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Inside the Numbers: the Redskins' Defense

The Skins' defense ranks sixth overall, fifth against the run and 11th against the pass. They are eighth in points allowed per game. There are some areas of concern, however. The Skins rank 30th in sacks-per-pass-play (they have just 10 total sacks) and 24th in percentage of passes intercepted (too many drops in this department).

The Redskins have just eight takeaways (only Detroit and Seattle, with two wins between them, have fewer), so even with them protecting the football very well, the turnover ratio is down to plus-2, which puts them middle of the pack. Joey Porter, who has replaced Jason Taylor in Miami, has 10½ sacks, more than the entire Skins team. Now that is a very different scheme that allows for more free up-field pass rushing, but still it's startling (Pittsburgh's 3-4 scheme has already produced two LBs -- Harrison and Woodley -- with at least 7½ sacks.The stunting and overloading is going to test this offensive line regardless of whether Chris Samuels can play. The Steelers rank second in the NFL in sacks per pass play).

The Skins have gone two complete games without creating a turnover (I still can't figure out how Jason Taylor didn't fall on that fumble in the first quarter Sunday). They have just one takeaway in the past four games, and two in the past five. The Skins have fumbled five times in the past three games.

Another thing that caught me by surprise - the Skins have been outscored 41-20 in the first quarter.

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 28, 2008; 9:00 AM ET
 
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Comments

Greg,

Depending on were you are staying while you are here, there are metro buses that will take you to the stadium. if you are staying in DC you will have to take the metro train to Landover and then ride the bus to the stadium.

Posted by: Flounder21 | October 28, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

We do not need the rookies to play that much that is a good thing, and if we have an injury then Thomas will get in and get alot more balls.

We are the only team in the league with three receivers that have over 30 catches, stop talking about the draft you dumba$$.

Posted by: Flounder21 | October 28, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I still think jasno needs to go do some sit ups. He is a pudgey ba$tard.

Posted by: TonyButterFingersHomo1 | October 28, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

JLC it is great that Joey Porter has 10 and a half but what is Miami record thats right its 3-4.

And Pittsburgh has like 29 sacks that is great as well, whats there record thats right they are 5-2 a game behind us do to there bye.

But thanks for the info.

Posted by: Flounder21 | October 28, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

I don't like that 41-20 thingamabob.

I hope we spend a significant part of the off season looking at how to upgrade the D, and due to our lack of picks and the fact that I expect a late draft spot we are gonna have to get a few FA's. What we have now IMHO is a group of guys with a great blend of experience(oldies) and talent(youth), but we lack 2-3 big impact guys that will just distroy an offence's game plan in any particular area of the game.

Right now the team is OK at doing everything but not great at anything, and I would love to see us be a team taht shuts offences down at a particular level. The Giants were known for a deadly Line, the Eagles when they were good had the best 4 man secondary in the NFL, and look at the LB's of the old Steelers and Ravens. We need Blanch to say, I want to shut the other guy down at this level every time, and get the guys to do it. All our players on that side are good guys but I'd have no problem replacing a good guy with a better guy.

Posted by: alex35332 | October 28, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

All those facts clearly show that Jasno hates the Redskins.

Posted by: Gweez | October 28, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

... if you are staying in DC you will have to take the metro train to Landover and then ride the bus to the stadium.

Posted by: Flounder21

I think those were gone. The Federal Government ban public transit companies like Metro from doing it and said teams have to go with private companies just before the regular season started, so Snyder could not get a company for it.

I like to call it dumbest law passed by the government this year, as it is resulting in increasing drunk driving and polution due to loss of mass transet just as a kickback to private buisness. But you can still walk that distance.

Posted by: alex35332 | October 28, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

++

bms, I'm an out of towner, is the Metro the bus, or subway line??

Thanks....

Posted by: BeantownGreg | October 28, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse ++

it's the "subway" then for $5 you take a shuttle from the station, covers you round trip...where you coming from? I just recommend the metro cause of the traffic on the beltway before and after, can't stand the 2 hours it takes...

Posted by: bms46and2 | October 28, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Greg - If you're driving in, there are cash lots available where you don't need a parking pass. I believe they usually charge $20. If it's not too cold and you're early enough you can find a cash lot not too far from the stadium and walk over. It's a good walk but doable.

Posted by: executivesource | October 28, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: executivesource | October 28, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Hate schmate, they're numbers... Some good some bad. What's wrong with pointing out shortcomings? Isn't that what we're here for? to mull over 'what's next..' ?!

