Each week during the 2014 season, Redskins.com's Stephen Czarda will highlight ONE key component to each week's matchup, brought to you by FedEx One Rate. This week's "One To Watch" is the matchup between the Redskins' linebackers and the Titans' No. 1 tight end, Delanie Walker.
While tight ends like Antonio Gates, Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski get attention for their pass-catching abilities, the tight end currently with the most receiving yards in the NFL this season is the Tennessee Titans' Delanie Walker.
Through six games, the Central Missouri State product has 421 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 29 receptions.
His best game statistically this season came in Week 2 against the Dallas Cowboys, when he hauled in 10 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown.
Against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, Walker caught three passes for 57 yards.
Last season – his first in Nashville – Walker recorded career highs in receptions (60), receiving yards (571) and touchdowns (6).
If the Washington Redskins want to slow the nine-year veteran, they must find ways to prevent him from being in position to get the ball in his hands.
Last week against the Arizona Cardinals, the Redskins held their top two tight ends (Rob Housler and John Carlson) to six catches for 29 yards.
For the season, the Redskins have given up four touchdowns to tight ends.
Linebackers Ryan Kerrigan, Brian Orakpo and Keenan Robinson must be prepared for the athletic tight end's versatility, while also making sure he doesn't muscle them in short-yardage situations.
Kerrigan believes one possible key lies in finding ways to the quarterback.
"If we can get some pressure up front, then that can force quarterbacks to make throws," he said. "Maybe that'll allow our DBs to step in the passing lane and make an interception, or we can get there, force a fumble.
"We've got to take it upon ourselves up front to make those big plays happen."