Redskins-Panthers GameDay Preview

10.21.2011 / Blog Posts Redskins

Hey Ladies - Wondering how the Redskins will match up against Carolina this weekend? Or maybe you're more concerned with all the quarterback controversy?'s Gary Fitzgerald provides a gameday preview and 3 keys to the game for Sunday....


The Redskins (3-2) travel to Charlotte, N.C., to take on the Carolina Panthers (1-5) on Sunday, Oct. 23 at Bank of America Stadium. Kickoff is 1 p.m. ET.

Quarterback John Beck is expected to make his debut as the Redskins' starter in the game, replacing Rex Grossman. Beck, in his fifth year in the NFL, makes his first NFL start since Dec. 30, 2007 when he was a rookie with the Miami Dolphins.

“I’m definitely excited,” Beck said. “There has been a lot of hard work that has gone into this. You never know when your opportunity is going to come and you have to stay ready. I’ve tried to do that and I just want to go out there and do my best.”

Beck took over for Grossman in the fourth quarter of last week's game vs. Philadelphia and completed 8-of-15 passes for 117 yards. He scored the Redskins' only touchdown of the game on a 2-yard quarterback draw up the middle.

The Redskins are 1-1 in road games so far this season. They lost to the Dallas Cowboys 18-16 at Cowboys Stadium in Week 3 and defeated the St. Louis Rams 17-10 at the Edward Jones Dome in Week 4. The Panthers, in last place in the NFC South, are 1-2 in homes games.

Washington and Carolina have played nine times in the regular season, with the Redskins owning a 7-2 series lead. Eight of the nine Redskins-Panthers games have been decided by four points or less.

The last meeting between the two clubs was on Oct. 11, 2009 at Bank of America Stadium. The Redskins jumped out to a 17-2 lead thanks to two touchdowns by Clinton Portis but the Panthers scored 18 unanswered points in the second half to capture the win 20-17.


BECK'S NEXT - Seems like everyone is curious to see how John Beck performs in regular season action with the pressure on. Santana Moss and DeAngelo Hall commented last week that they aren't quite sure what to expect from Beck but he has their full support as teammates. To succeed vs. Carolina, Beck simply needs to play within himself. What does that mean? Don't try to do too much and rely on teammates to make plays. In the passing game, Beck must make the right reads and be decisive and accurate with the football. He must use his mobility to elude pressure but be mindful not to hold on to the ball too long in the face of the pass rush.

GO BY GROUND - John Beck’s best friend in Carolina on Sunday could be a strong ground game. Steady running by Ryan Torain, Tim Hightower and Roy Helu would certainly settle Beck down and also open up passing lanes downfield should the Panthers crowd the line of scrimmage to stop the run. For the third game in a row, the Redskins are facing a defense that is ranked near the bottom in run defense. The Panthers are 31st against the run, allowing an average of 140.3 yards per game. The Redskins slipped to 17th in the NFL in rushing offense after a disappointing 42-yard performance last Sunday in the loss to Philadelphia. Two weeks prior, they had compiled 196 rushing yards in a win at St. Louis.

CORRAL CAM - The general consensus is that the Panthers are better than their 1-5 record. They have several playmakers, notably quarterback Cam Newton, wide receiver Steve Smith and running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. Newton, the top overall pick in last April’s NFL Draft, has impressed as a rookie, completing 58.5 percent of his passes for 1,847 yards, seven touchdowns and nine interceptions. He has thrown for 400 yards in two games and 374 yards in a third game and he is on pace for a 5,000-yard season. The Redskins’ defense is sure to focus on Newton’s nine interceptions. Defensive lineman and linebackers will look to contain him in the pocket and get pressure so that he is forced into errant throws. Double coverage on Smith could take away the Panthers’ top receiver in an otherwise suspect receiving corps.

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