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Snap Judgments: Week 1- Redskins at Texans- DEFENSE

Looking beyond the box score to see how the Redskins utilized their defensive players in Week 1

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Be honest. You didn't expect it to be that much of a drag.

Sure, you've curbed your enthusiasm and lowered your expectations for this team after being humbled last year. New regime and new weapons, and still you've "stayed medium." You pointed to the struggles in the pre-season to justify your expectations. You made an off-season prediction somewhere in the range of 6-8 wins for your Redskins.  You spent one or two nights looking at the list of safety prospects in the 2015 draft.

If this is you then I like you. But this mask you've been wearing was peeled off on Sunday. Admit it, even you were surprised that the offense managed to put up only one score on Sunday. If there is any silver lining in the loss it has to be the play of the defense. The Texans are not a dynamic offense but holding any team to just 10 offensive points (punt block excluded) is note-worthy.

Here's the snap counts for the defense against the Texans:

***Data disclaimer: This is my own count after watching the game tape. I have left out all snaps in 'Victory formation.' Also, plays aborted by pre-snap penalties are also not included.

Defense took 57 snaps against them.

25 snaps resulted in passes

32 snaps resulted in rushes

Down Number of Snaps
1st 23
2nd 19
3rd 15

  • We'll track this all year but forcing 15 3rd downs out of 23 sets of downs is a pretty high percentage. Basically, 65% of possessions resulted in 3rd down attempts.
  • However, of the 15 3rd downs, 7 were 3rd-1 or 3rd-2 to go.
  • As a result, the Redskins gave up 8/15 3rd down conversions (most reporting sites will say that's 7/14 but I've included a neutral zone infraction play that would have resulted in a 1st down had that penalty been declined).
Personnel Packages

Package Number of Snaps
Base 3-4 36
Nickel 2-4-5 14
Nickel 'Psycho' 1-5-5 7

  • The Nickel 'Psycho' package was showcased on 6 3rd-downs and 1 2nd-20. All but 1 was 6 yards to go or more.
  • The package used Jason Hatcher as its single defensive lineman. He lined up at RE, LE, and NT on different occasions.
  • The 'Psycho' package utilizes Trent Murphy as a roaming ILB. He dropped in coverage 3 times and blitzed from the MLB, LILB, and RILB spots on the other 4 occasions.
  • E.J. Biggers is the 5th DB utilized in this package. Exclusively played in the slot.

Player Snap Notes

  • Bashaud Breeland exclusively spelled Bacarri Rambo as the 4th DB in all 7 of his snaps.
  • Breeland was inserted in low pass probability downs (4 1st-10s, 2 2nd-shorts, and 1 3rd-1), however 6 of those 7 plays did, in fact, result in passes.
  • Clifton Geathers and Kedric Golston saw more snaps than expected due to injuries to Cofield, Hatcher, and Baker.
Kerrigan and Orakpo Utilization

Ryan Kerrigan Brian Orakpo
Total Plays 54 48
Total Pass Plays (out of 25) 25 21
Total Pass Rushes 23 16

News flash: Kerrigan is the primary pass rusher (if you didn't already know).