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Snap Judgments: Week 3- Redskins at Eagles- DEFENSE

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Looking beyond the boxscore to see how the Redskins utilized their players in Week 3

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Keep your finger on that empty set of downs against Philadelphia in their territory, we may look back at it and wish for what could have been.

Like silver lining? Then you'll love the takeaways from Week 3.

  • The Redskins held LeSean McCoy to a 1.1 yard per carry average. The worst of his career (minimum 10 rush attempts).
  • They put up 75 points in two weeks, that's the most since the awe-inspiring 1999 season when Brad Johnson and Stephen Davis started the season with 85 points.
  • The defense is ranked 4th in the league and the offense ranked 2nd.
  • The defense has forced more punts (18) than any other team in the league.

The list goes on, but guess what you don't see mentioned? SPECIAL TEAMS! The grass seemed to be greener on the other side of Danny Smith but the Redskins clearly saw a mirage. Sure, there was the momentum killing kickoff return on Philadelphia's first possession and Kai Forbath missing the chip-shot 33-yarder, but two other special teams gaffes had me yelling at my TV:

  • You'd guess the kickoff after the return TD would be a clean one, right? NOPE. The Redskins went offsides, had to re-kick, and ended up giving the Eagles the ball at their own 38.
  • I refuse to forget that Darren Sproles almost took a punt return in the 3rd quarter to the house, if not for a Will Compton shoestring tackle.

This element of the game needs to be corrected NOW. If you are going to stay with Forbath as your PK then at least have Tress Way line-drive and direct his kicks to either corner, they've had success with that every time they've done it this year.Two games out of three spoiled by special teams mistakes. That's two too many.

Here's the snap count for the defense against the Eagles:

***Disclaimer: This is my own count. Plays aborted by pre-snap penalties are included while plays with accepted in-play penalties are included.

Defense took 73 snaps against them

47 snaps resulted in passes

24 snaps resulted in runs

2 snaps were kneel-downs.

Down Number of Snaps
1st 30
2nd 27
3rd 12

  • After two weeks of forcing 65% of the Texans and Jaguars' possessions into 3rd down, the Redskins only forced 40% against the Eagles.
  • The Eagles converted on 5 of 12 3rd downs (1 on a penalty).
Personnel Packages

Package Number of Snaps
Base 3-4 49
Nickel 'Psycho' 1-5-5 19
Nickel 2-4-5 5

  • The gameplan was: Stop LeSean McCoy. They did that effectively, but Nick Foles took advantage. Haslett only brought 5 or more rushers on 19 of the 47 pass snaps. Last week, he brought 5 or more on 25 of 40 snaps.
  • Even with defensive line issues (Baker ejection, Hatcher and Kearse injury scares) the Redskins still used their Base 3-4 more than they have in any other game this year.
  • The 2-4-5 front has been less utilized as the weeks have gone by. Jarvis Jenkins and Jason Hatcher are the two lineman with EJ Biggers as the 5th DB.
  • The Eagles scored 2 of their 3 offensive touchdowns against the 2-4-5 front which was only used 5 times.
Defensive Snaps

Snap Percentage Snaps Name
100% 73 David Amerson, Ryan Clark, Perry Riley, Keenan Robinson
99% 72 Ryan Kerrigan
97% 71 Brandon Meriweather
85% 62 Brian Orakpo
67% 49 Jarvis Jenkins
56% 41 Jason Hatcher
55% 40 Bashaud Breeland
48% 35 DeAngelo Hall
42% 31 Trent Murphy
40% 29 Frank Kearse, Chris Baker
38% 28 Clifton Geathers
33% 24 EJ Biggers


Player Notes
  • Bashaud Breeland took over for DeAngelo Hall as the LCB when he went down with his Achilles injury. Before that Breeland only received 2 snaps and was on pace to see the least amount of action time he's seen this year.
  • Clifton Geathers saw the largest increase in playing time from 20% in Week 2 to 38% in Week 3. He was used as a spell for Hatcher and Jenkins as a defensive end in the 1st half and took over completely for Hatcher in the 4th quarter.
  • With Brandon Meriweather back EJ Biggers saw a significant decrease in his playing time from 46% in Week 2 to 33% in Week 3. Meriweather often shifted down from the SS spot to man the slot WR. With Tracy Porter due back at some point, it will be interesting to see if Biggers (who was responsible for a crucial PI) will continue to see his time decreased.
  • Only Perry Riley and David Amerson have played in every single defensive snap to this point.