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Redskins-Packers keys to victory: special teams

The special teams will be very important this game. Here are the reasons why:

In last Sunday's game against the Eagles, the Redskins' special teams were able to help dictate field position. It helped both the offense and the defense.

The kickoff and punt coverage teams are going to have to keep the Packers pinned deep in their territory. The Packers' running game is suspect, so quarterback Aaron Rodgers will have to throw more if the field is longer. This would give the Redskins' defense more opportunities to make plays. There's a 50/50 chance Rodgers can out-do the defense solely by passing the ball. That percentage goes up, though, if the Packers start drives with great field position or are able to run the ball.

Continuing along this line of thinking, if the Packers offense stalls and has to punt, it will give the Redskins better starting field position.

This Sunday the Redskins will have a new, but old face at punter. Hunter Smith is back and he will need to have a big day.

Devin Thomas has continued to be a solid guy returning the ball beyond the 20-yard line for the Redskins. He has given the offense a good starting point all season. As for punt returns, the Redskins finally received that spark they have been looking for. Brandon Banks returned a punt that set up the first touchdown against the Eagles. It was a big confidence booster for him. He had fumbling troubles in the preseason, which was most likely the reason it took the team so long to use him. If he can stay consistent and fumble-free, Washington should be solid.

I love the moves with Hunter Smith and Brandon Banks. These two, along with the under-played and under-valued Devin Thomas, I believe gives them the Redskins the edge in this phase of the game.

What do you think? Who has the edge in the special teams battle and why?

By LaVar Arrington  | October 7, 2010; 1:16 PM ET
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I agree. Banks is a game-changer, if (and it's a big if) he can hold on to the ball. I like him on Offense too, even though he didn't do much against the Eagles. I remember in preseason, with Devin Thomas out front blocking, he had something like three WR screens in a row that all went for good yardage. If Woodson's on the other side, I'd take my chances and throw the "bubble screen" to Banks with a blocker in front.
Also, I liked what Hunter Smith brings to the table. I think he punts OK, he holds well, and he can execute a fake from punt formation.
I also think Gano has done terrifically (for the most part) on kick-offs. He kicks from sideline to sideline, and watching from the stands, you should see how far the returner has to run sometimes just to catch the ball. It's why against the Texans, their guy caught the ball then went out of bounds at his own one yard line. He also has been solid on field goals, too (if we can only block), and if if if he had only re-made that winning kick against the Texans.
As to Devin Thomas, I really can't understand it. I understand he may make some mistakes on routes, but I think he can be effective. He's very strong and fast, and he has decent hands. Can't they work him in on a few routes?

Finally, thanks for the great memories. Of course I remember the hit against Aikman, but many others too.

Posted by: MB_202 | October 7, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Agreed Lavar,

The addition of banks and hunter smith sounds good from where I'm sitting.

Posted by: g3impreza | October 8, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

never liked Aikman as a player. Someone needs to show this to Orakpo. They are about the same age in this vid.

Posted by: g3impreza | October 8, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

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