1. Can the Redskins limit yards after the catch?
Washington was a disaster in this respect against Green Bay on Sunday and Aaron Rodgers made them pay. They weren’t much better against the Eagles. With Calvin Johnson on the field, the Redskins have to be better. That’s a lot of pressure on rookies like corner David Amerson and safety Bacarri Rambo, who have struggled in that area.
2. How do they tackle better?
One thing several defensive players emphasized this week: Gang tackling. It’s clearly something the coaches are preaching. If teams can only work in full pads once a week and if live tackling drills are basically verboten during the season, it’s one way to ensure players like Johnson can’t make one move en route to a big play.
3. Who is the kicker?
Kai Forbath has been nursing a sore groin and missed last week’s game against the Packers. He won’t even attempt to kick until Friday at the earliest and maybe Saturday. Will Washington stick with John Potter, who badly missed a 50-yard field goal in Green Bay? In a close game, Forbath’s presence could matter.
4. Will penalties again be an issue?
So far the Redskins have been whistled for 20 penalties and 153 yards, including 78 last week against Green Bay. The penalties in that game were more concerning given five of them were 15-yard penalties. Even long snapper Nick Sundberg earned an unnecessary roughness call. Four of those seven penalties were on special teams and helped determine field position.
5. Can the Redskins contain Lions DT Ndamukong Suh?
Maybe his numbers are pedestrian – three tackles, no sacks – and Suh, as always, has been a target of the NFL’s disciplinary machine. But he is still a force that the right side of Washington’s offensive line must contend with. Suh’s disruption has led to two Detroit interceptions already, including one for a touchdown, and two tackles for a loss.
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