- The Washington Times - Friday, August 28, 2009

When: 8 p.m.

TV: Chs. 9, 13

Last year’s records: Patriots 11-5 (second, AFC East); Redskins 8-8 (last, NFC East)

Injuries: Patriots - New England didn’t release an injury report, but CB Shawn Springs, WR Julian Edelman, RB Kevin Faulk, RB Sammy Morris, S Ray Ventrone, WR Wes Welker, DT Myron Pryor, DT Ron Brace, DE Richard Seymour, LB Shawn Crable, LB Tyrone McKenzie, WR Brandon Tate and T Mark LeVoir didn’t practice Wednesday. Redskins - CB Carlos Rogers (calf) and RB Rock Cartwright (groin) are out. T Mike Williams (ankle) is questionable.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH

1. The first-team offense’s pursuit of a touchdown - In the first two preseason games, quarterback Jason Campbell played five drives and did not reach the end zone (four punts and a field goal). Campbell figures to play at least the first half and will look to erase the stench of going 1-for-7 last week. Campbell shrugged off the struggles but admitted finding a rhythm that produces a touchdown is important considering the starters barely will play in the final preseason game at Jacksonville.

2. Pressuring Tom Brady -The Patriots’ quarterback was leveled early in the loss to Cincinnati last week. The Redskins forced Pittsburgh’s Charlie Batch to scramble several times, so expect the defense to test Brady and his offensive line. Look for Albert Haynesworth sliding to defensive end on third down, and watch New England’s blocking plan for rookie Brian Orakpo, who was blocked by a tackle and a running back last week.

3. Kelly’s emergence - Malcolm Kelly and fellow second-year receiver Devin Thomas were given every chance at the start of camp to displace Antwaan Randle El as the No. 2 receiver or become a reliable No. 3 option. Only Kelly has taken hold of the opportunity. Following a hamstring injury, he has returned to make flashy catches in both preseason games. Going against a veteran defense will be a fine test for Kelly and will help the Redskins’ coaches decide whether he can play 50 snaps each game.

4. The No. 3 quarterback competition - Only in the District can something like this captivate sports talk radio, but Chase Daniel’s two-touchdown performance against the Steelers combined with Colt Brennan’s so-so preseason put a dent into the Cult of Colt. Both players figure to get a quarter of playing time, and Brennan is under the spotlight - he needs to be better to secure the spot.

5. Defending the Patriots’ receivers - The Redskins’ secondary hasn’t been great this preseason. There have been too many third-down conversions and too much cushion given in coverage. The next test is Randy Moss and Joey Galloway. With Rogers out, it’s an opportunity for Fred Smoot and Justin Tryon to showcase for the nickel spot, and safety LaRon Landry has to be aware of the shallow crossing routes he was late to cover against the Steelers.

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