Washington Redskins, Def, Redskins
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2015 Outlook:Last updated on Aug-20-2015 by Shawn Childs
Washington will have three games against teams with high volume rushing attacks – NYJ and Dal (X 2). They face three bottom tier teams in the run game – Atl, TB, and Chi. The Redskins have six games against teams with upside passing games – NYG (x 2), Phi (X 2), NO, and Atl. Their only favorable matchups against the pass are the Rams, Bucs, and Jets.
The Redskins ended up 12th in rushing yards allowed (1,722) in 2014. They allowed 4.1 yards per rush, which is a slight edge over league average and Washington gave up 11 rushing TDs.
DE Jason Hatcher returns as their best pass rusher (eight sacks, six QB hits, and 26 QB hurries). Jason tends to be only league average against the run. He played his best ball in 2013 when he recorded 11 sacks. His downside is that he'll start the year at 33. DT Terrance Knighton will hopefully stabilize the middle of the line against the run. Knighton has been strong edge against the run in the last two years with serviceable value in the pass rush. He is a clear upgrade from the 2014 roster. DE Stephen Paea is coming off his best season in the league (five sacks, 11 QB hits, and 31 QB hurries) after being selected in the second round in 2011. His game has been a liability against the run as this point of his career, but he was much improved in this area over the last 11 games in 2014 with the Bears.
LB Ryan Kerrigan is the only impact player left on the Redskin roster with LB Brian Orakpo no longer on the team. Ryan is a great edge in the pass rush (13 sacks, nine QB hits, and 51 QB hurries) while being a below league average player against the run. Kerrigan was drafted in the first round in 2011. LB Keenan Robinson struggled against the run with weak value in the pass rush in his first season as starter. Keenan was drafted in the fourth round in 2012. LB Perry Riley had just about no value in the pass rush in 2014 while delivering only league average value against the run. LB Preston Smith is expected to move into the starting lineup after being selected in the second round in this year's draft. Smith should add to the run defense with speed being his biggest asset.
Washington Redskins LB Ryan Kerrigan
CB DeAngelo Hall missed most of 2014 with a torn Achilles. Hall is long time NFL veteran with over 10 years of experience, but he is reaching the end of his career. DeAngelo hasn't been anything but a league average player over his last couple of years and his recent injuries will drops his game down a notch further. CB Chris Culliver has a short NFL resume of being a starter while playing well in pass coverage in 2014 as a starter for the 49ers. S Dashon Goldson has really been a train wreck in his last two seasons in the league with high risk in the passing game. In 2012, Dashon played above the league average against the run and pass. S Duke Ihenacho is expected to have the inside track on the other starting safety job. He missed most of last season with a broken bone in his heel. In 2013 with the Broncos, Duke had no value in pass coverage.
Washington finished with 36 sacks last year while allowing the 24th most passing yards (249.4). They only had seven interceptions with opposing QBs tossing 35 TDs.
This defense really lacks playmakers in the secondary with risk across the board against the pass. The Redskins will need growth in their pass rush to limit the window in the passing game. I expect reasonable play against the run. Overall, Washington has much more risk than reward on defense. At best, they will be an occasional matchup play against a weak offense.
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