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Redskins-Cards: 4 Keys To the Game Presented By Papa John's breaks down key matchups to keep an eye on during Sunday's Redskins-Cardinals game at FedExField:


Santana Moss vs. Cardinals Secondary

Santana Moss is coming off what he called his worst game as a football player. He caught no passes against the Green Bay Packers, and he says he is determined to rebound as he comes off a groin injury and hamstring soreness.

Moss has 12 catches for 199 yards this season. He is a similar-style wide receiver to the Carolina Panthers' Steve Smith, who blitzed the Cardinals' defense last week for 10 catches for 136 yards and one touchdown, a 65-yarder.

Jason Campbell has been sacked just eight times, and certainly the Redskins' injury-plagued offensive line will be a key to Campbell getting the ball to Moss and Antwaan Randle El.

It's expected that Moss will line up against cornerback Eric Green, a third-year player who has one career interception. The Cardinals' pass defense is ranked 17th in the NFL.

Adrian Wilson and Terrence Holt make up a solid safety tandem for the Cardinals. Wilson, a Pro Bowlerlast year, logged an interception against the Redskins in a 2005 matchup and has two picks this year.


Redskins Run Defense vs. Edgerrin James

The Redskins are aware of Arizona's talented group of wide receivers, including Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. Pressure on the quarterback, whether it's injured starter Kurt Warner or newcomer Tim Rattay in the lineup, will be key should the Cardinals turn to the passing game.

But Arizona's new offensive coaches, led by Redskins great and former "Hog" Russ Grimm, have tried to establish a new run-first identity for the offense.

Edgerrin James has 522 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 129 carries, a solid 4.0 yards-per-carry average. He only has one 100-yard game, though.

With uncertainty at quarterback, the Cardinals will likely continue to emphasize the ground game on Sunday against the Redskins. They hope that will force the defense to bring up a safety into the box, opening up the passing game.

The Redskins' defense is ranked sixth against the run, allowing 3.7 yards-per-carry by rushers.

The unit, led by Cornelius Griffin and London Fletcher up front, has not allowed a 100-yard effort by a running back this season.


Redskins Punt/Kick Coverage vs. Steve Breaston

Steve Breaston may not be a household name like Devin Hester, but he has the potential to be a game-breaker.

Breaston, the Cardinals' fifth-round draft pick last April, is a return specialist who at Michigan ended up as the Big 10's all-time leader in punt returns and punt return yards.

Breaston already has a 73-yard punt return for a touchdown this season. He is averaging 24.9 yards per kickoff return and 11.4 yards per punt return, the latter of which is sixth-best in NFL.

Danny Smith's punt coverage teams continue to swarm to the ball. After a strong game last week against Green Bay, the unit is ranked first in the NFL. The kickoff coverage teams are ranked eighth.


Pete Kendall vs. Darnell Dockett

Pete Kendall has helped solidify the Redskins' left side of the line along with Chris Samuels, but he faces a challenge in Darnell Dockett, a fourth-year defensive tackle starting to emerge as a force for the Cardinals.

Dockett, 6-4 and 290 pounds, has been dominant in the early going, recording six sacks. He is in a four-way tie for the league-lead in sacks. Dockett is a local product; he attended high school in Burtonsville, Md.

Kendall, at 6-5 and 292 pounds, should be able to match up with Dockett. The Redskins have been successful running to the left behind Kendall and Samuels this season.

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