Five questions facing the Redskins heading into Week 11

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Sports,NFL,Redskins,John Keim

1

Did the bye week rejuvenate the Redskins? It better or the final seven games will be a death march. Keep in mind that Washington is 0-2 after the bye week under coach Mike Shanahan (both losses to the Eagles). The Redskins know the NFC East is not the strongest division so even at 3-6 they still feel they have a shot. But this really isn't about a playoff chase; it's about finally showing that both sides of the ball are going in the right direction.

2

Will Pierre Garcon play? This is difficult to answer until we know how Garcon's foot/toe responds to extra activity throughout the week. Even if he does manage to play, will he be able to withstand the pain the rest of the season? There's little doubt the Redskins could use Garcon. Their other fast receivers are too inconsistent.

3

What impact will Brandon Meriweather have? The Redskins' secondary has struggled, but it's not as if the guy Meriweather would start over, Reed Doughty, always has been the main culprit. And you can blame the lack of a pass rush as well. Meriweather adds speed, but guys play faster when they're comfortable with a defense. How will he be in that regard considering he's never played a game in this defense before? He intercepted 12 passes from 2008 to 2010. But various NFL sources and evaluators call Meriweather a freelancer. If that continues, will that help a team that allows too many big plays?

4

How dangerous are the Eagles? Well, any team is dangerous right now to the Redskins. But the Eagles have lost five straight games, have a rookie quarterback likely making his first start and have a coach whose job is on the line. They're equal parts bad and dangerous. They have playmakers who aren't making enough plays.

5

Can the offense snap out of its funk? The Redskins scored just 25 points the past two games combined, but they also missed opportunities in both games. It's not a matter of teams solving the Redskins as much as it was them hurting themselves and lacking enough playmakers in the red zone. The Eagles' defensive line poses challenges because they penetrate quickly, but they do leave gaps for backs with good vision and the ability to break tackles (Alfred Morris). They've also never faced the zone-read attack.

- John Keim

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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