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Snap Judgments: Week 7- Redskins vs. Titans- DEFENSE

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Looking beyond the boxscore to see how the Redskins utilized their defensive players in Week 7

Patrick McDermott

Be honest. You expected Kai Forbath to miss that kick.

It's just been that kind of season, and a 2-point, last minute, home win against a struggling Titans team just doesn't make it feel any better. Now we've learned that Brian Orakpo has another torn pectoral muscle and is done for the season. As unpopular as this view is, I think Orakpo is getting a lot of undue criticism. Yes, his season ends with just 1 sack. Yes, he's missed multiple tackles. But, he's in the top 6 among OLB's in stops and in the top 13 in QB hurries. Support him or not, if you're watching the film you can see him flash from time to time, especially in backside rush pursuit.

With that said, Orakpo is all but done in Washington. And he should be. Maybe this injury drops his asking price significantly enough for him to be retained, but the days of counting on him are numbered. The fanbase has been preparing for life without Rak since last year, but the bigger issue is rationalization. With injuries to Barry Cofield, DeAngelo Hall, and Brian Orakpo, the scary scenario is that the front office could sit back in March and say "If only we were healthy." Health is an issue but discipline and talent are the problems. If EJ Biggers were released tomorrow, would any other team pick him up? Seriously, ask yourself the same question with Brandon Meriweather.

I apologize if the tone of this post seems odd or out of place coming off a win, but I refuse to let the defense off the hook when Charlie Whitehurst and the Tennessee Titans handed them the game. They had multiple drops, used all 3 first-half timeouts in the first quarter (preventing them from challenging two questionable calls in the 2nd quarter) and no team had more offensive penalties than the Titans did this week (6). There's a fine line between hope and optimism. A win keeps hope alive but the evidence is far from optimistic

The Redskins took 56 Defensive Snaps.

34 resulted in passes

22 resulted in rushes

Down Number of Snaps
1st 21
2nd 17
3rd 11
4th 1

*Snaps on penalty plays were left off

  • The defense forced 3rd down on 11 of 21 sets of downs. That is a strong 52%.
  • The Titans had an average of 8 yards to go on their 3rd down tries.
  • The Redskins held the Titans to a 27% 3rd-down conversion rate (2 out of 11).
Personnel Packages

Package Number of Snaps
Nickel 2-4-5 31
Base 3-4 17
Nickel 'Psycho' 1-5-5 8
  • The Redskins utilized their 2-4-5 package over 55% of the time. That is the highest percentage of usage of that package in a game this year.
  • Seems that the gameplan was to stop Delanie Walker and his pass catching ability. They matched up CB EJ Biggers with him from time to time.
  • Haslett dialed up 5 or more rushers on only 8 of 34 pass plays.
  • Both Titans touchdowns came against the 2-4-5 front.
  • Haslett added a wrinkle to his 'Psycho' 1-5-5 front on 3-and-6 in the 4th quarter. He stood Hatcher up and used an 'amoeba' front where the entire 'line' floated around. The play had Biggers and Meriweather overloading a blitz from the left while Hatcher, Kerrigan, and Jackson Jeffcoat came up the middle. The play brought heavy, quick pressure but Whitehurst was able to get out of the pocket and complete a pass, short of the first down.

Defensive Snaps

Snap Percentage Number of Snaps Name
100% 56 Will Compton, Keenan Robinson, David Amerson, Bashaud Breeland, Ryan Clark, Brandon Meriweather
91% 51 Ryan Kerrigan
70% 39 EJ Biggers
64% 36 Jason Hatcher
61% 34 Brian Orakpo
59% 33 Jarvis Jenkins
54% 30 Trent Murphy
41% 23 Chris Baker
20% 11 Frank Kearse
16% 9 Kedric Golston, Stephen Bowen
7% 4 Adam Hayward
2% 1 Jackson Jeffcoat

Player Notes
  • 6 of the Redskins' 11 defensive starters played 100% of the snaps. It's not outside the realm of possibility for a 3-4 defense to have their two ILBs and 4 DBs play the entire game, however, it is still quite rare.
  • Frank Kearse played in only 11 snaps (20%), a significant drop off for him after playing in about 30% last week and 50% two weeks ago. However, Kearse seems to be the preferred complimentary lineman to Jason Hatcher in passing situations. 10 of his 11 plays came with 10 or more yards to go and the 1 left was on 3-and-6.
  • Part of the reason for Kearse's decrease in playing time was the return of Stephen Bowen. 7 of the 9 plays Bowen was in on resulted in rushes. However, Bowen was not ready for this game at all. I usually don't comment on production in Snap Judgments but Bowen had no push and found himself on the ground far too many times. Wouldn't surprise me if Clifton Geathers gets his role back next week.
  • Jackson Jeffcoat saw his first action of the year with 1 snap in the previously mentioned 'psycho' package. He was used in Trent Murphy's normal role (blitzing MLB) instead of Adam Hayward after Murphy took over at ROLB for the injured Brian Orakpo.
  • Speaking of Adam Hayward, he was in on 4 plays. 3 of which had him in coverage and 1 blitzing up the middle with Hatcher.
  • Trent Murphy will now be counted on to take over for Orakpo. Coach Gruden says Murphy and Kerrigan will rotate the ROLB and LOLB positions so we will track that next week. Also, keep an eye out for Jackson Jeffcoat's utilization next week since Orakpo's coverage responsibilities may go to him.