It is universally recognized that football is the ultimate team sport. In order for a team to find success in the NFL, every aspect of the team must be connected and on a string.
This also includes the special teams, even though they are sometimes taken for granted. Even though special teams are not flashy or talked about often, they can be very crucial to the success of a team.
The Redskins special teams group left a lot to be desired last year. The game that stands out the most is the game against the Cincinnati Bengals, in which kicker Dustin Hopkins missed a game-tying field goal that resulted in a Redskins tie. This tie ended up being an Achilles heel for the Redskins towards the end of the season, putting them behind the eight ball in the playoff hunt.
Special teams are also crucial in the field position game. A great return can give the offense an enormous deal of confidence. This is also true for a punt team that is able to pin the opposition inside the ten yard line and give the defense a chance to create a turnover or safety.
While the Redskins’ special teams wasn’t absolutely abysmal, it was sub-par and it will need to improve dramatically if the Redskins want to compete with their new and improved competition. With the Redskins losing some key pieces this offseason, they must be great on special teams to help the team stay competitive.
Jamison Crowder was one of the minimal bright spots for the Redskins in special teams. He had a couple of electrifying returns that helped change the game. If he is able to duplicate his efforts from last year, the Redskins will definitely be in the conversation for the NFC East crown.
The Redskins as a whole need to play much better this season if they want to have any chance of being a force in the NFC. With teams like the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants having great offseasons, the Redskins will have their work cut out for them. The tall task of winning the NFC East again will be easier, however, if the special teams is able to contribute in a positive manner rather than getting in their own way.
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