, but not least, we must mention John Hall. His extra point was drilled right down the middle, but all of his field goal attempts pushed right. Whether it is a mental block stemming from his injuries or an adjustment he made while hurt to compensate for the hurt muscles, only he truly knows, but if he is going to return to his status of one of the league’s top kickers, he is going to have to overcome this current funk he’s in. If he was a slugger in baseball in a slump, he could play through it, but in the NFL, there are only 16 games in this season, and a team with high aspirations cannot afford to let games like this one slip through their fingers.

    2 Quarters

    These types of games are tough on everyone, from the fans to the players to the coaches. Make no mistake about it though; there were some signs of greatness in Monday night’s game. As long as the Redskin players can keep their collective confidence up, and address these issues as they go, the Washington Redskins might just be peaking come January.

    -Scott Hurrey

    Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Scott Hurrey

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    Key Player Match-Ups: Vikings

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    With the final game of the season on the horizon for the Washington Redskins, the time has come to evaluate talent and see how much heart these players have. The 8-7 Minnesota Vikings actually need to win this game, so they will be bringing everything they have. The vaunted Redskins defense suffered several more injuries last week, and it is an extremely depleted lineup that will be faced with the task of shutting down the number two offense in football. Here are some of the key player match-ups:

    Randy Moss vs Shawn Springs

    What would any Vikings match-up be without considering the wide receiver extraordinaire, Randy Moss. Moss is being ‘nursed’ back to good health with slow incorporation back into the Vikings offense, but his presence alone is always dangerous. Though his snaps have been limited of late, mike Tice and the Vikes will be looking to moss to lead them to a needed victory on Sunday.

    Most of the onus of shutting down Moss will fall to Shawn Springs. While Gregg Williams typically has cornerbacks play a side as opposed to lineup against a player, it’s fairly safe to assume that with Fred Smoot not playing, the Redskins defense will try to play a few more head-to-head match-ups than perhaps they normally would. Springs is coming off of a serious concussion and he sat out practice much of the week because of a foot injury. Those are things working against him, but he is also going to cap off his best season since he made the Pro Bowl. He has ‘over-achieved’ all year long and been a vital cog in the staunch Washington Redskins defense. He will be again on Sunday.

    And it still won’t matter. Randy Moss is Randy Moss and regardless of what Williams, Springs, or anyone else does… he’s going to get his touches and he’s going to hurt you. The only recourse is to accept that it will happen, and limit it as much as possible. While Moss may not grab 10 receptions this week, he will still likely get his 100 yards and it is almost a certainty that he will score.

    Advantage: Moss

    Laveranues Coles vs. Antione Winfield

    There was a lot of talk in Washington this week about the Redskins receiving corps — namely it’s lack of production. As with any 5-10 team, the organization will be taking a long evaluatory look at the entire team on Sunday to help decide which players are to be part of the future.

    Laveranues Coles has had a good season. With over 80 receptions and nearly 1000 yards (87, 913), it would be remiss to not at least acknowledge that while these numbers aren’t gaudy, they aren’t shabby either. He is the first Redskin to log 80+ catches in consecutive seasons since Art Monk did it back in 1984-85. But Coles continues to be bothered by a well-publicized toe injury, and yet, he is still the Redskins’ best receiver game in and game out. But has he met expectations?

    This week Coles will have one of his better ‘match-ups’ of the season when he faces Antoine Winfield. Winfield is a worthy adversary, but he is coming into the game at less than one hundred percent. In fact, he was sidelined all week from practice with a flu-like illness. When the Vikings signed Winfield this offseason, they were looking to shore up a problematic secondary. While Winfield has played well at times, the Minnesota defense is still their achilles heel.

    Look for Coles to gain meaningful yards on Sunday. Winfield has great pace and can definitelt stay with Coles on the long stuff, but he lacks the finesse to effectively stop Coles down low. Expect 7-8 catches from Coles and all of the 7-12 yard variety, giving him about 100 yards on the day. You can also expect one of Patrick Ramsey’s TD tosses to be to Coles in this definitive last stand for the Redskins.

