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Posted at 11:43 AM ET, 11/19/2010

Redskins-Titans keys to the game: special teams

By LaVar Arrington

The special teams have been a bright spot in coverage and returns for the Redskins pretty much the whole season. Fresh off of knee surgery, the little big man Brandon Banks still played Monday night and returned the ball as well as expected.

Here's what the teams must do to win their phase of the game.

They must continue to cover punts and kickoffs well and not give up any big plays that would create momentum for Tennessee. This will be very important. If the Redskins cover well and make Vince Young do the heavy lifting moving the ball, he hasn't done very well in pressure situations. So coverage could play a major part in helping get Young off of his game.

They must also block well on returns. If the blocking is there, Banks will find the holes to run through. This offense needs help and it's possible the return teams can do just that. I look for Banks to feel much better this week and take full advantage of his quickness and speed.

Special teams should also focus on trying to create turnovers. This, too, can help put the offense in a better position to score, while giving the defense more time to rest on the sideline.

Field goals are a must. If the Redskins attempt one Graham Gano needs to be money. There cannot be any missed opportunities if the Redskins are to go into Tennessee and pull out a victory.

So here's the run down: Block, return, cover, try to force turnovers and make the field goals. If the Redskins can execute all of these things I believe that they will win this phase of the game. I believe they can, so I'm giving the Redskins special teams the edge.

By LaVar Arrington  | November 19, 2010; 11:43 AM ET
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Putting Banks on the field last week was irresponsible on the part of Shanahan, perhaps even a desperation move. He was one week post-knee surgery ON A WET FIELD, for pete's sake! And when the game was totally out of hand, he was still in there. We won't know if he did more lasting damage to the knee for awhile, but it's a sign that Shanahan ISN'T thinking long term, but rather thinks he can somehow fix the team WITHOUT rebuilding, and win now. Ain't gonna happen.

Posted by: preacherskid | November 20, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

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