Packers-Redskins: Key matchups

Chris Cooley

Cooley will present another challenge for Green Bay's defense; Carter vs. Clifton

Packers SLB Brady Poppinga and FS Nick Collins vs. Redskins TE Chris Cooley
Poppinga and Collins were victimized on Desmond Clark's 34-yard touchdown catch-and-run that earned the Bears a 27-20 win last Sunday. Covering tight ends has been a detriment for the Green Bay defense, which has yielded 29 receptions and two touchdowns to the position in the first five games.

The Giants' Jeremy Shockey and the Chargers' Antonio Gates had their way in Weeks 2 and 3, then Clark and rookie Greg Olsen in the last game. The speedy Cooley, who has a touchdown in three straight contests, could be next in line to have a big performance.

Packers LT Chad Clifton vs. Redskins RDE Andre Carter A battle of veterans who aren't strangers to one another could impact whether Brett Favre can continue to thrive throwing passes left and right, not to mention underneath and, once in a while, deep.

Carter had success getting to Favre in his formative years as a speed rusher with the 49ers. He's added power to the repertoire and is off to a strong start this season, including a dominant performance (two sacks, four quarterback hits) against Lions left tackle Jeff Backus the last time out. Carter has eight sacks in his last eight games.

Clifton traditionally excels protecting Favre's blind side, but he hasn't been beyond reproach at the outset this year. Still, he's a big reason why Favre has been sacked just nine times in a league-high 219 dropbacks this season.

Redskins WRs Antwaan Randle El and Santana Moss vs. Packers CBs Charles Woodson and Al Harris
The dynamic duo of Randle El and Moss have combined for 30 catches and 537 yards (but no TDs) despite missing six of 24 quarters between them. The athletic Woodson and the wily Harris are the only veterans in a young back seven.

Redskins MLB London Fletcher vs. Packers QB Brett Favre
Fletcher, 32, is in his first year in Washington but knows the scheme well from his time under Gregg Williams in Buffalo. Fletcher is a fine player and excellent leader. At 38, so is Favre, who has 10 INTs and just four TDs in three games against Fletcher-led defenses.

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