Redskins safety Sean Taylor made a trip to his first Pro Bowl earlier this year and at the team's preseason Welcome Home Luncheon he was named Washington's Defensive Player of the Year for 2006.
Judging by the way he's played in the Redskins' 4-2 start, Taylor could repeat those two distinctions.
Taylor headed into the 2007 campaign energized and with a new sense of commitment toward helping his defense and his team show significant improvement. His ability to cover ground, basically sideline to sideline, has been on display.
On Sunday in New England, though, Taylor and the Redskins' defense face their stiffest challenge of the season against Tom Brady, Randy Moss and company.
Taylor leads the NFL in interceptions with five. That's one ahead of Tennessee linebacker Keith Bullock, Dallas cornerback Travis Henry, Oakland linebacker Thomas Howard and Baltimore safety Ed Reed, one of Taylor's close friends given their University of Miami connection.
The 6-2, 212-pound Taylor has at least one interception in four straight games.
Moreover, he's intercepted former Super Bowl MVPs in back-to-back contests, having picked off two of Brett Favre's passes in Green Bay and one of Kurt Warner's attempts in the win over Arizona last week.
Next up is another former Super Bowl MVP in Brady, who has the Patriots at 7-0 and Randy Moss back on top of his game.
The last time the Redskins faced Moss was in 2005 against Oakland at FedExField. He caught three passes for 40 yards that game.
Perhaps Moss's most memorage game against the Redskins was the 2004 season finale at FedExField. He was playing for Minnesota then--except for the final seconds of the game, when he exited, stage left.
Fred Smoot was out with an injury that day, so Taylor helped cover Shawn Springs with coverage on Moss, as did rookie Garnell Wilds.
The Redskins won that game 21-18 and in the process they managed to keep Moss in check. He had five catches for 66 yards and a 28-yard TD reception from Daunte Culpepper in the third quarter.
It's not all that likely that Taylor will see Moss in an individual matchup on Sunday. That assignment is more apt to fall to Shawn Springs.
Still, Moss goes 6-4 and 210 pounds, just about the same size as Taylor. They may cross paths if and when Brady puts the ball up high and up for grabs--as he did frequently last week in the Pats' 49-28 dismantling of Miami.
In that one, Moss hauled in first-half scoring passes of 35 and 50 yards. Through seven games, he leads the NFL in receiving yards (732) and receiving touchdowns (10).