Five questions facing the Redskins heading into Week 7

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Photo - Richard Lipski/AP
Robert Griffin III will have his first game vs. an NFC East foe Sunday against the Giants.
Richard Lipski/AP Robert Griffin III will have his first game vs. an NFC East foe Sunday against the Giants.
Sports,NFL,Redskins,John Keim

1. Can they make it three in a row? The Redskins, as you might remember, swept the Giants last season. Not that it stopped the Giants from winning the Super Bowl or vaulted the Redskins into the playoffs. Still, their ability to run the ball and stop the Giants' offense was impressive in both wins, particularly the second one as New York was banged up in the first game. The Giants are coming off a big win at San Francisco, and they have already faced a team that uses the zone-read option when they played Carolina earlier this year.

2. Can the defense continue to feast off turnovers alone? That's a hard way to make a living. Usually those happen because of pressure being applied, but the Redskins haven't been doing that consistently. That will make it tough to sustain. But just know that under defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, the Redskins have intercepted Giants quarterback Eli Manning six times and surrendered just one touchdown pass.

3. Did the defense turn a corner last week?

Well, not really. The defense has stopped the run all season, except for one game, and it did so again vs. the Vikings. They've forced turnovers all season and did that, too. But the pass rush remains inconsistent, and big plays always hurt them. What they did well was get more from their personnel, rotating linebackers Lorenzo Alexander, Keenan Robinson and Mario Addison in nickel packages. They were used well.

4. When will receiver Pierre Garcon return? No idea. The Redskins clearly miss what he adds, both as a blocker and as a big-play target. Last week, for example, they could have used another physical receiver in addition to Joshua Morgan. It was not Leonard Hankerson's best day as a blocker. It's tough to believe, however, that the offense could be so explosive without their top receiver.

5. What does Robert Griffin III do for an encore? Hey, he'll be near Broadway after all, and this is a guy who has big moments on the big stages. Griffin's decision-making vs. Minnesota, save for the interception, was outstanding. Thing is, Griffin still is leaving plays on the field. As he matures as a passer, the guess is he'll make a lot of those plays, and then you'll see an even more explosive offense.

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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John Keim

Staff Reporter - Washington Redskins
The Washington Examiner