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Points of Emphasis for Redskins

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sure, 6-2 is nice, but the Redskins are only halfway through the season, and there are four areas of concern:

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Finishing Drives

Yardage is great, but points win games. The Redskins have stalled in the red zone and allowed lesser teams to hang around by settling for field goals instead of touchdowns. They have nine passing touchdowns overall and just four touchdowns in their last nine red-zone drives.

Sacks and Turnovers

Washington has 10 sacks and eight takeaways through a half-season. Beating playoff teams in January is awfully hard if the quarterback is not under pressure. The pass rush is flat, and too many interceptions are dropped on a weekly basis. The Redskins have one takeaway in the past four weeks, and none in the past two games.

Health

The Redskins have avoided major, long-term injuries to this point, but with three of their most irreplaceable players ailing -- running back Clinton Portis, wide receiver Santana Moss and left tackle Chris Samuels -- the situation must be monitored closely in the second half. Moss's hamstring woes have been common in the past, and Samuels's right knee could end up requiring a third surgery. The drop-off at wide receiver and tackle, in particular, would be massive if either player went down.

Field Position

The offense could use some short fields to work with for a change, and with so few takeaways, the punting game might be able to compensate. Ryan Plackemeier should be a major upgrade over deposed rookie Durant Brooks, and some consistency in the length and hang times of punts could give them a boost in the second half.

-- Jason La Canfora


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