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Snap Judgments: Week 12- Redskins @ 49ers- DEFENSE

Looking beyond the box score to see how the Redskins utilized their defensive players in Week 12

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Redskins losing to 49ers on the road was not at all surprising; however, what was not expected, was the defense putting forth such a strong effort after two extremely lackluster showings against the Vikings and Buccaneers.  The Washington defense had a season-high three takeaways, was penalized only once and held the 49ers to 17 points.  The offense, however, is performing at near epically inept levels and was only able to produce 77 net passing yards and three points off of the defense's three turnovers.

The defense did allow the 49ers to score the game winning touchdown with three with minutes left, but unlike the last few weeks, I don't believe that there's much of an argument to be made that the defense was one of the major problem areas in this game.  They did their part and most of the time when a defensive unit does this well the offense and/or special teams does enough to help pull out a win.  As Rich Tandler pointed out: since the start of the 2013 season, a team has held their opponents to 17 or fewer points while also forcing 3 turnovers on 91 occasions, and those teams are 87-4 (96%).  So don't blame Jim Haslett and the defense for this loss; it should fall squarely on the shoulders of the offense and Robert Griffin.

61 Snaps were run against the Defense

32 Passing Snaps (52%)

29 Rushing Snaps (48%)

  • The defense was on the field for 13 drives.  They allowed the 49er's offense to score on three of them (TD, FG, TD) and created takeaways on another three drives (Fumble, Interception, Fumble).  The 13th and final drive consisted of two kneel-down plays by Colin Kaepernick.
  • This was the fourth time since the start of the 2013 season that the Redskins have forced 3 turnovers.  Somehow they managed to lose three of those games.
  • The lone defensive penalty called against the Redskins' defense was a 15-yard unnecessary roughness infraction against Ryan Clark.


Down # of Plays Short (1-3 yards)
Medium (4-6 yards) Long (7+ yards)
1st 25 0 1 24
2nd 20 3 3 14
3rd 13 5 3 5
4th 2 2 0 0
  • Fourteen of the 49ers' twenty 2nd down snaps (70%) were from seven or more yards to go.
  • The defense forced a 3rd down on over half of the 25 sets of downs.  That's a very respectable rate of 52%.
  • Unfortunately, almost 40% of those 3rd downs were of the 3rd-and-short variety.
  • The 49ers' offense converted on five of their thirteen 3rd down attempts (38%) and both of their two 4th down attempts (100%).  The combined 3rd and 4th down conversion rate of 47% negated a lot the positive things that the Redskins' defense did on 1st and 2nd down.

Defensive Snaps

Name (*-denotes Starter) Position Snaps Snap %
Keenan Robinson * ILB 61 100%
Perry Riley * ILB 61 100%
Brandon Meriweather * SS 60 98%
Bashaud Breeland * CB 60 98%
Ryan Clark * FS 58 95%
Ryan Kerrigan * OLB 57 93%
Trent Murphy * OLB 56 92%
Barry Cofield * NT 41 67%
Jarvis Jenkins * DE 38 62%
Jason Hatcher * DE 38 62%
Tracy Porter * CB 36 59%
Stephen Bowen DE 23 38%
Trenton Robinson FS 18 30%
Kedric Golston DE 17 28%
Phillip Thomas S 15 25%
Greg Ducre CB 11 18%
Frank Kearse DE 10 16%
Everette Brown OLB 7 11%
Akeem Davis S 2 3%
E.J. Biggers CB 2 3%
Will Compton ILB 0 0%
Adam Hayward ILB 0 0%
David Amerson CB Inactive N/A
Chris Baker DL Inactive N/A
  • Philip Thomas (15 snaps) and Greg Ducre (11 snaps) recorded their first defensive snaps of the season.
  • Barry Cofield (41 snaps) and Tracy Porter (36 snaps) also saw season-high snap totals in this game.  Both players returned from injury last week.
  • Frank Kearse, on the other hand, only recorded ten snaps - his second lowest total of the season.  The returns of Barry Cofield and Stephen Bowen have clearly come at the expense of Kearse's playing time, as this is the 2nd week in a row that he has been in on ten or fewer snaps.

Special Teams Snaps

Name Position Snaps Snap %
Everette Brown OLB 21 78%
Will Compton ILB 21 78%
Darrel Young FB 18 67%
Trenton Robinson FS 18 67%
Akeem Davis S 18 67%
Trent Murphy OLB 14 52%
Philip Thomas S 14 52%
Silas Redd RB 13 48%
Frank Kearse DE 12 44%
Adam Hawyward ILB 12 44%
Niles Paul TE 11 41%
Nick Sunberg LS 11 41%
Tress Way P 11 41%
Logan Paulsen TE 9 33%
Kedric Golston DE 9 33%
Greg Ducre CB 8 30%
Brandon Merriweather S 7 26%
Kai Forbath K 7 26%
Andre Roberts WR 6 22%
Ryan Grant WR 6 22%
Santana Moss WR 6 22%
Perry Riley ILB 6 22%
Bashaud Breeland CB 5 19%
Chris Chester G 3 11%
Shawn Lauvao G 3 11%
Tom Compton T 3 11%
Morgan Moses T 3 11%
DeSean Jackson WR 3 11%
Keenan Robinson ILB 3 11%
Ryan Kerrigan OLB 3 11%
Barry Cofield NT 3 11%
Jason Hatcher DE 3 11%
Josh LeRibeus G 3 11%
Roy Helu RB 2 7%
E.J. Biggers CB 1 4%

**Statistics derived from ESPN, NFL GSIS, Pro Football Focus and Pro Football Reference**