Washington Redskins at Detroit Lions

When: Today, 1 p.m., Silverdome, Pontiac, Mich. Line: Lions by 3A.

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

THE REDSKINS' KEYS TO VICTORY

1.Open holes for Stephen Davis.

Davis had only 61 yards rushing last week, and the Lions have the NFL's fifth-ranked rushing defense. But the Redskins could have an effective run-blocking combination with Mike Sellers at tight end and Larry Bowie at fullback.

2.Hit big plays in the passing game.

If Davis is effective, the Redskins could use play-action fakes to rekindle their big-play aerial attack against the league's No. 28 pass defense.

3.Force Frerotte into mistakes.

QB Gus Frerotte gets the start for the Lions and would love to beat his former team. But as the Redskins know too well, Frerotte is prone to throw interceptions when he begins to feel pressure.

WHEN THE REDSKINS HAVE THE BALL

After scoring 35 or more points four times in their first seven games, the Redskins haven't reached 30 points in any of their past four contests. TE Stephen Alexander likely will be sidelined by a strained hip flexor and WR Michael Westbrook continues to play with a broken bone in his right wrist, so WR Albert Connell and FB Larry Centers must carry the load in the passing game.

Key Matchup

Redskins RT Jon Jansen vs. Lions DE Robert Porcher

Porcher is tied for fourth in the NFC with eight sacks. Jansen has handled Giants DE Michael Strahan twice in his rookie season, and now the University of Michigan grad gets another big test in the closest thing the NFL gives him to a return to Ann Arbor.

WHEN THE LIONS HAVE THE BALL

The Redskins try to continue their recent defensive revival as they face the NFL's 17th-ranked offense. Former Redskin Gus Frerotte makes his fourth straight start at quarterback in place of Charlie Batch. The Barry Sanders-less Lions average only 3.7 yards per rushing attempt and 91.6 rushing yards per game.

Key Matchup

Redskins CBs Darrell Green, Champ Bailey and Mark McMillian vs. Lions WRs Germane Crowell, Johnnie Morton and Herman Moore

McMillian has not been the answer, as the Redskins have continued to get burned in nickel coverages, and Moore's return from knee injuries has given the Lions three excellent wide receivers to use in passing situations.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Redskins PK Brett Conway has missed four field goal attempts in the past two games, including a 28-yard potential game-winner at the end of regulation last week. Brian Mitchell and James Thrash each contributed a long kickoff return last week. Lions PK Jason Hanson is 46 for 53 on field goal attempts since the start of last season. Terry Fair, a dangerous kickoff returner, will not play because of a broken knuckle. The Lions signed former Redskin Desmond Howard to replace him on the roster.