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Key Player Match-Ups

By Mark Solway | November 28th, 2003

The 4-7 Redskins host the 5-6 New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Patrick Ramsey is unlikely to play, meaning that Tim Hasselbeck will see his first career NFLstart. Here are some key player match-ups this week:

Jeremiah Trotter vs. Deuce McCallister
Laveranues Coles vs. Dale Carter
Champ Bailey vs. Joe Horn
Brandon Winey vs. Darren Howard

Deuce McAllister v. Jeremiah Trotter
By Fran Farren

O-lay! This is a term often shouted by fans as a charging bull rushes past the Matador as he so eloquently shifts to the side allowing the bull to pass, narrowly missing him.

Unfortunately for the Redskins faithful, we might as well be shouting the term this week at the TV or from their seats at the game each time Deuce McAllister is handed the ball and rushes towards Jeremiah Trotter. Third in the NFL in rushing yards (1,228) with an impressive 5.1 yards/carry average and eight touchdowns, McAllister has the skills to give the Redskins rush defense fits all day long. What makes McAllister even more dangerous is that he is also 2nd on the team in receptions at 46, averaging 7.2 yards/catch.

Last week against the Eagles, McAllister rushed for a very impressive 184 yards and two touchdowns. Last week he faced a much better defense than the Redskins have at this time.

Jeremiah Trotter simply isn’t stepping up to the plate lately and stopping the opponent’s running game. Although he might make one or two good plays per game, he continuously misses his lanes which allow for big runs by opposing running backs. It is very sad to think, but Jeremiah Trotter’s best days are probably behind him. He isn’t the dominant run-stopper that the Redskins hoped he would be when they signed him.

Look for McAllister to rush well beyond the 150 yard mark once again this week with at least two more touchdowns. Look for Trotter to try to step up and stop him….and fail miserably. Each time Deuce gets the ball, listen closely to the fans at the game. If you have to, turn up the volume on your TV. Do you hear it? Can you hear it? Listen closer….. “O-LAY!”

Advantage – McAllister

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Laveranues Coles vs. Dale Carter
By Frank Hastings

Dale Carter’s (6’1″, 194) honors and awards rival any of his cornerback contemporaries in the NFL as he enters 2003 with 24 career interceptions and 118 passes defended. A four-time Pro Bowler, he was one of the Saints’ top free agent acquisitions in 2002 and helped solidify left side of secondary with his elite cover skills and speed. Last season, Carter entered the starting lineup after serving an eight-game suspension for violating the leagues substance abuse policy.

Many remember Carter from his days as a Kansas City Chief, where he spent seven seasons and was originally drafted in the 1st round (20th overall) in the 1992 NFL draft (Tennessee).

After losing 4 of their first 5 contests, the Saints have now won 4 of their last 6 and they’ve climbed to the 4 ranked defense against the pass in the NFC. On top of that, they still have an outside shot at the playoffs.

It looks as though Hasselbeck will get his first NFL start on Sunday. That can only hamper Coles’ change of taking any advantage he may have over Carter. Coles has the speed and pass route running ability to get open against any corner in the league and his after the catch running ability and play making ability are outstanding. But will Hasselbeck have the presence the protection necessary to give Coles time to get open down field. All that depends on the play calling.

Will Spurrier be calling west-coast type pass plays that Hasselbeck was successful with in the his first half of last week’s game or the air-it-out, stretch the field (take to long to develop) type pass play calling that was called in the second half? Will the Redskins be able to establish the running game necessary to force the Saints to respect either passing scheme?

Pride is on the line this week. Look for the Redskins to establish a running game and keep the Saints guessing, but it won’t be enough for Coles to dominate this matchup.

Advantage: Carter

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Champ Bailey vs. Joe Horn
By Martin Collinson

You know how you can tell Champ Bailey is one of the best cover corners in the NFL? You never hear his name called in the game as often as any of the other members of the Redskins secondary. This year has been no different; he only has 1 interception on the year as QBs habitually throw the ball to the opposite side of the field Champ lines up. This despite Bailey nearly always matching up man to man with the other teams top receiver.

Redskins fans sometimes get down on Champ when he has the odd down game, but you never value what you have until you loose it. Bailey is a free agent at the end of this season, if he leaves the ‘Skins he will leave a huge void in our secondary.

This week he figures to match up with the Saints Joe Horn.

Horn may be one of the most underrated receivers in the NFL. He has had 3 straight 1,000 yard seasons and is well on track to make that 4 straight this term with 56 catches for 673 yards and 6 TDs. He came from a small College and took a while to grow accustomed to the NFL but once he found his feet – and the Saints got a QB and supporting cast around him – he has never looked back. He is a big receiver who matches up physically very well on Bailey being both taller at 6’1’’ and heavier at 206lbs. He also has very good speed, excellent hands and runs very good patterns.

The Saints are an effective offensive team and have multiple threats – my bet is that they will need to find other ways of beating the Redskins than throwing at Champ Bailey.

Advantage – Bailey.

Darren Howard vs. Brandon Winey
By Rich Hilts

In looking at this matchup, it is easy to see how Darren Howard, former sack leader and perennial sack threat Darren Howard has the advantage over Brandon Winey. The 6’ 3” defensive right end is a threat when he is playing, but has been hurt this year. Starting out with 11 sacks in his rookie year, his drop off to 6 and 8 sacks would have been expected, since teams will often double team a threat of his nature. He did still manage to get the sacks, though, and that makes him doubly dangerous. He has been hurt this year, registering only 3 sacks, but those 3 coming in the 2 games since he has been back.

Across from him is Brandon Winey, former 6th round pick of the Dolphins. He is big enough to handle Howard at 6’ 7” and 315 pounds. Yet his size didn’t hamper him from contending with Jason Taylor against the Dolphins in Chris Samuels stead. The former LSU Tiger stepped in and only allowed Taylor one hit on Hasselbeck last week, but one must ask if that is due to his knowing Taylor from practices in training camp. If not, then this contest evens out to some degree. If it was his knowledge of Taylor from working against him everyday, then Howard definitely gains the advantage.

Advantage: Howard

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Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by The Game Day Staff

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