I've actually been VERY cognizent of the 1st quarter disparity, to a point of wondering if that's actually a strategy. Could we be giving the opponent rope in the first half to then take advantage in the second. It's seemed that way, hasn't it?

Posted by: DikShuttle | October 28, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Seeing Moss grab his leg in the Lions game terrified me, and still does! We have 3 players on our team we can't afford to lose, CP, JC, and Tanna. Kelly and Thomas we're supposed to change that, but once again, we are screwed if Moss misses time or he isn't himself. I actually hope they rest him against Pitt, I'd rather have him for the next 7 games after the bye then for 1 game against Pitt, and I hope Alexander is getting plenty of reps this week, getting CP killed against Pitt could derail the season as well. I hope we see lots of max protect and a lot of quick passes to Cooley, ARE, and Thrash or Thomas and keep pressure off our Oline. I think its a win if we can get to the bye with nobody hurt more than they are now, plus, the Steelers secondary is their weakness, we beat this team by throwing, and throwing, and throwing some more.

Posted by: zjfr2 | October 28, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Dik,
I dunno if Zorn is been HC long enough to develop such a briliant plan.

Posted by: alex35332 | October 28, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I am not sure if that is Redskins tradition or not, but seems to me that we always start slow in 1Q and start chipping points and put it to the scoreboard. Even against Lions we are 3-10 by end of 1st quarter. We can have some great long drive in 1Q but not translating to touchdown somehow. Also, it seems that we always cannot put a game away, with Lions, at end of 4Q, we are only 8pts ahead and depend on the D to stop. Also, if we look at the stat in Lions game, its great but it don't translate to touch down that much, mostly field goals.
I love Redskins and our new coaching, i have hope with this group. Just hope my worry is just mine only.

Posted by: eseeweb | October 28, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Anyone think we will try and have ARE throw a TD against his old team? Personally I would love us to give him a hat trick day, Pass, Catch and Run in a TD.

Posted by: alex35332 | October 28, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

+++Typical urine in the cornflakes type of post from JLC towards Cerratto. It's not good enough to be 6-2 at this point WITHOUT the contributions of the 2nd rounders? Is it possible that they aren't contributing because the immediate need isn't dire and Moss/Randle-El/Cooley are playing at a high level?+++--jaldrichl

JLC knows he’s hit it on the head when he brings out all the Vinny apologists, frequently clueless. When Jason spouts opinions, they attack that. When he cites facts, as he did in this excellent piece they call him a pessimist.

As I posted yesterday, only an idiot would draft three second rounders at the same position solely as “future investments.” I also noted that Avery alone had more than twice as much yardage IN ONE GAME that Vinny’s trio have caught all season long combined.

Instead, there’s thse specious arguments like why everyone should shut up and just be thankful how good the other guys the skins already had at receiver.

Yeah, Moss is a great receiver. He’s also a great receiver with chronic hamstring isues. Guess what? He has one now.

When Davis came in Zorn said he hope to sometimes use two TE sets. Well the other TE has been ancient warhorse Yoder, not Vinny’s draftee Davis.

The ‘skins have been forced to use James Thrash as third WR in three and four WR sets because none of Vinny’s draftees could beat him out.

The facts are simple. The Redskins are winning despite Vinny’s draft. Much of the success belongs to Joe Gibbs drafted players, and Jim Zorn’s coaching.

And yes, credit to Vinny and danny for Zorn, whether or not they planned it.


Posted by: TheCork | October 28, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Just goes to show you how overrated sack numbers are. And I'm not surprised we've been outscored in the first quarter, for some reason, we're a slow starting team. That's just who we are.

Posted by: Gfunk | October 28, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Just man up and ask Cyn to be reassign. I hope we continue to win because it really eats at you and it shows in your lame ass posts. 6-2 and ranked 6th is all I got to say. They must be doing something right.

JM220

Posted by: icetotalpackage | October 28, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

agreed cork, but don't point out facts up here, it will just get you angry wait and see your an idiot to expect anything from 2nd round picks in the first 37 years of their career responses.

Posted by: zjfr2 | October 28, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

The Skins' defense ranks sixth overall, fifth against the run and 11th against the pass.

By Jason La Canfora | October 28, 2008; 9:00 AM ET

Sixth overall, and you're worried about being outscored in the first quarter? That's a problem with the offense, not the defense.

