Keys To Redskins vs Panthers

(1) Redskins injuries: Missing practice Thursday CB DeAngelo Hall (toe), CB Byron Westbrook (hamstring), S O. J. Atogwe (knee), backup CB Phillip Buchanon (neck), and RB Tim Hightower (shoulder).

(2) Redskins O-Line Injuries: Out for the game are starters LT Trent Williams and LG Korey Lichtenstiger. Williams is being replaced by Seahawks veteran RT Sean Locklear (though they could move their starting RT Jammal Brown to LT, helping both Panthers DE's), and while the replacement at LG is unclear, it might be starting C Will Montgomery. So, at the very least the Panthers will face a whole new left side of the redskins O-Line (can you say big game for CJ), and even possibly 3 or 4 Redskins  O-Linemen starting at new positions for this game, so expect some mix ups. This should greatly weaken the Redskins pass and run blocking.

(3) Redskins S's: Both Redskins S's, O. J. Atogwe and LaRon Landry are more SS types, better playing close to the line than they are deep.

(4) Cam Newton Leads the NFL in deep pass attempts (over 20 yards in the air) with 43 (18% of his pass attempts), Eli Manning has 38 such passes, and he's the only QB within 12 attempts of Cam's total. Cam is 18 of 43, with 2 drops (46.5%, only 6 QB's are above 50%), for 623 yards, 3 TD's, and 2 ints. This along will Hall's tendency to go try and undercut routs going for the int., along with S's that like to play close to the line rather than deep, expect some deep bombs to Steve Smith and others sunday.

(5) The Redskins have the turnover edge on the Panthers for the season, at -3 to -5.

(6) TE Chris Cooley is out for the game, but he hasn't been healthy most of the season, and his replacement Fred Davis has 22 catches, for 343 yards, 2nd in the NFL fo TE's with 15,6 YPC. So, the Panthers may have to defend Davis as well as they did Tony G of the Falcons last week.

(7) The Panthers are starting UDFA rookie OLT Byron Bell, and the Redskins have a very good pass rush.

3 sacks - DE Adam Carricker   

2.5 sacks - DE Stephen Bowen

1 sack - NT Barry Coefield

1.5 sacks - Backup NT Chris Neild

3.5 sacks - 3-4 OLB Brian Orakpo

2 sacks - 3-4 OLB Ryan Kerrigan

1 sack - ILB Rocky McIntosh

(8) This stong outside pass rush by the Redskins could force Cam Newton to run more inside, where he is much less effective (almost all his big gains of over 10 yards are end runs). The Redskins strong pass rush at all 3 D-Line spots, and from the OLB's will big a very big teast for the whole Panthers O-Line.

(9) The Redskins are allowing 4.6 YPC, but if their 2 S's play close to the line, as the like to do, they could take away much of the Panthers inside running game.

(10) The shoulder injury to RB Tim Hightower (which caused him to miss any carries against the Redskins last week) hurts the Redskins inside power running game (he has 67 carries, for 233 yards, a 3.5 YPC), but this weeks starter Ryan Torian is averaging 5.4 YPC (29 carries, for 157 yards) and his likely backup RB Roy Helu is averaging 5.1 YPC (26 carries, for 132 yards) has great speed. With Helu's (if he gets playing time) great speed, he might burn the Panthers for a long TD run.

(11) RR has announced (it's at "Carolina Growl") that he will reduce the number of snaps for rookies NT Fua and DT McClain, saying they may have "hit the rookie wall". RR adds that this will increase the number of snaps for NT Ronald Fields, and that DE's CJ and Hardy "might see more action at DT". Is this good news or bad news, and for the Panthers or the Redskins?

(12) The Redskins are switching to QB John Beck as their starters, but they have 2 pretty good WR's, however beyond those 2, it's a big dropoff.

Santana Moss - 23 catches, for 284 yards, a 12.3 YPC

Jabar Gaffney - 19 catches, for 293 yards, a 15.4 YPC

Dante Stallworth - 5 catches, for 46 yards, a 9.2 YPC

Anthony Armstrong - 4 catches, for 38 yards, a 9.5 YPC

(13) Here are how the 2 teams NFL stats rank:

Panthers Offense - 5th overall, 5th in passing, 13th in rushing

Panthers Defense - 16th overall, 31st against the run (4.9 YPC), and 11th against the pass.

Redskins Offense - 17th overall, 17th in rushing, and 17th in passing

Redskins Defense - 6th overall, 11th against the run (4.6 YPC), and 9th against the pass.

(14) The Panthers are 4-1-1 against the point spread.

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