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Hey so how about that defense?

Defense is 3rd in points allowed per game, 9th in defensive completion %, tied for first, with the Colts, in yards per attempted pass (5.6), 8th in PYPG (196.2), numbah one in 1st down % (25.4%), and 1st in opposing QB rating. Which we'll need against Tom Brady as he is having the best season in NFL history. That is not hyperbole.

Not so bad on the ground either: 5th in RYPG (80.7), 4th in YPC (3.5), 6th in 1st down % (19.4), and, most impressively contrasted against what happened to us last year, we've given up fewer 20+ yard rushes than any team in the national football league and zero rushes over 40+ yards, though so have a lot of other teams. But none of that matters first in the practical sense that I'd trade stats in a heartbeat for Ws and also because many of the traditional statistics measured above aren't collecting the kind of data they should be. YPG rushing or passing doesn't account for attempts. And even though YPA and YPC do, they don't factor in strength of the opposing team's offense.

Football Outsiders do and announced today that Your Washington Redskins are the strongest defense in the league per their DVOA metric. See for yourself: at -24.3% we are ahead of the 2nd place Titans. Our pass defense is 2nd (to only the Titans) and our rush defense is 4th, behind the Steelers, Ravens, and Vikings.

Against particular receivers we're 22nd in the league against the #1 but 1st and 2nd against the #2 and "Other WR" respectively. Against tight ends we're 14th and against running backs we're 13th. The defensive line has performed well to very well in different areas. Our sack percentage is 6.7% which is just barely above the league average of 6.5%, and our Stuffed Rank, explained...

Percentage of runs that result in (on first down) zero or negative gain or (on second through fourth down) less than one-fourth the yards needed for another first down. Ranked from most stuffs (#1) to fewest stuffs (#32).
... is 22%, bad for 20th in the league. Howevah, we're 3rd in the league in allowing the fewest 10+ yard rushes per carry (8%) and 7th in Power Success with 55%. Adjusted line yards close us out at 14th, with 4.12. We do our best work on defense fighting against mid-gut runs and runs behind the right tackle and are worse fighting their left side.

All of which is to say that even though we're big dogs heading into this weekend's game, in at least one meaningful sense this could shape up to be a battle of behemoths; their 2nd ranked DVOA offense against our 1st ranked DVOA defense. Then again, our 26th ranked offense also gets to play against their 5th ranked defense.

PS: Per Post Game Heroes we're also giving up the fewest yards per pass play, which is apparently an important stat. I'll take their word for it.