Once again, this completely lacks context. Who are the offenses that the 'Skins have faced:

Saints: #1 Offense
Giants: #3 Offense
Cardinals: #5 Offense
Cowboys: #6 Offense
Eagles: #8 Offesne
Rams: #28 Offense
Lions: #29 Offense
Browns: #30 Offense

So, the 'Skins have faced five of the top 10 offenses in the league, plus three of the worst. They've probably put up their numbers against tougher opposition than any of the teams ahead of them. If you adjusted these numbers for the difficulty of the schedules, 'Skins would probably be in the top five.

We're number six in the league with a 6-2 record. But, let's all wring our hands like Alex because we're outscored in the first quarter and because we're "good at everything". Got to get some Free Agents!

The coaches and players are doing a great job. Jasno, not so much.


Posted by: talent_evaluator | October 28, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

+++We do not need the rookies to play that much that is a good thing, and if we have an injury then Thomas will get in and get alot more balls.

We are the only team in the league with three receivers that have over 30 catches, stop talking about the draft you dumba$$.

Posted by: Flounder21+++

Just when I post about clueless Vinny apologists when another one comes along.

Gees flounder, instead of saying "stop talking about the draft dumba$$" why not just revert to "Make the bad man stop, Mommy"?

And who cares if YOU think Thomas will blossom if Moss goes down?

Jason listed a slew of receivers who've helped their teams after being drafted in 2008. Vinny drafted three receivers. NONE have helped the skins.

Heck, Thomas almost tackled Moss before his 80 yard punt return even started.

I think the three top Redskin receivers are just terrific. But the numbers--7 catches for 61 yard COMBINED all season long--by three second round receivers are an embarrassment.

After all, all three were beaten out by Todd Yoder and James Thrash

Posted by: TheCork | October 28, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

It's funny, because if you look at it, none of the "big" receivers drafted this year are doing squat. But to reiterate my point, resigning Caldwell and another veteran WR would of been the smartest move instead of investing 3 2nd rounders for WR's. The Davis pick still irks me to no end though, because that was more of a want pick than need pick. And with Santanta being injury prone, why not have a proven veteran that could step in instead of a rookie who is still all sorts of confused?

Posted by: ga8085 | October 28, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

... if you are staying in DC you will have to take the metro train to Landover and then ride the bus to the stadium.

Posted by: Flounder21

I think those were gone. The Federal Government ban public transit companies like Metro from doing it and said teams have to go with private companies just before the regular season started, so Snyder could not get a company for it.

I like to call it dumbest law passed by the government this year, as it is resulting in increasing drunk driving and polution due to loss of mass transet just as a kickback to private buisness. But you can still walk that distance.

Posted by: alex35332 | October 28, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse


The Buses from the Landover stop have been discontinued.

But you can still take the metro's Blue line to Morgan Blvd. From there it's about a mile walk to the stadium (not really too bad at all). It's pretty much a straight shot to the stadium.

There are some private shuttles that run, but when we went for the Cards game, they were charging $10 and they drop you off at the far edge of the parking lot, which is only a little over half the walk.

Posted by: fbchick | October 28, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Look - Jasno likes BALTIMORE... he's a RAVEN. His coverage of us should be unbiased or even a little slanted against. He's not a REDSKIN... he's not a ThREAdskin.

Maybe he doesn't "tow the party LINE", maybe he's not "everyone's ALL AMERICAN", maybe he does hold "EYE CONTACT" a little too "LONG" while discussing sports, so he doesn't "BATHE REGULARLY"...

wait a minute, how did Chris Farley get in here...??

Posted by: DikShuttle | October 28, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

"Seeing Moss grab his leg in the Lions game terrified me, and still does! We have 3 players on our team we can't afford to lose, CP, JC, and Tanna..."

i agree but also london fletcher is probably the single most valuable player on the team and if we lost carlos or landry with the injuries in the secondary we'd be toast!

CP is my favorite player but if we lost him and had a healthy betts it would not be nearly as bad as losing fletch. i'd say santana 2nd most valuable at this point.

Posted by: gregegeg | October 28, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

You can't look at this D and not invision 1-2 playmakers turning it into a top 3 D. If ST was still here we probably would be. I think if he were here we would be 8-0.

Posted by: alex35332 | October 28, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

resigning Caldwell and another veteran WR would of been the smartest move

Posted by: ga8085 | October 28, 2008 9:51 AM |

Caldwell? Now there's a brilliant idea. They offered Caldwell a contract, but he chose to sign with the Rams. The Rams cut him. He's out of football today, so we can still get him back.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | October 28, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

lol.at jlc...the giants score 13,the eagles 14,and the lions 10.that's 37 of your 40 points.....how about pointing out the skins outscored their opponents in five of their eight games?

