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Gameday: Battle on the Beltway @ 7pm

The Baltimore Ravens will head down the road to FedEx Field tonight to face the Redskins, and it’s going to be an interesting battle on the beltway to say the least.  Baltimore is one of those teams whose defense always keeps them in the mix toward the top of the AFC, but their offense has been emerging the past couple of season with Joe Flacco at the helm, and now Ray Rice owning the backfield… s0 it’s going to be a tough test for all aspects of Mike Shanahan’s Redskins.

It’s preseason, so game planning isn’t exactly the first priority – but that said I’d like to take a minute to outline some of the keys to this game for the Redskins as they’ll try to extend their new found sense of momentum after last weeks dominating performance over the Bills.

1. Offensive line cohesion — can the Redskins establish a running game with power RB Larry Johnson running with the first team?  If the first team, who plans to play atleast half the game, can establish a productive zone blocking scheme – the Redskins will have an easier time focusing on the other aspects of the offense. (see #2)

2. Donovan McNabb’s big play abilities – if the zone blocking scheme works well against one of the NFL’s top defenses, McNabb can better sell some playaction fakes and roll out to buy time for deep gashes way down field.  Devin Thomas is looking to have a great game tonight playing with the first team, might be nice for the #1 QB and WR to get on the same page early in the game.

3.  Haynesworth at defensive end tonight – as comical as the Haynesworth story may be, Big Al has a serious problem tonight.  He needs to put up or shut up when it comes to actually doing the job he was brought to D.C. to do, and do well.  If he can’t produce results rushing off the edge tonight, I’m not sure he has many more excuses left for the team, organization, or the fans.

4. Devin Thomas – can he duplicate last week’s efforts tonight with the first team?

5. LaRon Landry – moving back to Strong Safety, I expect to see him stuffing runs and penetrating, getting hits on the QB all night tonight.  Perhaps the most inconsistent safety in the NFC is going back to where he thrives, in the box. Let’s see it.

Halftime and post game recaps will be up tonight, be sure to check it out.

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