    Advantage: Coles

    — BossHog

    Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Mark Solway

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    Key Player Match-Ups: Cowboys

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    And so one of the biggest rivalries in all of sports sees yet another chapter unfold. With both teams coming in at 5-9 and playoff aspirations but a pipe-dream, this game promises to be… close. With both teams struggling offensively and playing well defensively, don’t expect much in the way of scoring. here are some of the game’s key player match-ups.

    Derrick Dockery vs La’Roi Glover
    By Scott Hurrey

    La’Roi Glover is a 9-year veteran out of San Diego State. Drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the fifth round of the 1996 NFL draft, Glover spent the spring of ’97 playing for the Barcelona Dragons of NFL Europe. Glover earned All-World honors that season in helping his team win the World League title. Waived by the Raiders following that season, Glover was claimed by the New Orleans Saints, where he played 5 seasons before signing with the Cowboys prior to the 2002 season.

    Glover, recently named to his fifth consecutive pro bowl, is known primarily for his pass-rushing skills. In 2000, his 17 sacks were second all-time for a defensive tackle. He has been credited as a stabilizing force for the Dallas defense, and one of the main reasons they held the number 1 defensive ranking in 2003.

    Derrick Dockery is listed at 6’6”, 345 lbs and Coach Joe Bugel has him performing well. Since being thrust into the starting line-up last season as a rookie, Dockery has shown marked improvement. Dockery was able to dominate his opponents on the college level based on his sheer size, but in the NFL, offensive linemen must rely on good technique, fast feet and stamina.

    Dock, as his teammates call him, has shown he has the ability to translate his dominance into NFL success at times. As soon as he becomes as consistently good as he has shown he can be, Dock will be a force to be reckoned with.

    During the week three matchup with the Cowboys, Dockery was able to keep La’Roi Glover in check for most of the game, giving up 1 sack and holding Glover to 2 tackles. This should make for an exciting battle, but Dockery is a much better guard than he was in week three, and that improvement should show dividends on the field.

    Advantage: Dockery

    Chris Cooley vs. Roy Williams
    By Fran Farren

    The Cowboys defense is anchored by Safety Roy Williams. He has become one of the most dominant players on the Dallas defense. Recently elected to his 2nd Pro Bowl, despite recording his only two interceptions of the season in the past two games, Williams is currently 2nd on the Cowboys with 91 tackles. Generally, Williams turns in a strong performance week in and week out but sometimes he has struggled.

    Williams’ greatest strength is his aggressiveness and always being around the ball. Simply put, he wants to be a part of every defensive play. If he had his choice, he would be. This over-aggressiveness, however, can lead to him being burned once in a while.

    This week TE Chris Cooley comes to town. Cooley, who is slowly becoming a bigger part of the Redskins offense, will have his hands full this week playing against the tough Cowboys safety. Cooley will certainly have his catches, but don’t look for a ton of yards after the catch. Expect Williams to be right there at the same time the ball lands in Cooley’s hands.

    Advantage – Williams

    Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Game Day Staff

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    Key Player Match-Ups

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    The Washington Redskins suffered a tough loss last week to the Philadelphia Eagles, a loss that ended the playoff hopes for yet another season. But there was a lot of sentiment in D.C this week that the Redskins are finally coming around. The defense continues to perform beyond any expectations, and the offense is showing signs of life now that Patrick Ramsey is getting settled in at quarterback. This week the Redskins draw the 2-11 San Francisco 49ers, one of the few teams in the NFL to be having a tougher season than they are. Despite having just two wins, San Fran is coming off a victory last week against the Arizona Cardinals.

    Here are some key personnel match-ups to look out for this week:

    Randy Thomas vs. Bryant Young
    By Scott Hurrey

    Bryant Young, listed at 6’3″ and 291 pounds, is an 11-year veteran. The Notre Dame product has 3 sacks and 2 forced fumbles to go with his 62 tackles. While the 49ers have struggled this season, Young has been outstanding, setting a career high with 12 tackles at Chicago in October.

