While the Redskins rank near the bottom of the league in yards allowed per game, they are not simply laying down and allowing opposing offenses to have their way with them. For some reason, football fans and talking heads tend to rate defenses based only on how many yards they surrender each week. I propose that we examine another stat to explain this anomaly.
The Redskin's offense isn't reminding anyone of the 1999 Rams, and the defense ranks dead last in total yards per game; however, the Redskins find themselves at 3-2 and tied atop the standings in the NFC East. So what gives?
Lets look at a different list:
Kansas City- 14.2
Baltimore – 14.4
Chicago – 14.8
NY Jets- 16.2
Green Bay- 17.8
This list is comprised of the top-10 defenses in the NFL according to points surrendered per game. According to this metric, the Redskins come in at #9. This stat is much more agreeable with what we see on the field every Sunday. While Jim Haslett's new 3-4 defense is not going to smother opponents, it does find a way to step up and keep opponents from getting into the endzone. It seems just about every game you can expect to witness a gutsy goal-line stand from the heavy-hitters in burgundy and gold. Sure, the defense may have whiffed on a tackle and given up a big play to get pinned against their end zone, but when their backs are against the wall they come out swinging more often than not. And that, my friends, is a defense you can hang your hat on.