1. Will the maligned secondary eliminate big plays? Washington has surrendered four touchdown passes of at least 34 yards in the past two games. Coordinator Jim Haslett says the biggest problem is defensive backs’ technique, i.e. missed tackles, blown assignments and double moves.
2. Can the secondary adjust to opponents attacking them with quick throws? Sam Bradford and Andy Dalton victimized the Redskins with quick throws the past two games. Washington must play tighter man-to-man coverage and bat passes down at the line of scrimmage.
3. Will key players return from injury? The Redskins have been without receiver Pierre Garcon (right foot) and safety Brandon Meriweather (left knee), their highest-profile free agents. Both were limited in practiced this week. Meriweather, in particular, has been missed because of his physical presence in the secondary.
4. Who will play left tackle? Trent Williams missed practice Wednesday and Thursday because of a bone bruise in his right knee. He’s the Redskins’ best lineman because of his athleticism and skill. Quarterback Robert Griffin III is exposed to enough contact with Williams in the game; imagine if he’s out.
5. Will Robert Griffin III take less punishment this week? A week after going to ground with contact 28 times, the Redskins are practicing ways for him to stay upright while running the option. He could be demonstrative in showing he doesn’t have the ball, even if that means sacrificing some deceit in his fake.