Posted by: jumbo5383 | October 28, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

All of you guys defending Cerrato for his brilliant three-receiver draft strategy are missing the big picture: there's a cost to spending 3 picks on one position.

If you look at the roster, they have 23 players who'll be over 30 years of age at the start of next season -- the age when players start tumbling downhill. That 23 includes four of the five OL, three of the four DL, two starting linebackers, two starting defensive backs, and both starting receivers. The draft is intended to replenish that supply, and the Skins have failed to build a pipeline of young players who can step in when those 23 fall.

Here's the list:

Ethan Albright 38
Todd Collins 38
Pete Kendall 36
Jason Fabini 35
Jason Taylor 34
Shawn Springs 34
James Thrash 34
London Fletcher 34
Mike Sellers 34
Randy Thomas 33
Jon Jansen 33
Cornelius Griffin 32
Chris Samuels 32
Casey Rabach 31
Marcus Washington 32
Todd Yoder 31
Khary Campbell 30
Fred Smoot 30
Andre Carter 30
Santana Moss 30
Antwaan Randle El 30
Ladell Betts 30
Demetric Evans 30

Just for comparison, the Cowboys have 8 players over 30. The Eagles have 9.

The Giants have 15 players over age 30 by next year, including Toomer and Burress. But most of those 15 are roleplayers, not starters -- like their 42-year-old punter. Only 3 are starters.

The Skins have 12 starters over 30. Dangerous.

Posted by: diesel_skins_ | October 28, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

resigning Caldwell and another veteran WR would of been the smartest move

Posted by: ga8085 | October 28, 2008 9:51 AM |

And who was your "other veteran WR?" People were hot to go after DJ Hackett. We made him an offer, but he signed with Carolina. He's having a big year for them: only played in the first five games and had 10 receptions for 131 yards. He's missed three games with a knee injury, and at this point seems to have lost his job to Dwayne Jarrett.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | October 28, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

The D is just fine. We have a D-end who had a very unusual injury that is costing him his health and productivity. We have another D-end who is notorious for beign a second half of the season player. We have an injued DT in Griffin that has been rotated in and out, so we have had guys step in and fill those voides. JT will get healthy after the bye and come back and retain his status as a pass rusher. Carter will follow his typical trend and be stronger in the seond half then the first and our younger guys will continue to learn how to play their position at an NFL level and will probably be more productive in the second half as well. I think a little to much is made out of our lack of sacks, we have gotten great pressure on the QB and if they keep stats for D-line defletions i imagine we would be in a high percentile for that. Think the Defense has kept us on top in these close games, i think in the second half of the season they gell and beome an even better D.

Posted by: Stu27 | October 28, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

So, the 'Skins have faced five of the top 10 offenses in the league, plus three of the worst. They've probably put up their numbers against tougher opposition than any of the teams ahead of them. If you adjusted these numbers for the difficulty of the schedules, 'Skins would probably be in the top five.

We're number six in the league with a 6-2 record. But, let's all wring our hands like Alex because we're outscored in the first quarter and because we're "good at everything". Got to get some Free Agents!

The coaches and players are doing a great job. Jasno, not so much.


Posted by: talent_evaluator | October 28, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

WOW.. so much hate for one speaking truth.

If you haven't paid attention, the Skins are very much a slow starting team who happens to finish very STRONG as pointed out between the last two posts.

Most teams we've played tend to put most of their points on the board in the first half, with the majority coming in that first quarter.

Pay attention to our defense, generally the other team will move the ball down the field pretty well that first drive or two before our defense locks it up and starts shutting them down.

Our offense has only score a TD in the first quarter twice ALL season. But at least they are starting to move the ball better on the opening drive through this last four games, then they were during the first four.

Now in the last three games, we actually evened up on first quarter points 10-10, so yes...most of those 41 points came against the better offenses, but it's still a trend none the less.

Of course, I've always bought the notion that the Sacks stats is way over rated in measuring a defense. Our defense has always been weak in the sacks stat, but yet in the years we've been in the top 10, no one could really argue that the lack of sacks ever lost us a game. Three and out a team is really what matters more here, whether it's done with a sack or not.

Now turnovers is a much bigger deal. Turnovers give the ball back to our offense, sometimes on a nice short field. Turnovers deflats other teams. Turnovers change momentum. We NEED more turnovers going into the post season.

Posted by: fbchick | October 28, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I think our biggest problem late in the year will be not being able to rush the passer, the good qb's will find a way to step up and hit receivers down field especially if paper bones/muscles Springs is not healthy.

Posted by: joeboggs | October 28, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

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