What: Carolina Panthers at Washington Redskins, today, 4 p.m., Redskins Stadium.

TV/Radio: WTTG-5, WBFF-45; WJFK-FM-106.7, WBQB-FM-101.5, WPLC-FM-94.3, WKIK-FM-102.9, WAGE-1200, WNAV-1430, WFMD-930.

Line: Redskins by 8A.

Protect Brad Johnson.

The offensive line has done a fabulous job, allowing just three sacks in as many games. Linebacker Kevin Greene, who ranks third all-time in sacks, will be a handful.

Defend the run.

The Panthers are averaging an NFL-best 6.1 yards per rushing attempt with Biakabutuka and Fred Lane alternating carries. They've been effective outside, where the Redskins are vulnerable.

Convert inside the 20-yard line.

George Seifert's defenses are stingy close to their end zone. The Panthers' defense has allowed just 44 points in three games for that reason. In eight trips inside the 20, opponents have scored once.


Among Carolina Coach George Seifert's first moves after taking over was scuttling the Panthers' 3-4 defense in favor of the traditional 4-3. To adapt to his strong-side linebacker role, Greene, who had 15 sacks last season, lost nearly 10 pounds and figures to test the offensive line's mettle. RB Stephen Davis should have another big day; the Panthers have given up an average of 163.3 rushing yards per game.

Key Matchup

Redskins G Keith Sims vs. Panthers DT Sean Gilbert

The offensive line did a good job against Gilbert in last December's 28-25 victory over the Panthers in Charlotte. Sims, who has worked hard to regain his Pro Bowl form, draws the bulk of that task today. Gilbert, who was slowed by bruised ribs early in the season, is second among Carolina linemen with 18 tackles.


QB Steve Beuerlein isn't a dazzling playmaker, but he's getting the job done with consistency. He has a 95.0 rating, with five touch-downs, two interceptions and a 60.5 percent completion rate. TE Wesley Walls is his most prolific target, with four touchdown receptions this season. The offensive line is improving, after giving up seven sacks in the opener against New Orleans. When RB Tshimanga Biakabutuka gets loose, he create big plays; he rushed for touchdowns of 62 and 67 yards in last week's 27-3 victory over Cincinnati.

Key Matchup

Panthers WRs Muhsin Muhammad/Rae Carruth vs. Redskins CBs Darrell Green/Champ Bailey

The Panthers' wide receivers haven't been the team's strength, but they seem to be finding their form lately. Muhammad, who is 6 feet 2 and 217 pounds, is coming off back-to-back 100-yard games, and is third in the NFC in catches. Carruth (5-11, 195 pounds) had 10 catches last week.


K Brett Conway has been a pleasant surprise, making all five of his field goal attempts, including a 50-yarder in last week's 27-20 victory over the Jets. But until the blocking on returns improves -- particularly on kickoff returns -- the Redskins' offense will continue to be saddled with difficult field position. Return specialist Brian Mitchell is handling punt returns ably; P Matt Turk is showing more steadiness.