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Posted at 1:08 PM ET, 11/25/2010

Redskins-Vikings keys to the game: special teams

By LaVar Arrington

The special teams continue to be a bright spot for the Redskins. However they did have a costly penalty in the Titans game that led to a re-punting of the ball and a return for a touchdown. Graham Gano also had a big miss on the day but redeemed himself with a game-winning field goal in overtime.

This weekend against the Vikings the game plan is the same. This Vikings team is pretty much the same type of team as the Titans, so keep it simple.

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

They must get back on track and cover punts and kickoffs well and not give up any big plays like last weekend that would create momentum for Brett Favre and the Vikes. This will be very important. If the Redskins cover well and make Favre do the work, he seems to be more inconsistent than ever this season, so I say test the odds that he will make mistakes. Percy Harvin is a big time play maker and if he is back returning kicks, coverage will play a major part in this game.

Blocking well on returns needs to be a priority. If the blocking is there Banks with his steadily improving knee should be more effective returning the ball. The offense did better last week but still needs help and the return teams can do just that.

Special teams needs to continue to 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. This won't change. Turnovers help dictate the outcome of games.

Again, field goals are a must. If the Redskins attempt one Gano needs to be money. There cannot be any missed opportunities if the Redskins are to beat the Vikings. I said this for the Tennessee game and it was how the Redskins pulled out the 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 their phase of the game. I believe they can so I'm giving the Redskin's special teams the edge.

By LaVar Arrington  | November 25, 2010; 1:08 PM ET
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