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Washington Redskins First Quarter Grades: Defense Gets an A

It's still early in this 2015 season and this defense has had its ups and downs but this latest performance against the Philadelphia Eagles is one reason why they deserve an A.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Redskins defense has a lot of new pieces in the Scot McCloughan era and they have more time to gel. So far in the first month of the season, the Redskins are fourth in total defense (288 YPG), second in rushing yards per game (78 YPG), ninth in passing yards per game (210 YPG) and ninth in sacks (nine total sacks).

When has a Washington Redskins defense ever been this good a month into the season? It's been a while.

They get an A for the first quarter of this season due to the numbers they've been able to put up and in watching the games, anyone can clearly tell that the unit's front seven is much improved, especially the defensive line. The front four alone was able to get pressure on Sam Bradford and push around the Eagles offensive line. They got to Bradford five times and held the Eagles to 33 percent (4/12) on third down which helped the Redskins' cause overall.

This defense's ability to stop the run this season is what stands out to me the most because the running game more than anything I would say is the bread and butter of an offense even though the NFL is a passing league. No team can pass the ball without having a running game to back it up. The Redskins defense, with the level of pressure it's able to force, should be able to continue on the path that it's on.

The Redskins will have a true test for their secondary with the Atlanta Falcons on the road. Julio Jones is on a tear and could prove to be a tough matchup. The unit will need to be ready for him and the rest of Atlanta's wide receiving corps.

A few sacks on Matt Ryan wouldn't be a bad thing either.