The Redskins' defense fared much better than the offense did in the team's preseason opener.
A handful of the Burgundy and Gold's defensive starters were in on the Ravens' third drive of the game, which lasted 8-plays and went for 57-yards and a touchdown; but most of the first-team defense only participated on the first two drives of the game. Baltimore only gained 11 yards and went three-and-out on those series.
In total, the defense gave up 19 first down and 267 yards of offense. The Ravens were also only able to convert on 5 of their 15 third down attempts (33%) and average 3.4 yards per rush and 5.0 yards per pass attempt (4 yards per offensive play).
The primary issue for Greg Manusky's defensive unit was penalties. The defense committed 4 infractions for 61 yards, with each penalty resulting in a Baltimore first down. The Ravens scored on two of the three drives in which the defense was flagged.
Just as it was with the offense, the six snaps taken by the majority of the starting defense was a record low for the Redskins in Weeks 1-3 of the preseason (data dating back to 2012). Look for the starters on both sides of the ball to get much more work next week against the Green Bay Packers.
|Defensive Linemen (11 Players)|
|Jonathan Allen *||21||30%|
|Matt Ioannidis *||18||26%|
Allen's Debut- Jonathan Allen started the game and played 21 snaps, the third most by a defensive lineman in the game and the most by a Redskins' first rounder in a preseason opener in at least the last six years. He recorded his first NFL sack on a first-down Ryan Mallett scramble. Allen had the second highest PFF grade on the team (84.1).
Best of the Rest- Second-year UDFA Anthony Lanier led all defensive linemen with 30 snaps and recorded two tackles and a sack. Big-money free agent Terrell McClain made a solo tackle on a second-and-short run and registered a hit on Mallett. Phil Taylor stopped Terrance West for no gain on the goal line. Taylor also did some nice work as a pass rusher.
A.J. Francis made a tackle for a loss on a third-and-three play. Joey Mbu and Ziggy Hood both got on the board with an assisted tackle.
Brandon Banks, Ondre Pipkins, Matt Ioannidis and Stacy McGee were blanked on the stat sheet on 32 combined snaps. McGee's only contribution was an illegal formation penalty that wasted a rare Justin Tucker field goal miss and cost the defense seven points.
|Outside Linebackers (7 Players)|
|Ryan Anderson *||35||51%|
|Ryan Kerrigan *||3||4%|
Prove Me Wrong, Ryan!- I was pretty vocal about my belief that Ryan Anderson will have a tough time making a big impact in the NFL as an edge rusher because of his extremely limited athletic skills. His quest to prove me wrong got off to a good start on Thursday night. He started, made three tackles and tallied two pressures. The Redskins will need Anderson to step up and replace some of Trent Murphy's production.
R.I.P Trent Murphy- On Murphy's tenth and final snap of 2017 his leg got rolled up, and he tore both his ACL and MCL. Even though he was scheduled to miss a quarter of the season for a PED suspension, his loss is still a major blow to the Redskins' defense.
Murphy was not only one of the best pass rushers on the Redskins last season, he was one of the best in the NFL. In 2016, he ranked 18th in the league in sacks and 10th in pressures, despite only being ranked 45th in snaps among edge rushers.
He recorded one assisted tackle on a two-yard gain before he went down.
In-House Replacements?-Washington may only carry four outside backers on their final roster, but there is also a fair chance that they end up going with five of them. If they do, then that fifth player will likely be either Chris Carter or Lynden Trail.
Trail played on a game-high 53 non-special teams snaps and 66 total snaps (offensive + defensive + special teams snaps). He deflected a pass and made five total tackles, tied for the second most in the game.
Journeyman special teams ace Chris Carter also picked up the slack with 53 total snaps, 3 solo tackles and a TFL. Carter's 83.9 PFF grade ranked third on the team.
|Inside Linebackers (8 Players)|
|Mason Foster *||12||17%|
|Will Compton * C||6||9%|
Will Compton- Compton was named defensive captain and only played on six snaps, half the number of the snaps played by Brown and Foster. That would seem to indicate that he has the inside track for one of the starting spots, but that might change if Thursday's events are any indication of what the future holds. Compton did not record a stat and Foster and Brown shined, despite only receiving 12 snaps each.
Mason Foster- He got the start opposite Compton and made three solo and one assisted tackle (4 total). That's a tackle on 33% of his snaps! The Ravens gained a combined 16 yards with no first downs on those four plays.
Zach Brown- Free-agent addition Zach Brown is one of the fastest linebackers in the NFL and that speed was certainly on display against the Ravens. Brown also corralled four ball carriers (2 solo and 2 assists) on his 12 snaps. The Ravens did not move the chains and only totaled four yards on the plays in which Brown made a tackle. Brown's PFF grade of 82.9 ranked fifth on the team.
Reaggae Backer- Nico Marley is one of the smallest linebackers in the entire NFL, but few, if any, players made a bigger impact in this game than he did.
His 38 snaps led all linebackers in the game, and he played the second most snaps on the Redskins' defense. Marley stopped a run for no gain, made a key tackle on a Baltimore third-down reception, tallied a sack for a loss of five yards and registered another hit on the quarterback. He earned an 88.5 Pro Football Focus rating, the highest grade given to any player in the game. He was also awarded the PFF game ball.
More Young Guns- Rookie seventh-round pick Josh Harvey-Clemons led the game with six solo and total tackles and recorded a QB hit. Zach Vigil also made his presence known. On just 23 snaps he made five solo tackles (2nd most in the game). Pete Robertson assisted on one tackle.
|Cornerbacks (9 Players)|
|Kendall Fuller *||36||52%|
|Bashaud Breeland *||6||9%|
|Josh Norman *||3||4%|
Starting on the Outside- As expected, Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland were the starting outside corners for Washington. Neither player lined up in the slot, changed sides of the field (Norman left and Breeland right) was targeted or got on the stat sheet in their nine combined snaps.
