Redskins’ secondary vs. Chargers QB Philip Rivers
In the last five games, Rivers has shown why he is rated one of the game’s top quarterbacks, throwing for more than 300 yards three times and never for less than 264 yards. In that span he has completed at least 72 percent of his passes three times and thrown for 10 touchdowns. The Redskins were once the top-ranked pass defense in the league but have been picked apart by NFC East quarterbacks the last two weeks.
Redskins’ right guard and tackle vs. pass rush
The Redskins offensive line has had a ceaseless number of combinations, leading to major protection problems. Jason Campbell was roughed up again by Dallas, and RT Stephon Heyer and RG Mike Williams both left with injuries. Williams will not play and Heyer is questionable, leading to a likely combination of Edwin Williams and William Robinson on the right side. Expect San Diego to attack that side early and often.
Redskins’ pass rush vs. Chargers’ offensive line
A major reason for San Diego’s success has been its effective pass protection. The Chargers have allowed just 25 sacks, sixth best in the NFL. One of the Redskins’ few positives has been the success of the pass rush, with DEs Andre Carter and Brian Orakpo among the league leaders in sacks and Albert Haynesworth providing a major push inside.
DeAngelo Hall vs. Vincent Jackson
Going hand-in-hand with the secondary’s battle with Rivers will be the matchup between the Redskins’ top cover cornerback, Hall, and the Chargers’ big-play wide receiver. Jackson has 1,167 yards and nine touchdowns and has hauled in at least five passes in each of the past three weeks — twice going for more than 100 yards. Hall returned recently from injury.
Redskins’ run game vs. Chargers’ front seven
RBs Quinton Ganther and Rock Cartwright may have shown more than Clinton Portis, but Washington’s run game has hit 100 yards just once in the last four games and has averaged more than four yards per carry just once. San Diego ranks 23rd against the run and has allowed at least 100 yards rushing in all but two games this season.
Redskins QB Jason Campbell vs. secondary
Campbell has one last chance to show that he is worthy of being the team’s franchise quarterback. He has taken a beating this season, and yet has put up career numbers in completion percentage (64.3), yards (3,337) and touchdowns (18) — though he also has highs in interceptions (15) and sacks (41). Tennessee’s Vince Young completed just 38 percent of his passes last week against San Diego’s 10th-ranked pass defense.
-- Paul Tenorio