Wide receiver Terrell Owens vs. Washington's secondary:
Redskins assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams relies on his cornerbacks to play substantial man coverage in his aggressive schemes. But Owens probably will force Washington to adjust its defensive game plan against the talented wideout, keeping safeties deep and shadowing him. Few if any cornerbacks can defend Owens one-on-one. Although Fred Smoot and Shawn Springs have had good seasons, the pair don't possess the ability to guard Owens without help from a safety. The Redskins almost certainly won't employ safety blitzes as much so that an extra defender can crowd Owens. Despite the attention, Owens leads the NFL with 12 receiving touchdowns, one short of the franchise record.
Running back Clinton Portis vs. middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter and Philadelphia's run defense:
Trotter, who was released by the Redskins in June, was promoted to the starting lineup last week, replacing Mark Simoneau. Trotter's ability to shed blockers should help against Portis. Eagles safeties Brian Dawkins and Michael Lewis will creep near the line to try to limit Portis's gains. The Eagles will need their best effort against Washington's star tailback. The Redskins' offensive line has the size, averaging more than 300 pounds, to create holes against Philadelphia's undersized front four.