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Snap Judgments: Week 14- Rams @ Redskins- DEFENSE

Looking beyond the box score to see how the Redskins utilized their defensive players in Week 14

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The four major North American sports leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL) consist of a combined 122 teams, and over the course of the last two years the Washington Redskins have been the worst of those 122 teams.  I say again, since 2013 the Washington Redskins have been the worst team in all professional North American sports.  Just take a look the table below, which lists the winning percentages for all 122 teams since the start of their 2013 seasons and see for yourself.  Please do keep in mind that this is an extremely large table and that there is an entire article full of snap data and analysis following it.

**All records in this table are up to date as of 12/7/2014 (i.e. Monday's results are not included).  The table is sorted first by winning % and then alphabetically by team abbreviation.**

2013-2014 Rank Team League Winning %
1 DEN NFL .793
2 NWE NFL .759
3 SEA NFL .759
4 SAS NBA .755
5 LAC NBA .703
6 ARI NFL .690
7 IND NFL .690
8 HOU NBA .686
9 POR NBA .686
10 GSW NBA .673
11 CIN NFL .672
12 PHI NFL .655
13 SFO NFL .655
14 MEM NBA .647
15 OKC NBA .647
16 ANA NHL .625
17 DAL NBA .625
18 GNB NFL .621
19 KAN NFL .621
20 IND NBA .618
21 MIA NBA .618
22 TOR NBA .618
23 PIT NHL .613
24 BOS NHL .612
25 STL NHL .602
26 CHI NBA .588
27 CHI NHL .588
28 DAL NFL .586
29 SDG NFL .586
30 PHO NBA .583
31 STL MLB .577
32 LAD MLB .574
33 SJS NHL .570
34 CAR NFL .569
35 OAK MLB .568
36 DET MLB .565
37 WAS NBA .564
38 PIT MLB .562
39 TBL NHL .562
40 WSN MLB .562
41 BAL MLB .559
42 BAL NFL .552
43 DET NFL .552
44 NOR NFL .552
45 PIT NFL .552
46 CLE MLB .546
47 COL NHL .544
48 MTL NHL .544
49 LAA MLB .543
50 LAK NHL .543
51 ATL MLB .540
52 KCR MLB .540
53 MIN NHL .527
54 DET NHL .524
55 NYR NHL .524
56 NYY MLB .522
57 NJN NBA .520
58 TBR MLB .520
59 BOS MLB .519
60 NSH NHL .519
61 MIA NFL .517
62 CIN MLB .512
63 SFG MLB .506
64 ATL NBA .505
65 SEA MLB .488
66 VAN NHL .488
67 TEX MLB .486
68 PHI NHL .485
69 TOR MLB .485
70 CBJ NHL .483
71 DAL NHL .481
72 MIL MLB .481
73 TOR NHL .475
74 NYM MLB .472
75 SDP MLB .472
76 CHA NBA .471
77 WSH NHL .470
78 NYI NHL .468
79 WPG NHL .464
80 OTT NHL .458
81 CGY NHL .454
82 PHI MLB .451
83 ARI MLB .448
84 BUF NFL .448
85 CHI NFL .448
86 STL NFL .448
87 NJD NHL .446
88 PHX NHL .446
89 DEN NBA .441
90 CLE NBA .440
91 MIN NBA .436
92 COL MLB .432
93 CAR NHL .430
94 CHC MLB .429
95 MIA MLB .429
96 NOH NBA .426
97 CHW MLB .420
98 MIN MLB .420
99 FLA NHL .397
100 MIN NFL .397
101 NYK NBA .394
102 CLE NFL .379
103 NYG NFL .379
104 HOU MLB .373
105 SAC NBA .373
106 EDM NHL .357
107 NYJ NFL .345
108 ATL NFL .328
109 BOS NBA .320
110 DET NBA .311
111 LAL NBA .311
112 HOU NFL .310
113 TEN NFL .310
114 ORL NBA .305
115 BUF NHL .295
116 UTA NBA .294
117 MIL NBA .250
118 JAX NFL .207
119 OAK NFL .207
120 TAM NFL .207
121 WAS NFL .207
122 PHI NBA .206

Alright, so they don't technicality have the 122nd ranked winning percentage, and they are tied with three other NFL teams for the second worst mark; but do you really think that the Washington Redskins are in better shape than any of the five other teams that reside in the bottom 10th percentile of this list?  Are any of them still sinking like the Redskins instead of rising, even if the rise is only occurring ever so slightly?  I'm not even talking about as it pertains to the level of organizational dysfunctionality, an area in which Dan Snyder's team seems to reign supreme in perpetuity.

