Following the week eight loss to the Dallas Cowboys, the Redskins were missing one of their top two corners for each of the past three weeks. The absence of either Josh Norman or Bashaud Breeland was filled by third-year cornerback Quinton Dunbar. Dunbar was surprisingly solid in a starting role accumulating 12 tackles and one interception during that period. Although Dunbar proved to be a solid fill-in player, the Redskins are in desperate need of their best talent seeing the field the remainder of the season. Breeland and Norman are two guys that bring not only a sense of stability for the safeties, but for the coaches as well.
Montae Nicholson was injured during the loss to Dallas and has been limited in practice like Breeland. The presence of Nicholson to go along with Norman and Breeland tremendously helps the entire defensive unit. If I had to guess, D.J. Swearinger has a higher comfort level with some guys as opposed to others, and this allows each level of the secondary to play a particular way against a look by the opposing offense. Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky and assistant coach Jim Tomsula has a defensive line unit that is missing key players due to injuries, and have first-year Redskins via free agency that are underperforming. Manusky should find this easier to implement pressure schemes against an offense knowing the back end will be able to hold up.
The Seattle Seahawks have struggled in recent years protecting Russell Wilson and even with the newly acquired Duane Brown, will continue to do so throughout the season. Even while acknowledging the Redskins struggle yearly defending against mobile quarterbacks, the defense will have an opportunity this week to win a big game for Washington, keeping their playoff hopes alive for another week. It is a given that mistakes happen, so it is paramount that Washington limits the number of errors made, but also eliminate them when facing critical situations against Seattle. Playmakers are desperately needed, and this is a game where the defensive unit will have to set the offense up in good field position, if not score for them.
Hold your head up, the season is not over. How are you feeling going in the the matchup against Seattle? Can the beefed up secondary help turn the tide? Comment and let us know your thoughts.