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Keys to victory for the Redskins

Going into this weekend's home game against the Houston Texans, there are some obvious keys to the game for the Redskins.

The offense must finish drives this week. They got away with field goals last week, but this offense needs to prove to itself and other teams that it can score touchdowns.

This week is a great week to continue to try and establish the run; this team will enjoy success if it can get Portis and Johnson clicking on all cylinders.

The passing game needs to improve. Cooley and Moss were solid in the home opener as expected, but I expect this Texan defense to try and limit Cooley and Moss, forcing guys like Joey Galloway and Anthony Armstrong to make plays. McNabb will have to get more production from them this week.

The offensive line will have to be better. It only gave up one sack, but pressure was there and it was weak in run blocking. This will need to improve if the offense is to continue to improve this week.

Donovan McNabb had no turnovers in his debut as a Redskin quarterback; that's called game management and McNabb is very good at it, he will need to manage the game again this week but he may also need to take some shots to jump start this offense.

As for the defense, I believe the message is clear this week. First, stop Arian Foster and the running attack.

Cover Andre Johnson, roll the coverage over him so that he has to run through multiple cover zones. If Johnson catches a ball it should be because he had to work extra hard to get it. If the Skins are able to pull off coverage on Johnson and limit him they have a really good chance to limit the Texans offensive output.

The defense will also have to try and make Matt Schaub uncomfortable with his reads of the defense. If the Skins defense can confuse him enough it may lead to bad throws or sacks.

It will be key to win the battle of turnovers in this game. The Skins don't want to give Schaub, too many opportunities to try and find his rhythm.

As for special teams, they must have a better day punting the ball. Poor punting is unacceptable this week.

Coverage was solid on kickoff and punt teams. They will need to maintain that consistency this week.

Field goals were the only points from the offensive drives last game. Graham Gano will need to stay ready and be consistent in the kicking game just in case the offense struggles again this week.

If the Redskins read my keys to victory, they should win the game against the Houston Texans. Of course I'm being sarcastic: enjoy the game.

By LaVar Arrington  |  September 17, 2010; 10:54 AM ET
 
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Next: Hard Hits Live: Keys to Sunday's Redskins-Texans game

Comments

Good read. I'm with you. I think we need to show blitz asap, put schaub out of rhythm to rely on their run game, frustrating Johnson. Our D looks sharp, I think we can take this Texans team and come out gun ablazing this year, baby.

Posted by: vadrunkard | September 17, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

LaVar is right again, albeit those are obvious points. The D will again have a good game plan and hopefully the offense will open it up. It's really up to the tackles. I'd be great to see consistant protection and a chance to get the ball downfield...way downfield. Houston can score points, so we need some long balls. HTTR from here in sunny SoCal.

Posted by: SoCalSkinsFan | September 17, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Lavar: Congrats..My 15 year old son predicted the same anylysis..better OL, Better recieving, better running ,turnover battle, stop the run...IT doesnot take a genious to figure this out. BTW, post did not pay as much as they paid you...Life is not fair
GO skins

Posted by: mazbar | September 17, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm a lifelong subscriber to the Washington Post. This is my first time posting on this site, and it is for a simple reason, Lavar Arrington. I can't possibly express what a breath of fresh air it is to have a blog on the website of the Post devoted to actual football. I was never a huge fan of Arrington's as a player, but his insight, analysis and writings have brought me back to this site.

Suffice it to say, the tabloid story lines that seem to be the perpetual pursuit of Jason Reid and Redskins Insider have grown stale, and frequently repel this particular reader. Reid's apparent lack of knowledge of the game, combined with his clear ambition to have an impact on the team and desire to define the news, has pushed the tone and substance of Post coverage towards manufactured scandal and bottom feeding. I'm all for criticism of the team, but Reid's absurd coverage is the antithesis of the type of journalism the Post has always championed. Let's just say, I can't imagine Jason Reid working for a minute at Ben Bradlee's Washington Post.

Football at the professional level is a game of remarkable complexity--it's chess with an almost infinite number of variables and risks from play-to-play: talent, players, speeds, skills, schemes, plays, tendencies of the opposition, constantly changing metrics (1st down, 3rd down), three dimensional space, weather, hundreds of different formations and audibles from team to team, injuries, you name it. And while in football, as in life, some just luck into some fleeting amount of success, the coaches and analysts that have lasting impact are simply the smarter ones, the students of the game.

I'm hopeful that the sports editors at the Post take the success of Lavar's blog as evidence that its readership is hungry for smart analysis of the team and the sport, and pivots Redskins coverage accordingly.

Furthermore, since all Jason Reid seems to do in "Redskins Insider" is take every line uttered by Coach Shanahan in his daily press conference and pump them up into a "story.", given the Post's financial struggles of late, I recommend you replace Reid's coverage with a transcript or direct video of Shanahan's daily briefing. You'll save money and the readership will be just as informed.

Posted by: restless | September 18, 2010 3:04 AM | Report abuse

Wow

Posted by: Texan2010 | September 18, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

All texans have to do is contain mcnabb and stop chris cooley

Posted by: Texan2010 | September 18, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

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