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Redskins-Eagles keys to the game: defense

By LaVar Arrington

The Lions game added more questions to a growing list for the Redskins' defense, which had had a poor outing against a struggling, young Detroit offense. Now it will face once again the scariest offensive weapon in the NFL, Mike Vick.

Here's what the defense must do to have a chance to win this game.

The defense must win the battle upfront. In the running and passing game, the d-line must work to push the Eagles o-line back. The linemen must be disciplined, staying in their up-field lanes. If they have any breakdowns and let running lanes develop, Vick and running back LeSean McCoy will find the lanes and make the Redskins pay.

The defense will need to make Vick scramble to his right. This will be to the defense's advantage because Vick is a left-handed QB. It will make running and throwing very difficult if he is scrambling to the right. Look for someone with enough athletic ability to shadow Vick during this game, maybe Brian Orakpo or Rocky McKintosh.

The linebackers are going to have to play solid in pass coverage. They were exploited against Detroit with simple seam routes and crossing patterns, so I fully expect Eagles coach Andy Reid to call these easy pass plays to help Vick get comfortable while setting up the deep ball.

The secondary has a very tall task. The Eagles may have the best wide receiver tandem in the NFL in DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin These guys get up field quick, fast and in a hurry, and are very skilled at going after and getting to the ball. DeAngelo Hall and Carlos Rogers are physical cornerbacks. They can tackle, and if they are able to keep the receivers limited to shorter routes, tackling will be exactly what they have to do, especially on third downs. The safeties will need to be very active in coverage. If they show the corners that they are over the top in coverage, it may give the corners enough confidence to take a shot at making a play on the ball.

In the running game, McCoy is the new Brian Westbrook of this team. He is versatile: He can run the ball and also can catch very well. The defense cannot let McCoy get downhill or around the edges. This is the game the defensive front must clog up the line of scrimmage, or else. I look for safety LaRon Landry to offset the speed of Vick and McCoy in the running game.

If the Redskins can win the turnovers battle, get off the field on third downs, limit their mistakes, limit the big plays and stay consistent, they can win the battle on defense.
I give the edge to the Redskins

By LaVar Arrington  | November 10, 2010; 12:02 PM ET
 
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Comments

Thanks LaVar for stating the obvious: that the Redskins defense needs to improve its ability to play basic, fundamental defense at a professional level.

Posted by: EKruse | November 10, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Funny how Lavar talks about the defense "must be disciplined, staying in their up-field lanes." This is something he was never able to do in his playing days.

Everyone should know this series goes back and forth and this one will go to the Eagles. Look for a huge revenge game from Vick. Eagles 31 Skins 13.

Posted by: misteripi | November 10, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

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