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Redskins-Giants: 4 Keys To the Game

gary-banner2.jpg breaks down the key matchups to keep an eye on during Sunday's Redskins-Giants game at FedExField:


Jason Campbell vs. Giants Pass Defense

It's early, but the Giants enter Sunday's game with the 32nd-ranked pass defense. They have yielded seven passing touchdowns in two games, including 22-, 47, 51-yarders.

This could be an opportunity for Jason Campbell to get the downfield passing game on track to receivers Santana Moss, Antwaan Randle El and Chris Cooley.

The Redskins' offense has been run-focused the first two weeks, while the passing game has been efficient so far. The passing offense is ranked 18th in the NFL.

The Giants' defense has logged just two sacks, both by reserve defensive lineman Justin Tuck. If the Redskins' revamped offensive line holds up, Campbell should have time in the pocket to find receivers.


Redskins Defensive Backs vs. Plaxico Burress

Plaxico Burress has been slowed by an ankle injury, so his status for Sunday's game is uncertain.

Burress, at 6-5 and 232 pounds, always presents a tough matchup. Against Washington, he had his best game against Washington in Week 5 last year, recording seven catches for 69 yards and one touchdown. (The Redskins were without Shawn Springs in that contest.)

So far this year, Burress has been impressive, hauling in 10 passes for 176 yards and four touchdowns, including a 60-yarder and a 26-yarder.

The Redskins' pass defense is ranked 18th in the NFL, but they have not given up many big plays.


Rock Cartwright vs. Giants Kickoff Coverage

Rock Cartwright may not be lightning quick, but he is an intelligent returner who uses shiftiness to avoid tacklers.

So far, he has returned seven kickoffs for a 25.7-yard average. That ranks the Redskins' kick return unit eighth in the NFL through two games.

The Giants' kick coverage units allowed kickoff returns of 39, 46, 42 and 46 yards in the first two games of the season. Overall, they are allowing an average of 26.5 yards on kickoff returns.


LaRon Landry vs. Jeremy Shockey

It will likely be a team effort covering Jeremy Shockey, but rookie safety LaRon Landry would appear to be a likely candidate to draw coverage assignments along with Rocky McIntosh.

With his game-ending pass break-up last Monday night, Landry continues to show poise and big-play ability. He has nine tackles and a half-sack so far this season.

Landry, at 6-0 and 213 pounds, may not have the size of the 6-5, 251-pound Shockey, but he has the speed to keep up with him in coverage.

Shockey had several big games against the Redskins early in his career, but he has not had as big an impact going against Gregg Williams' defense in recent years. This season, Shockey has 10 catches for 101 yards.

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