Each of the NFL teams either is or likely will be (Tampa Bay) more stable at the most important position in pro sports, quarterback, than the Redskins are currently or can reasonably hope to be in the near future.  The Milwaukee Bucks have some young talent and they are .500 in 2014; their 11 wins this season are just four shy of the 15 total that they had all of last year.  The 76ers do lie one one-thousandth of a percentage point lower than the Redskins, but even they have more a more focused and defined organizational identity than what we have here in Washington.  Sure, that identity is basically centered around cheating the system by continually tanking in order to acquire very young and talented players, but it's something and it might actually work eventually.  I just wish that the Redskins could get something positive out being so horrible the way that every other team does, but they can't even do that right.  They can't do it because they are in perpetual state of denial about where their organization stands in relation the rest of America's sports teams.  Well, Dan and Bruce, if you need any help with that, then scroll up a little bit and see where your team really stands.

62 Snaps were run against the Defense

31 Passing Snaps (50%)

31 Rushing Snaps (50%)

  • The Redskins' defense was on the field for ten drives in Sunday's game against the Rams.  The 10th and final drive of the game consisted of a single kneel-down play.  St. Louis either scored or missed a field goal on five of their other nine drives (2 TDs, 1 FG and 2 missed FGs).  Tavon Austin did the Redskins' defense a favor by scoring on a 78-yard punt return touchdown late in the third quarter, one less drive for them to be humiliated on. 
  • Washington defenders were flagged twice in the game.  Ryan Clark was called for a somewhat questionable personal foul (defenseless receiver) on the defense's first drive, and a would-be sack by Frank Kearse was negated by an obvious face-mask infraction on his part.


Down # of Plays Short (1-3 yards) Med (4-6 yards) Long (7+ yards)
1st 26 1 1 24
2nd 18 2 3 13
3rd 12 2 1 9
4th 0 0 0 0
  • The defense forced third downs on 12 of the Ram's 26 offensive series (46%).  This is no great accomplishment, but it's certainly an improvement over last week's rate of 31%.
  • One thing that this game had in common with the Indianapolis game was that the defense did not allow many short yardage situations on second and third down.  The Rams were left with seven or more yards to go on 72% of their second-down and 75% of their third down plays.
  • And just like last week, the Redskins let their early-down defensive efforts completely go to waste.  The Rams converted on 50% of their overall third-down attempts (6 for 12) and 44% of their third-and-long plays (4 for 9).  The Washington offense has been faced with 79 such third-and-long (7 or more yards to go) situations this season.  They have only converted on ten of them (12.7% conversion rate).  That means that the Rams matched 40% of the Redskins' third-and-long conversion output on the season in just this game alone; the Rams, who boast a passing offensive triumvirate of Shaun Hill, Kenny Britt and Jared Cook.

Defensive Snaps

Name (*-denotes starter) Position Snaps Snap %
Will Compton * ILB 62 100%
Perry Riley * ILB 62 100%
David Amerson * CB 61 98%
Bashaud Breeland * CB 61 98%
Ryan Clark * FS 61 98%
Ryan Kerrigan * OLB 60 97%
Phillip Thomas * SS 60 97%
Trent Murphy * OLB 59 95%
Chris Baker * DE 41 66%
Jarvis Jenkins * DE 37 60%
Stephen Bowen DE 31 50%
Barry Cofield NT 30 48%
Jason Hatcher * DE 24 39%
E.J. Biggers CB 21 34%
Frank Kearse DE 5 8%
Everette Brown OLB 5 8%
Steve Beauharnais ILB 1 2%
Trenton Robinson FS 1 2%
Greg Ducre CB 0 0%
Kenny Okoro CB 0 0%
Gabe Miller LB 0 0%
Akeem Davis S 0 0%
Kedric Golston DE Inactive N/A
Keenan Robinson ILB Inactive N/A
Brandon Merriweather SS Inactive N/A
  • Will Compton got the start for the injured Keenan Robinson (knee).  Compton recorded season-high 62 defensive snaps.  He also led the team in defensive and total snaps taken against the Rams.
  • Compton wasn't the only reserve to start in this one, as Philip Thomas filled in at strong safety for Brandon Merriweather (toe).  Thomas also saw a career-high in snaps.  It was his first NFL start.
  • Chris Baker has been bothered by a SC joint sprain that he suffered in the Week 11 game against the Buccaneers, and as a result he had not played on more than 19 snaps in a game since.  His 41 snaps against the Rams represent his second highest total of the season, seemingly indicating that his recovery is nearly complete.  Baker recorded a sack and two hurries in the game.
  • On the other end of the spectrum we have Jason Hatcher, whose snap numbers have steadily decreased over the last month.  His snap progression in those games is as follows: 44 snaps, 36 snaps, 38 snaps and finally a season-low 27 snaps against St. Louis.  Like Baker, he is dealing with an injury (knee) that is likely the culprit for his decreased playing time.  Should we really be surprised this is happening to a 32-year-old defensive lineman?  Nah.  At least they didn't pay him too much.....oh wait, nevermind.

