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Redskins-Falcons: 4 Keys To the Game Presented by Papa John's

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Redskins.com breaks down some of the key matchups to keep an eye on during Sunday's Redskins-Falcons game at the Georgia Dome.

"Redskins-Falcons: 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.


OFFENSE

Jason Campbell vs. Falcons Pass Rush

The Redskins employ a makeshift offensive line that includes Stephon Heyer at left tackle, Mike Williams at right tackle and Will Montgomery at right guard.

Pass protection was a problem for the Redskins in their last game against Philadelphia. Campbell was sacked six times in the game, although he still managed to completed 29-of-43 passes for 284 yards and two touchdowns.

This season, Campbell has been sacked 20 times, 28th worst in the league.

The Falcons' defense is ranked 29th overall in the NFL and 31st in pass defense. They are tied for 24th in the league in sacks with 14.

Defensive end John Abraham, who visited Redskins Park as a free agent in 2006 before signing with Atlanta, had huge season in 2008, posting a career-high 16.5 sacks.

This season, Abraham is tied for the team lead in sacks with three, but he has just one in the last six games. Backup defensive end Kroy Biermann, a second-year lineman, also has three sacks.

Opposite Abraham is defensive end Jamaal Anderson, who has struggled as a pass rusher. A third-year lineman, he has just 2.5 sacks in 38 games with the Falcons.

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DEFENSE

Redskins Run Defense vs. Michael Turner

With the addition of 6-6, 350-pound defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth last offseason, it was thought that run defense would be a strong suit for the Redskins this season.

Surprisingly, the Redskins are ranked 22nd in the NFL in run defense this year.

The reason? Big plays. The defense has yielded a 67-yard run to DeSean Jackson, a 58-yard run to Steven Jackson, a 22-yard run to Ahmad Bradshaw and 17-yard runs by Cadillac Williams and Larry Johnson.

Overall, the defense is allowing just 3.9 yards per carry, which is 10th best in the league.

The Redskins face the Falcons' Michael Turner for the first time on Sunday. Turner, in his second season in Atlanta after four seasons in San Diego, has never had a carry against the Redskins.

Last year, Turner set career highs with 1,699 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns.

In 2009, the 5-10, 256-pound back has picked up where he left off last year, logging 554 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. He has just two 100-yard rushing games this season, though, and his 4.0 yards-per-carry average is down from last season.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Redskins Punt Returners vs. Falcons Punt Coverage

The Redskins are expected to use Antwaan Randle El as the primary punt returner on Sunday, with Santana Moss and DeAngelo Hall earning one or two punts as well.

Punt returns has been a problem this season for the Redskins, with Randle El averaging just 5.2 yards per return, among the worst in the league.

Moss and Hall both have been dynamic punt returners in the past and could provide a spark in key spots.

The Falcons are ranked 27th in the league with an 11.9 yards-per-return average.

Two weeks, the Falcons yielded a 73-yard punt return for a touchdown to the Cowboys' Patrick Crayton. They rebounded last week, allowing dynamic Saints' returner just 1 yard on a punt return.

Eric Weems, who is also the Falcons' primary kick returner, and Coy Wire are tied for the Falcons' team lead in special teams tackles with six.

1-on-1

DeAngelo Hall vs. Roddy White

It's a big game for Hall, who played his first four NFL seasons in Atlanta and has said it is going to be an emotional return.

Hall is the Redskins' top cornerback and leads the defense with three interceptions. He also has 33 tackles and five passes defended.

For Hall, a big part of the game is going to be keeping his emotions in check and maintaining tight coverage on White, the Falcons' leading receiver.

Hall claims to have helped White in his development into one of the game's top offensive threats. The two played together in Atlanta from 2005-07.

White has caught 80 passes each of the last two years and earned a Pro Bowl berth after the 2008 season.

He has developed a great rapport with quarterback Matt Ryan. So far this season, White has 37 catches for 543 and six touchdowns, all team highs.* *

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