    Randy Thomas has been one of the bright spots in the Redskins struggling offense. Thomas, known by Redskins fans as much for his eating as his blocking skills, is a fifth year player out of Mississippi State. At 6’5″ and 306 pounds, he combines power, great technique, and excellent footwork together to establish himself as one of the best guards in the NFL.

    Young is a quick and powerful defensive tackle who is an excellent pass rusher and a good run stopper. Randy Thomas is a lunch-pail type of player who brings grit and determination. While Young is the consummate professional, Thomas is the better player.

    Advantage: Thomas

    Chris Cooley vs. Tony Parrish
    By Fran Farren

    With each passing game in his rookie year, Chris Cooley is becoming a bigger part of the Redskins offense. Early in the season, Cooley was used very sporadically, getting 1-2 receptions per games for minimal yardage. His breakout game came against the Steelers, when he pulled in 7 receptions for 31 yards and 1 touchdown. Last week against the Eagles, Cooley had another strong outing with 5 receptions.

    Joe Gibbs is also learning Cooley’s value in the red zone. With Darnerien McCants getting limited playing time, Cooley is slowly becoming the “go to” guy around the goal line for the Redskins. He will continue to grow into a more vital part of the offense.

    This week, Cooley presents a huge mismatch against strong safety Tony Parrish and a depleted 49ers secondary. With the 49ers playing the run more effectively in recent weeks, the Skins will have to attack this defense through the air at first, spreading out the defense and giving Clinton Portis more running room. This controlled passing attack is where Cooley will come in. Parrish has struggled and the whole 49ers secondary has been dismal this year. The short range passing attack of the Redskins will certainly provide Cooley with a lot of opportunities underneath. Don’t be surprised if Cooley catches more than 10 balls this week with at least one touchdown.

    Advantage: Cooley

    Sean Taylor vs. Eric Johnson
    By Mark Solway

    Both the 49ers and Redskins might describe their 2004 seasons as forgettable, were it not for the players involved in another of this week’s key player match-ups, Sean Taylor and Eric Johnson.

    Eric Johnson has been a lone bright spot for San Francisco this year. He leads the team in both receptions (69) and yardage (707 yards) and is behind only Tony Gonzalez ( 74 receptions for 946 yards ) and Antonio Gates (73 receptions for 843 yards) in both categories. With two games left to go, he needs just 40 yards to equal Brent Jones’ season of 747 yards that stands as the most ever for a San Francisco tight end.

    The job of stopping Johnson from reaching that record mark this week, will fall to rookie Sean Taylor. Taylor is coming off his best game as a Redskin last week against Philadelphia and while he still has some learning to do, he is quickly turning into a marquee defender. His mean streak is becoming known and the more receivers are looking for him, the more the young safety goes hunting. He has steadily compiled a fairly impressive highlight package in his inaugural campaign, and his hard-hitting style has quickly made him a hit with the Redskin fans.

    As good a season as he is having, Johnson will be in for a long day Saturday. Sean Taylor has taken over the Redskins defense, a defense that is ranked number two in the league despite the Redskins 4-9 record. Johnson’s great hands and great route running skills make him ostensibly a 256 lb. wide receiver and a tough match-up for most defenses. He is willing to go after the tough balls across the middle; that may be his undoing this week. Taylor’s aggressive play seems to be gaining momentum each week and he will be looking for the ‘big hit’ . While Johnson will likely still catch more balls than any other receiver on Saturday, don’t expect much in the way of yardage or after the catch yardage. It will be a good day for Johnson, but it will be a better day for Taylor.

    Advantage: Taylor

    Note: It bears mentioning for this match-up that Taylor may draw help in the match-up from linebacker Lavar Arrington. Arrington has missed the last eleven games but may be cleared to play in a few defensive packages on Saturday. If he does return on Saturday, he’ll be hungry, and Taylor always is… so expect to see #36 or #56 every time Eric Johnson catches the ball.

    Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Game Day Staff

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