- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 13, 2009

Today, 4:15 p.m.

Where: Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.

TV: Chs. 5, 45

Radio: ESPN 980, AM-730, AM-570, AM-1260

REDSKINS STARTERS

Offense

WR 89 Santana Moss

WR 12 Malcolm Kelly

LT 60 Chris Samuels

LG 66 Derrick Dockery

C 61 Casey Rabach

RG 77 Randy Thomas

RT 74 Stephon Heyer

TE 47 Chris Cooley

RB 26 Clinton Portis

FB 45 Mike Sellers

QB 17 Jason Campbell

Defense

DE 99 Andre Carter

DT 96 Cornelius Griffin

DT 92 Albert Haynesworth

DE 93 Phillip Daniels

WLB 52 Rocky McIntosh

MLB 59 London Fletcher

SLB 98 Brian Orakpo

CB 23 DeAngelo Hall

CB 22 Carlos Rogers

FS 30 LaRon Landry

SS 48 Chris Horton

Specialists

K 6 Shaun Suisham

P 3 Hunter Smith

PR 82 Antwaan Randle El

KR 31 Rock Cartwright

KR 46 Ladell Betts

Injuries

Probable: CB Carlos Rogers (calf), RT Mike Williams (ankle)

GIANTS STARTERS

Offense

WR 87 Domenik Hixon

WR 12 Steve Smith

LT 66 David Diehl

LG 69 Rich Seubert

C 60 Shaun O’Hara

RG 76 Chris Snee

RT 67 Kareem McKenzie

TE 89 Kevin Boss

RB 27 Brandon Jacobs

FB 39 Madison Hedgecock

QB 10 Eli Manning

Defense

DE 91 Justin Tuck

DT 96 Barry Cofield

DT 98 Fred Robbins

DE 72 Osi Umenyiora

OLB 55 Danny Clark

MLB 58 Antonio Pierce

OLB 57 Chase Blackburn

CB 24 Terrell Thomas

CB 23 Corey Webster

FS 21 Kenny Phillips

SS 20 Michael Johnson

Specialists

K 9 Lawrence Tynes

P 18 Jeff Feagles

PR 87 Domenik Hixon

KR 28 Danny Ware

KR 44 Ahmad Bradshaw

Injuries

Out: CB Aaron Ross (hamstring)

Doubtful: OT Adam Koets (ankle), LB Clint Sintim (groin)

Questionable: CB Kevin Dockery (hamstring)

KEY MATCHUP

GIANTS RB BRANDON JACOBS vs. REDSKINS DT ALBERT HAYNESWORTH

This is the kind of game for which Albert Haynesworth was given $41 million guaranteed - a fistfight of an NFC East contest to open the season.

The length, in plays, of New York’s scoring drives against the Redskins last year: 11, 9, 11, 11, 7, 11, 6, 8 and 6. The Giants ran 140 plays total in the two matchups to the Redskins’ 113.

The Giants controlled the clock and the line of scrimmage last year, and Jacobs was a big reason, running for 187 yards (and running over Redskins safety LaRon Landry).

Enter Haynesworth’s 350 pounds - not that Jacobs is impressed.

“He’s a human being; he walks on two feet and he bleeds,” Jacobs said. “He’s probably one of the most dominant players in the NFL, but there’s no reason to go in there and only think about him.”

Said Haynesworth: “You just have to tackle him - that’s it, pretty much. There are no secrets or anything like that. You just have to hit him and wear him out.”

Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Blache has stressed that he doesn’t want Haynesworth to be preoccupied with hunting down Jacobs and that it’s important for him to play his responsibility.

The Redskins’ defense led the NFL last year in forcing three-and-outs, but only three came in the losses to the Giants. If they can limit Jacobs on first down, that will play right into the Redskins’ pressure packages and allow Blache to move Brian Orakpo to defensive end to improve the pass rush.

THREE KEYS

1. Campbell’s early rhythm

Throwing deep is great, but quarterback Jason Campbell is most effective if he establishes an early tempo. That means coach Jim Zorn should dial up some high-percentage throws on the opening few drives and then start taking shots downfield.

2. Field position

This includes a punt return by Antwaan Randle El, a kickoff return by Rock Cartwright and a turnover by the defense. The Redskins’ offense usually had to go miles to get points last year; only 12 of their scoring drives were less than 30 yards. They could use a short field.

3. Keeping Campbell upright

This one is obvious, and it pertains to the entire season: If Campbell has time, he can make the throws, but he was sacked an NFC-high 38 times last year. The first test is a deep New York defensive line that added free agent signings Chris Canty and Rocky Bernard.

THE EDGE

WHEN THE REDSKINS HAVE THE BALL

In last year’s opener at Giants Stadium, Jason Campbell made the wrong read on the Redskins’ first offensive play and was sacked by Justin Tuck. Things didn’t really improve from there. But the Redskins’ starters looked sharp in the last two preseason games, and with cornerbacks Kevin Dockery and Aaron Ross nursing injuries, coach Jim Zorn should challenge them early if he gets one-on-one matchups with Santana Moss and Malcolm Kelly. The Giants get the overall edge because their pass rush will come in waves and they’re equally effective against the run.

Edge: Giants

WHEN THE GIANTS HAVE THE BALL

New York still has quarterback Eli Manning, running back Brandon Jacobs and a veteran offensive line. But the Giants are still trying to find replacements for veteran receivers Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer. They have seven receivers on the roster, the best among them third-year player Steve Smith. First down is huge; if the Redskins can force Manning into passing situations, he might not be as confident with his new targets as he was with Burress and Toomer. The Giants get the slight edge because the line will give Manning time to find a target.

Edge: Giants

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Redskins’ special teams units are in transition, but Reed Doughty, Chris Wilson and Kareem Moore played well in the preseason. Hunter Smith is expected to boost the wretched punting game. Antwaan Randle El is back as the punt returner, and he needs to provide more than 6.5 yards an attempt. The Giants’ specialists are ageless punter Jeff Feagles (22nd season) and kicker Lawrence Tynes, who is back from an injury that cost him most of last season. The Redskins’ coverage teams should be able to lock up punt returner Domenik Hixon and kick returners Danny Ware and Ahmad Bradshaw.

Edge: Redskins

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