Special Teams Snaps

Name Position Snaps Snap %
Steve Beauharnais ILB 17 74%
Silas Redd RB 16 70%
Everette Brown OLB 16 70%
Darrel Young FB 14 61%
Frank Kearse DE 14 61%
Trent Murphy OLB 13 57%
Trenton Robinson FS 13 57%
Akeem Davis S 12 52%
Will Compton ILB 12 52%
David Amerson CB 10 43%
Andre Roberts WR 9 39%
Niles Paul TE 8 35%
Gabe Miller LB 8 35%
Roy Helu RB 7 30%
Logan Paulsen TE 7 30%
Tress Way P 7 30%
Nick Sunberg LS 7 30%
Perry Riley ILB 6 26%
Bashaud Breeland CB 6 26%
Ryan Kerrigan OLB 6 26%
Phillip Thomas SS 6 26%
Stephen Bowen DE 6 26%
Jason Hatcher DE 6 26%
Ryan Grant WR 5 22%
Kenny Okoro CB 5 22%
Barry Cofield NT 5 22%
E.J. Biggers CB 5 22%
Greg Ducre CB 4 17%
Kai Forbath K 1 4%
Jarvis Jenkins DE 1 4%
  • Typically more players get special teams snaps in a NFL game.  However, in this case offensive linemen were not needed to block, because the Redskins never attempted an extra point or a field goal.  Kai Forbath didn't see much action for the same reason.  His lone snap was on the second-half kickoff.
  • For the second week in a row newcomer, Steve Beauharnais, led the special teams unit in snaps.
  • Last week Beauharnais was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster and played immediately.  Before him it was Greg Ducre.  This week it was Kenny Oroko's turn, when the undrafted free agent corner out of Wake Forest made his NFL debut against Rams.  Okoro did not record a defensive snap, but was in on five special teams plays.

Records and Rankings

  • Jay Gruden lost his 7th coach's challenge.  He is now 1-8 on the season.
  • Tavon Austin's punt return touchdown was nothing new for Dan Snyder's Redskins.  In fact, they have allowed 14 punt return TDs since Snyder bought the team in 1999, worst in the NFL.  Washington is also tied for second worst for the most combined punt and kick return TDs allowed since 1999, with 21 of them.  The worst?  That would be none other than the St. Louis Rams. 
  • Not only have the Redskins allowed far too many return touchdowns, they also have not scored many of their own.  Their 10 combined punt and kick return touchdowns is tied for 5th worst since 1999.  It should then be no surprise that the Redskins return TD differential of -11 is the second worst in the NFL, behind you guessed it, the St. Louis Rams.  This really speaks to the lack of depth that this team has maintained since Snyder took over.  Special teams units are mainly comprised of guys at the bottom of a team's roster, and not having quality depth means that the bottom of your roster will be extremely poor, ergo you special teams play will be poor.
  • Ryan Kerrigan has been one of the only bright spots for the defense this year.  Kerrigan notched two more sacks against the Rams, bringing his season total to a career-high 11.5 QB sacks.  His 36 career sacks rank 6th all-time among all Redskins players.  Kerrigan's .59 sacks per game ranks 2nd in franchise history behind Dexter Manley (.73). 
  • Kerrigan also recorded the 14th forced fumble of his career, which ranks second in franchise history according to PFR.  He now sits only three forced fumbles behind all-time franchise leader Charles Mann (17 FF).  Kerrigan is only 26 and has played in 102 fewer games (61 games) than Mann did (163 games).
  • In Sunday's game, the Redskins allowed Rams' tight ends to catch 5 passes for 72 yards and 2 touchdowns.  H-back Cory Harkey also scored a 2-point conversion.  This is not the first time that I've brought up the Redskins' loose coverage of tight ends and it likely won't be the last, because once again they are one of the league's worst teams at defending the tight end position.
Was vs. TE Receptions Yards Y/R TD
2014 Totals 58 726 12.52 11
2014 Rank 16th 24th 27th 29th

**Statistics derived from Advanced Football Analytics, ESPN, NFL GSIS, Pro Football Focus, Sports Reference and Rotoworld**