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Redskins-Cardinals: 4 Keys To the Game

AP100919094753MossInside2.jpg looks at four key players to keep an eye on during Sunday's Redskins-Cardinals game at FedExField.

"Redskins-Cardinals: 4 Keys To the Game" is presented by Papa John's.

Every Monday, fans can order a large cheese pizza for only $9.99, plus for each touchdown that the Redskins score, fans get one free topping. And with a Redskins victory, fans get double the toppings.





Last week, when the Redskins' offense was struggling early against the New York Giants, Rex Grossman looked to wide receiver Santana Moss to get into a rhythm. Anthony Armstrong and Jabar Gaffney caught touchdown passes, but it was Moss who provided the spark.

Arizona ranks 31st in the NFL in passing defense after yielding 403 passing yards to Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. The Cardinals start two young cornerbacks in rookie Patrick Peterson and second-year player A.J. Jefferson.

Carolina's Steve Smith, a comparable receiver to Moss, had eight catches for 178 yards and two touchdowns. The Redskins line Moss up in the slot plenty, but they may put him outside to test the young cornerbacks deep.


The Cardinals' defense was solid against the run in Week 1, limiting the Panthers to just 74 rushing yards. They have a stout front led by defensive linemen Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell. Dan Williams, a 327-pound nose tackle, clogs the middle.

Can the Redskins have success against Arizona? Last week, Tim Hightower got off to a good start against the Giants, breaking off a 22-yard gain and scoring a on a 1-yard touchdown run. He finished with 72 yards on 25 carries – a 2.9 yards-per-carry average.

Hightower, of course, played for Arizona from 2008-10 before he was traded to the Redskins last month. He won't admit it publically, but he has to be inspired to play his former team.


The last time the Redskins played the Arizona Cardinals, on Sept. 21 at FedExField, wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald caught seven passes for 109 yards, including a 62-yard touchdown grab.

It would make sense for the Redskins to assign Pro Bowl cornerback DeAngelo Hall to cover Fitzgerald. The Cardinals move Fitzgerald around the line of scrimmage, so it will be interesting to see if Hall moves with him or if Fitzgerald is covered by Josh Wilson at times.

Look for free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe to position himself in the secondary so that he can join in the coverage on Fitzgerald, particularly on deep routes.


Quarterback Kevin Kolb doesn't exactly have great mobility, but the Redskins spent a lot of time this week talking about keeping him in the pocket. That would make Kolb an easier target for pass-rushing linebackers Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan.

Kolb is no Michael Vick, but he has shown that he can scramble away from pressure and buy time for receivers to get open downfield. It's important for defensive linemen to keep him contained and minimize his opportunities to scramble.

Orakpo, if his sprained ankle allows him to play, is expected to match up against left tackle Levi Brown. The Cardinals' offensive line has been coached by Redskins great and Hall of Famer Russ Grimm, so you know they will be fundamentally sound. Will they play with the same ferocity as Orakpo?

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