- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 11, 2012

1. How effective will Robert Griffin III be a week after suffering a concussion? Griffin didn’t execute a designed run against Atlanta, and still he was injured. Offensive coordinator. Kyle Shanahan said he won’t change the game plan to protect Griffin because if he needs to be protected, then he shouldn’t be cleared to play.

2. Will the Redskins’ offense improve on third down? Washington has converted an NFL-worst 23.3 percent of its third downs, including 1 for 9 last Sunday against Atlanta. It doesn’t matter whether the distance to-go is short or long, the Redskins have struggled. Players must win more individual blocks.

3. Is Sunday the first step toward stability at kicker? Newly signed Kai Forbath will become the 15th kicker to attempt a field goal for the Redskins since the start of the 2000 season. His predecessor Billy Cundiff missed 31-yard field goals in each of the last two games, so he can’t be much worse.

4. How will the Redskins stop Vikings receiver Percy Harvin? Harvin, as defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said, “is up to something all the time.” He’ll be the fastest player on the field, and he leads the NFL with 238 yards after the catch, according to ESPN Stats. He’ll line up at receiver and running back.

5. Will the pass rush be effective? Minnesota has attempted 155 rushes this season, eighth-most in the NFL. That plays to the Redskins’ strength of stopping the run. But linemen such as Barry Cofield and Jarvis Jenkins, and linebackers Chris Wilson and Ryan Kerrigan but win more blocks and disrupt quarterback Christian Ponder when the Vikings pass.

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