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Examining his 160 snaps, some conclusions can be drawn:

• He is more than adequate when teams blitz. Opponents have sent pressure on 32 drop-backs. Collins has been sacked just twice on those plays, which shows a willingness to take a hit after throwing or throwing the ball away. He is 17-for-29 for 272 yards and two touchdowns when teams send more than four defenders. He was 6-for-10 for 97 yards and a touchdown when Minnesota blitzed.

• He knows who his playmakers are. Santana Moss has been Collins‘ intended target 17 times and Chris Cooley has been the target 15 times. In the last three games, Moss and Cooley have combined for 18 catches and two touchdowns.

• He puts his receivers in position to gain yards after the catch with short throws. Forty-eight of Collins‘ 74 attempts have traveled 10 yards or less. But among the completions are gains of 54, 30, 19, 19 and 16 yards.

• He is accurate downfield. In passes that travel 11 or more yards downfield, Collins is 15-for-24 for 330 yards, including six completions in nine attempts 21 or more yards downfield.

Collins is showing that flashing during the preseason can translate into starring in December.

“I talk about the preseason and I’ve had some good games,” he said. “I know everybody rolls their eyes and says, ‘The preseason doesn’t count.’ I know it doesn’t count, but I did some good things with my opportunities. I took confidence in that, knowing I could do some things within the framework of this offense.”

Said quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor: “Everyone here would tell you that it’s evident Todd is special in how he prepares. … At the same time, you never know about a guy until he goes out and plays and that’s at any position.”

Lazor emphasizes different things with Collins than he would with Jason Campbell, including elements of the game plan that evolved over the last two months when Collins‘ practice reps were limited.

“He has great recall,” Lazor said. “He can tell you on some of the plays when they actually ran it in a game and why they ran it and what happened. Because he studies so much every week and burns it into his mind, he’s able to do that.”

If he’s able to lead the Redskins to another win, Collins will get to start in the postseason for the first time.

“I’m enjoying this week to week,” he said. “I don’t know how long it will last. If we don’t beat Dallas, there’s a chance we might go home so I’m trying to savor the moment and play for each game.”