Oakland (3-6) at Washington (5-4), Sunday 1:00 pm EST
LANDOVER, Maryland (Ticker) -- Norv Turner makes his return to
the nation's capital on Sunday when the Oakland Raiders visit
the Washington Redskins in an interconference game.
Turner coached the Redskins from 1994-2000 and compiled a record
of 50-61-1 and a 1-1 mark in the postseason (1999). Owner
Daniel Snyder fired Turner and hired Marty Schottenheimer for
one season before turning to the college ranks for Steve
Now Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs is back with the Redskins and
has made the team a contender again in his second season.
Washington is one game behind co-leaders Dallas and New York in
the NFC East.
Turner is in his second year with the Raiders, who went 5-11 in
2004 and are in last place in the AFC West with just three
wins this season.
Both Turner and Gibbs will have to pay plenty of attention to
Randy Moss on Sunday. Regarded as the NFL's best receiver, Moss
has 32 catches for 629 yards - a 19.7 average - and five
touchdowns in his first year with the Raiders after being
acquired from Minnesota in the offseason.
But the other Moss is making a bigger impact. Santana Moss has
53 receptions for 935 yards and five touchdowns in his first
year with the Redskins after being acquired from the New York
Jets in the offseason for receiver Laveranues Coles.
The Redskins are coming off a heartbreaking 36-35 loss at Tampa
Bay. Chris Simms hit Edell Shepherd with a 30-yard touchdown
pass with 58 seconds left in the fourth quarter to pull the
Buccaneers within 35-34. After an offside penalty was called
against Washington on the extra-point attempt, Bucs coach Jon
Gruden decided to go for the two-point conversion and fullback
Mike Alstott barely made it into the end zone.
The Redskins' secondary was riddled by Simms, who had committed
three turnovers in his previous two games but threw for 279
yards and three touchdowns against Washington.
Oakland quarterback Kerry Collins hopes to exploit that
secondary with his receivers Randy Moss and Jerry Porter.
Last week, Collins threw for 310 yards and two touchdowns, but
was intercepted three times in a 31-17 loss to Denver.
The Raiders held the Broncos' vaunted running attack to just 3.2
yards per carry. On Sunday, they will have to contend with
Clinton Portis, who rushed for 144 yards and a touchdown on 23
carries at Tampa Bay.
Matchup to watch: Randy Moss, who had six catches for 87 yards,
including a 29-yard touchdown last week, faces right cornerback
Series: The Raiders lead, 6-3, but the Redskins won the last
meeting in 1998. The teams have not played here since 1995.
Next week: Oakland hosts Miami, November 27
Washington hosts San Diego, November 27
Oakland is built to use a power running game to set up its vertical passing game but RB LaMont Jordan isn't getting enough carries to force opposing safeties to play closer to the line of scrimmage. Working against a Washington defense that blitzes often and with this game on the road, it's critical that changes this week. Regularly handing the ball off to Jordan will take some pressure of QB Kerry Collins by taking the crowd out of the game and setting up the play-action package.
Offensively, the Redskins want to sustain long drives that give their banged up interior defensive line as much rest as possible. They should focus on establishing the run with RB Clinton Portis and consistently completing short-to-intermediate passes as a result. However, this approach will only be effective if Washington avoids turnovers and that means QB Mark Brunell needs to do a better job of taking care of the football than he did last week.