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Posted at 03:06 PM ET, 11/11/2011

Redskins-Dolphins: Key matchups

The Washington Redskins take on the Miami Dolphins Sunday for the 11th time in the history of the two franchises, with the Dolphins owning a 6-4 advantage.

The Redskins seek to snap a four-game losing streak, and Miami aims to improve upon its first win of the season (a 31-3 thumping of Kansas City last week). The Dolphins haven’t won back-to-back games since the first two weeks of the 2010 season.Washington hasn’t suffered five straight losses since the 2001 season.

The Dolphins are favored by four points, but they haven’t won or covered the spread at home this year. The Redskins are 3-5 against the spread this season.

Here are the key matchups for this Week 10 meeting:

WSH TE Fred Davis vs. MIA LB Karlos Dansby

Davis remains the Redskins’ top play-maker, but the San Francisco 49ers did a good job of holding him in check last week. Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby and fellow inside ‘backer Kevin Burnett will have to do a similar job on Davis so QB John Beck can’t go to his big target frequently. If Davis gets open and has a big game, Washington’s offense has a chance to get back on track.

WSH LB Brian Orakpo vs. MIA LT Jake Long

The Redskins need to rattle Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore, who last week had three touchdown passes and a quarterback rating of 147.5. Brian Orakpo has to get to the passer, and standing in his way is Jake Long, who has reached the Pro Bowl in each of his first three seasons in the league. Long has good quickness and agility, good footwork and power. Orakpo leads the team with 5.5 sacks and can help the Redskins by adding to that total this week.

WSH LT Trent Williams, RT Sean Locklear vs. MIA OLB Cameron Wake

The third-year pro, who hails from the D.C. area (DeMatha High) is Miami’s top pass rusher and has 5.5 sacks on the season. The Dolphins like to move him around to take advantage of matchups. It’s likely that he will face off with Sean Locklear (who is expected to start in place of Jammal Brown) more often than Williams. The Redskins have to protect Beck. He’s trying to find a balance between holding the ball too long and getting rid of it too quickly. He won’t accomplish anything if he’s on his back.

WSH Defense vs. MIA RB Reggie Bush

Some of the accounting for Bush will fall upon linebackers London Fletcher and Rocky McIntosh, who must be sure in their tackling against the elusive back. Some of the responsibility will fall upon cornerbacks, because the Dolphins like to move Bush around and split him out wide at times. Bush cranked out 141 yards of offense last week and 120 a week earlier. He’ll have a bullseye on him Sunday.

WSH CBs DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson vs. MIA WR Brandon Marshall

Big and fast, Marshall has the potential to cause Washington’s cornerbacks all kinds of problems. He enters the game with 46 catches for 644 yards and two touchdowns. It’ll be hard to win those jump-ball battles when Moore throws the ball up to the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Marshall, so Hall and Wilson can’t afford to give up much separation. The last time he faced Hall, Marshall racked up five catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns. Hall said he fell for double-moves in that game and is preparing to see plenty and remain on guard so he doesn’t make the same mistake this time.

By  |  03:06 PM ET, 11/11/2011

 
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