- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 18, 2009

KEY MATCHUP

Redskins offensive tackles Stephon Heyer and Mike Williams vs. Chiefs linebackers Tamba Hali and Mike Vrabel

With six-time Pro Bowl left tackle Chris Samuels sidelined by a neck injury, Heyer flips from the right side to the left. Williams, who started last week at right guard, moves to right tackle.

Heyer made the Redskins as an undrafted rookie in 2007, finished that year as a starter and began the past two years as a regular. Williams, whom Buffalo took fourth in the 2002 draft, was sidelined for all of 2006 before sitting out the past two years. Williams, who weighed 450 pounds in February, is now at 337 — just seven more than Heyer.

While Heyer has struggled this year — he was the main culprit on the safety recorded by the Panthers last week — left tackle is where he played in college. Williams also is back at his longtime spot.

The speedy Hali, Kansas City’s first-round pick in 2006, has 20 1/2 sacks and 13 forced fumbles in three-plus seasons while becoming the Chiefs’ top pass rusher. Vrabel was fifth among NFL linebackers with 44 sacks from 2001 to 2007 but has just four since — including none this year, his first with Kansas City. Vrabel embarrassed the Redskins with a career-high three in 2007.

Heyer and Williams will be critical in preventing a repeat of last week, when Jason Campbell was sacked a career-high five times.

THREE KEYS

1. Protect Campbell

Pro Bowl left tackle Chris Samuels was lost for the game as Washington scored a touchdown on its second play last week. Jason Campbell was sacked on three of his next six drop-backs. Coach Jim Zorn scaled back the offense to try to keep the quarterback upright, and the Redskins stalled. They need better protection to get the offense in gear.

2. Kick it in on coverage

Danny Smith’s coverage units rank second on kickoffs and third on punts, but they allowed two kickoff returns of more than 30 yards two weeks ago against Tampa Bay and a 55-yarder last week that sparked Carolina’s comeback. They can’t let Kansas City’s lightweight offense get a boost from the return game.

3. Take Bowe away

Larry Johnson is a shadow of the Pro Bowl running back he used to be, so third-year receiver Dwayne Bowe is the Chiefs’ top weapon. Bowe, who had 156 catches and 2,017 yards the past two years, has three of the team’s eight touchdowns by an offensive player this season. Cornerbacks DeAngelo Hall and Carlos Rogers need to keep him in check.

THE EDGE

WHEN THE REDSKINS HAVE THE BALL

Clinton Portis gained just 57 yards on 19 carries last week against Carolina, which entered with the worst run defense in the NFL. With three of the five linemen — Stephon Heyer, Will Montgomery and Mike Williams — making their first starts of the year at their respective positions, don’t expect much more against Kansas City, which is 25th against the run. The reshuffled line needs to do a better job of protecting Jason Campbell, but the Chiefs have just six sacks. If Campbell has time to throw, he’ll look to get the ball to tight end Chris Cooley, who was held without a catch last week for the first time in nearly five years.

Edge: Even

WHEN THE CHIEFS HAVE THE BALL

Coach Todd Haley, who helped make Arizona one of the most dangerous offenses in the league the past two seasons, is retooling a Kansas City attack that scored just 32 touchdowns last year. Quarterback Matt Cassel is one of five new starters for a unit that’s a work in progress, ranking 30th overall, 24th in rushing and 29th in passing. Defense hasn’t been a problem for the Redskins, who are tied for fourth overall and third against the pass but just 22nd against the run. Linebacker London Fletcher leads the NFL in tackles.

Edge: Redskins

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kansas City is winless but not because of its special teams. Jon McGraw blocked a punt for a touchdown at Baltimore as part of the NFL’s top punt coverage unit. Punter Dustin Colquitt is second in the league with a 43.7-yard net average, and kicker Ryan Succop is 5-for-6 on field goal tries, failing only from 53 yards. Washington’s Shaun Suisham is 6-for-6 with a long kick of 42. The Redskins promoted Glenn Pakulak from the practice squad to fill in for the injured Hunter Smith. A botched punt return set up Carolina’s winning touchdown last week.

Edge: Chiefs

REDSKINS STARTERS

Offense

WR 89 Santana Moss

LT 74 Stephon Heyer

LG 66 Derrick Dockery

C 61 Casey Rabach

RG 63 Will Montgomery

RT 71 Mike Williams

TE 47 Chris Cooley

WR 12 Malcolm Kelly

QB 17 Jason Campbell

RB 26 Clinton Portis

FB 45 Mike Sellers

Defense

DE 93 Phillip Daniels

DT 96 Cornelius Griffin

DT 92 Albert Haynesworth

DE 99 Andre Carter

OLB 52 Rocky McIntosh

MLB 59 London Fletcher

OLB 98 Brian Orakpo

CB 22 Carlos Rogers

CB 23 DeAngelo Hall

SS 37 Reed Doughty

FS 30 LaRon Landry

Specialists

K 6 Shaun Suisham

P 4 Glenn Pakulak

PR 82 Antwaan Randle El

KR 31 Rock Cartwright

Injuries

Out: T Chris Samuels (neck)

Questionable: G Chad Rinehart, DE Phillip Daniels (biceps), DT Cornelius Griffin (elbow), DT Anthony Montgomery (knee), P Hunter Smith (right groin)

Probable: DT Albert Haynesworth (ankle), RB Clinton Portis (calf)

CHIEFS STARTERS

Offense

WR 82 Dwayne Bowe

T 76 Branden Albert

LG 54 Brian Waters

C 64 Rudy Niswanger

RG 79 Mike Goff

RT 75 Ryan O’Callaghan

TE 89 Sean Ryan

WR 80 Bobby Wade

QB 7 Matt Cassel

RB 27 Larry Johnson

FB 42 Mike Cox

Defense

DE 94 Tyson Jackson

NT 95 Ron Edwards

DE 72 Glenn Dorsey

OLB 50 Mike Vrabel

ILB 53 Demorrio Williams

ILB 51 Corey Mays

OLB 91 Tamba Hali

CB 24 Brandon Flowers

CB 39 Brandon Carr

SS 30 Mike Brown

FS 44 Jarrad Page

Specialists

P 2 Dustin Colquitt

K 6 Ryan Succop

PR 80 Bobby Wade

KR 25 Jamaal Charles

Injuries

Questionable: T Branden Albert (ankle), S Jarrad Page (shoulder)

Probable: G Andy Alleman (shoulder)

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