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Arizona Cardinals at Redskins: Know Thy Enemy Edition

This 2008 version of the Arizona Cardinals can look back at the 2007 season and clearly see several games that they should have won. The October 21st game against the Redskins was certainly one of those games and ultimately could have been the difference between a playoff berth or just another unsuccessful season. By the end of 2007 the playoff bound Skins were 9-7 while the Cardinals finished 8-8 and sitting at home in January.

The bad taste can still be felt by many of the veterans considering that the Cardinals dominated that game (364 yards to 160 yards) but turnovers and penalties led to a Cardinals loss. The Redskins are pretty much the same team as they were last year with the only big addition being future Hall of Famer, Jason Taylor. The Cardinals have certainly added more new faces to the mix but none could have a bigger impact on the game than Taylor who will be going up against second year tackle, Levi Brown.


Check out the one on one match-up after the jump....

Brown's been in the unfortunate situation of being drafted one pick before Adrian Peterson and many fans are waiting to see him live up to his #5 overall draft pick status. He's looked decent in the first two games this season but he's yet to face a premier pass rusher like Jason Taylor. Taylor picked up his first sack last week in Washington's victory over the Saints and he hasn't showed many signs of slowing down. No one in the NFL has had more sacks has picked up more sacks than Jason Taylor since 2000 and Brown will have to bring his A-game to keep Warner's uniform clean. Taylor was quiet in his first game as a Redskin, totally just two tackles. He's starting to get comfortable though and he was much more disruptive against the Saints with four tackles, a sack and a pass defended.

Taylor's a unique pass rusher because he's got the ability to attack a defender with every move in his arsenal. He doesn't have to rely soley on speed or strength. Instead he's got the ability to blow by a tackle with a explosive burst on one play and come back the very next play and use pure strength to bull rush a defender right into the lap of a quarterback. He's also got the size and wingspan to reach around a defender or over the top of them to get a hand in the quarterbacks face. Kurt Warner will have to pay even extra attention to ball security because Taylor's a master at knocking the blal loose (39 forced fumbles in his career including 9 in 2006). He's no slouch in the run game either and normally can't be neutralized like some pass rushers but running directly at them. He's not 100% though considering that he missed part of last weeks game with a knee injury and has been limited in practice this week. I wouldn't be surprised at all if the  Cardinals tried to attack him early to either wear him down and/or test that gimpy knee. 

Either way, Levi Brown won't be able to take a single play off and he'll also probably need some help from running backs and or tight ends. Taylor simply isn't a guy who can be shut down with one player, but the Redskins success on Sunday could be very dependant on whether or not Jason Taylor and the rest of the defensive line can get to Kurt Warner without the Skins having to bring the blitz.