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Posted at 11:19 AM ET, 11/18/2010

Redskins-Titans keys to the game: defense

By LaVar Arrington

After the last game I think it's safe to say it's truly gut check time for the Redskins in general and for the defensive unit in particular. The defense took it on the chin against the Eagles on Monday night, and with the quick turnaround to travel and play a good Tennessee team on Sunday the defense will have no time to lick its wounds. Instead the Redskins must forget about Monday. Better yet, they need to be extremely upset about Monday and practice upset, prepare upset, and then go play four quarters of football upset.

This week is not a rebound game. The Titans are pushing toward the playoffs and won't be willing to just give the Redskins this game. They will have to take it. Here's what the defense must do.

The Titans have arguably the most dangerous running back in the game right now in Chris Johnson. He is a terror on the field. He's quick, fast, strong and very elusive. The Redskins will have to keep him in check to have a fighting chance. They allowed a player that I have never heard of (Jerome Harrison) rush for more than 100 yards on Monday. Well, everyone knows Chris Johnson's name and he is the real deal. Stop Johnson and I believe the Titans offense will struggle.

The same goes for Titans quarterback Vince Young. I'm not sure how effective he will be running the ball due to his battle with that injured knee, but it's safe to assume he will be mobile enough to hurt the Redskins with his legs if given the opportunity. Force him to pass and pressure him.

The pass-rush pressure must be better this weekend. If they force Young into quick decisions, it favors the Redskins defense. But if they don't and he has the time Mike Vick had, it will lead to the same result. If Young has too much time he will have the luxury of deciding if he wants to run or pass. It also will give the receivers time to get open and that's a recipe for disaster. The Redskins must not allow Young to find a rhythm with passing and running. He's just as capable as Vick, depending on his health.

The Titans will have the services of Randy Moss this weekend. I'm not sure which Randy Moss will show up, but even the unhappy one can torch a secondary. So the cornerbacks and safeties need to be on the same page about how to cover him. Outside of Moss the Titans don't boast a very intimidating receiving core, so the Redskins secondary should match up well and have some success -- if the front eight gets adequate pressure on the QB.

So here it is, if the defense can stop Chris Johnson, rattle and pressure Vince Young and contain Randy Moss, I believe the Redskins defense will win their phase of the game. Question is, can they bounce back and do it?

I don't know that answer but I do know this is a prideful group of guys, so I'm giving the Redskins defense the edge.

By LaVar Arrington  | November 18, 2010; 11:19 AM ET
 
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Comments

Dear LaVar,
If you need someone to help with your columns, give me a call. Judging from this one you could use some help. You never heard of Jerome Harrison? He did something last year that Chris Johnson has not done - he ran for 286 yards in a game vs the Chiefs. Only Adrian Peterson and Jamal Lewis have run for more. CJ does not have a game in the top 20 all time. I was watching the Browns/Chiefs game last year because Harrison and Jamaal Charles (154 yds rushing) were putting on a show. I am a football junkie so let me what I can do to help.

Posted by: hghsolo | November 18, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Lavar, thanks for expanding your thoughts - they're getting better! But...

"He's just as capable as Vick". It might be time for a med check! Vince has potential - so far this year, Vick is a BEAST. Vince turns the ball over (though no Cutler), Vick doesn't. Yep - they're similar - just as Basset hounds and greyhounds are both dogs in the scent-hunter category!

Posted by: fr3dmars | November 18, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

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