Mike Shanahan and the Redskins look to improve on their 3-5 record. Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

The Washington Redskins and Carolina Panthers face off at 1 p.m. today at FedEx Field, and the Redskins hope that they can put on a strong performance and enter the bye week on a positive note.

They welcome to town a 1-6 Carolina squad led by Cam Newton, who has encountered struggles in his second NFL season. Although Newton and the Panthers have regressed on offense, ranking 27th in the league a year after ranking seventh, the Redskins are aware that their guests could break out and return to their potent form at any time. They just hope it’s not today.

Here are some things to look for in today’s game.

  • Robert Griffin III needs 222 passing yards to reach the 2,000-yard mark for the season. He would join Newton (2,605), Buffalo’s Jim Kelly (2,105) and Peyton Manning (2,013) as the only rookies in league history to pass for 2,000 yards in their first nine games.
  • Griffin would become only the 11th Redskins quarterback since the league merger to pass for 2,000 yards in the first nine games of the season.
  • Griffin needs 24 rushing yards to reach 500 yards in that category. He would become the 28th quarterback since the 1970 league merger to rush for at least 500 yards in a season.
  • Running back Alfred Morris needs 83 rushing yards to become the ninth rookie since the league merger to rush for 800 yards in his first nine games. Adrian Peterson was the last to do so, rushing for 1,081 yards through the first nine games of his career in 2007.
  • Receiver Santana Moss needs 47 receiving yards to reach the 9,500-yard mark for his career.
  • A victory by Washington today would give the team a 3-1 record against NFC South opponents this season.
  • A victory also would give the Redskins a 2-2 record at home, and back-to-back wins at FedEx Field for the first time since Weeks 1 and 2 of the 2011 season.
  • Redskins coach Mike Shanahan is 10-7 for his career in games preceding the bye week. The Redskins as a franchise are 11-13 entering the bye.
  • The Redskins face the Panthers for the 11th time since the series began in 1995. Washington owns a 7-3 mark against Carolina, but the Panthers have won the last two games. The Redskins are 5-0 against Carolina when playing at home.

Connections between these teams:

Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander broke into the NFL as a member of Carolina’s practice squad in 2005.

  • Center Will Montgomery played for Carolina from 2006-07.
  • Redskins defensive line coach Jacob Burney held the same position in Carolina from 1999-2001.
  • Former Redskins offensive lineman Ray Brown (1989-95, 2004-05) is an assistant offensive line coach for the Panthers now.
  • Carolina running back coach John Settle played for the Redskins in 1991 and 1992.
  • Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and Panthers offensive line coach John Matsko served on the same coaching staff for the New Orleans Saints in 1995 and 1996.
  • Redskins DeAngelo Hall and Will Montgomery and Panthers linebacker James Anderson were teammates at Virginia Tech.
  • Washington defensive lineman Kedric Golston and Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis were teammates at Georgia.
  • Redskins kicker Kai Forbath and tight end Logan Paulsen were teammates with Panthers kicker Justin Medlock at UCLA. Medlock spent the 2010 offseason with Washington, competing with Graham Gano, but didn’t win the job.
  • Robert Griffin III and Panthers wide receiver David Gettis were teammates at Baylor.
  • Redskins Keiland Williams and Perry Riley were teammates with Panthers receiver Brandon LaFell at LSU.
  • Washington safety Brandon Meriweather and Panthers tight end Greg Olson and linebacker Jon Beason were teammates at the University of Miami.
  • Redskins tackle Trent Williams and Panthers defensive end Frank Alexander played together at Oklahoma.
  • Washington guard Adam Gettis and safety Jordan Bernstine played together with Panthers safety Charles Godfrey at Iowa.
  • Washington guard Maurice Hurt and Carolina wideout Louis Murphy were teammates at Florida.