Redskins.com looks at two key matchups to keep an eye on during Sunday's Redskins-Colts game at FedExField.
"Redskins-Colts: Marquee Matchup" is presented by Papa John's.
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QB Donovan McNabb vs. DE Dwight Freeney
Last week vs. Green Bay, Donovan McNabb absorbed several hard hits as the Packers sacked him five times, including four times in one quarter.
It doesn't help that the Redskins' offensive line is in flux due to injuries. Rookie left tackle Trent Williams is slowed by a knee injury and could be replaced by Stephon Heyer for the Colts game.
Either Williams or Heyer will line up against Dwight Freeney, one of the game's top pass rushers the last decade. Quick feet will be a necessity for linemen.
Freeney, 6-1 and 268 pounds, has great speed around the edge. He has three sacks this season after posting 13.5 a year ago. Six times in his nine-year career, he has recorded double-digit sacks.
If pass protection breaks down, McNabb will need to use quick feet as well to elude Freeney. McNabb has shown he can be effective running and throwing outside of the pocket
McNabb and Freeney are former teammates from Syracuse, by the way. McNabb was a senior at Syracuse in 1998 when Freeney was a freshman.
LB Brian Orakpo vs. QB Peyton Manning
Brian Orakpo is fast emerging as one of the NFL's elite pass rushers. His combination of size and speed is giving quarterbacks fits.
In five games this season, Orakpo leads the Redskins' defense with four sacks. He is coming off his third career multi-sack game after posting two sacks last week vs. Green Bay.
Orakpo is expected to line up against Colts' offensive tackle Charlie Johnson, a fifth-year pro.
The Colts' pass protection units has yielded five sacks this season, after allowing a league-low 10 sacks a year ago.
Time in the pocket has allowed the prolific Manning to complete 67.6 percent of his passes this season for 1,609 yards, 11 touchdowns and just two interceptions.
Manning helps pass protection by his quick release and his awareness. He is a master of reading defenses and understanding where the pressure is coming from.
If Orakpo and the Redskins can disrupt his rhythm with well-timed pressure, it could go a long way toward slowing the Colts' offense.