Fuller House- Kendall Fuller got the start in the slot and led all Redskins' corners with 36 snaps. That's nice, but it was a bit discouraging to see him get all of that playing time and not record a single defensive statistic. He also was beat on a play that would have resulted in a big gain for the Ravens had the pass not been dropped.
Burnt Backups- Jeremiah McKinnon gave up a 33-yard touchdown to Tim White and the Baltimore offense. Josh Holsey and Tevin Homer were both flagged for pass interference penalties of over 20 yards. Homer also got beat by roster longshot C.J. Board for a gain of 36 yards, the longest offensive play in the game.
|Safeties (9 Players)|
|Su'a Cravens *||3||4%|
|D.J. Swearinger *||3||4%|
Quality Depth- Starters D.J. Swearinger and Su'a Cravens only played for one drive and three snaps, but it's nice to have some solid depth behind them in the form of Deshazor Everett and Will Blackmon. Everett and Blackmon played on 36 snaps and combined for three total tackles. Everett also deflected a pass on a ball that he should've picked off.
This duo didn't make any splash plays, but outside of a big missed tackle on Terrance West by Will Blackmon, they didn't give up any either, which is more than you can say for the vast majority of the safeties that have played for this franchise in the last decade. Things could get even more interesting for the safety depth chart when Montae Nicholson and DeAngelo Hall return from injury.
Fish & Friends-Fish Smithson led the safety corps with two solo tackles. Stefan McClure chipped in with a third-down sack on the Raven's first drive after halftime. Tim Scott recorded one assisted tackle.
ALL DEFENSIVE SNAPS
|Defense (44 Players)||Defense (continued)|
|Player||Snaps||Snap %||Player||Snaps||Snap %|
|Lynden Trail||53||77%||Stefan McClure||14||20|
|Nico Marley||38||55%||Ziggy Hood||14||20%|
|Chris Carter||37||54%||Terrell McClain||14||20%|
|Deshazor Everett||36||52%||Phil Taylor||12||17%|
|Will Blackmon||36||52%||Pete Robertson||12||17%|
|Kendall Fuller *||36||52%||Mason Foster *||12||17%|
|Ryan Anderson *||35||51%||Zach Brown||12||17%|
|Josh Harvey-Clemons||35||51%||Brandon Banks||11||16%|
|Fish Smithson||30||43%||Trent Murphy||10||14%|
|Anthony Lanier||30||43%||Bashaud Breeland *||6||9%|
|Joshua Holsey||28||41%||Ondre Pipkins||6||9%|
|Quinton Dunbar||25||36%||Will Compton * C||6||9%|
|Dashaun Philips||25||36%||Su'a Cravens *||3||4%|
|Joey Mbu||25||36%||D.J. Swearinger *||3||4%|
|Zach Vigil||23||33%||Ryan Kerrigan *||3||4%|
|Jonathan Allen *||21||30%||Josh Norman *||3||4%|
|Tevin Homer||20||29%||Montae Nicholson||DNP||N/A|
|A.J. Francis||19||28%||Junior Galette||DNP||N/A|
|Matt Ioannidis *||18||26%||Preston Smith||DNP||N/A|
|Jeremiah McKinnon||17||25%||Fabian Moreau||DNP||N/A|
|Tim Scott||16||23%||Martrell Spaight||DNP||N/A|
|Stacy McGee||15||22%||DeAngelo Hall||PUP||N/A|
|Special Teams (60 Players)||Special Teams (continued|
|Player||Snaps||Snap %||Player||Snaps||Snap %|
|Chris Carter||16||55%||Joey Mbu||4||14%|
|Deshazor Everett C||14||48%||Stefan McClure||4||14%|
|Josh Harvey-Clemons||14||48%||Tim Scott||4||14%|
|Zach Vigil||14||48%||E.J. Bibbs||3||10%|
|Lynden Trail||13||45%||Mason Foster *||3||10%|
|Jeremy Sprinkle||12||41%||Dustin Hopkins||3||10%|
|Joshua Holsey||11||38%||Matt Jones||3||10%|
|Pete Robertson||11||38%||Jonathan Allen *||2||7%|
|Nick Sundberg||10||34%||Brandon Banks||2||7%|
|Tress Way||10||34%||Will Compton *||2||7%|
|Ryan Anderson||9||31%||Ziggy Hood||2||7%|
|Mack Brown||9||31%||Anthony Lanier||2||7%|
|Robert Davis||9||31%||Stacy McGee||2||7%|
|Zach Pascal||9||31%||Terrell McClain||2||7%|
|Will Blackmon||8||28%||Josh Norman *||2||7%|
|Quinton Dunbar||8||28%||Samaje Perine||2||7%|
|Fish Smithson||8||28%||James Quick||2||7%|
|Matt Hazel||7||24%||Phil Taylor||2||7%|
|Dashaun Philips||7||24%||Kevin Bowen||1||3%|
|Brian Quick||7||24%||A.J. Francis||1||3%|
|Derek Carrier||6||21%||Kyle Kalis||1||3%|
||21%||Robert Kelley *||1||3%|
|Ryan Grant||5||17%||John Kling||1||3%|
|Manasseh Garner||5||17%||Arie Kouandijo||1||3%|
|Kenny Hillard||5||17%||Ty Nsekhe||1||3%|
|Matt Ioannidis||5||17%||Ronald Patrick||1||3%|
|Nico Marley||5||17%||Ondre Pipkins||1||3%|
|Jeremiah McKinnon||5||17%||Chase Roullier||1||3%|
|Bashaud Breeland *||4||14%||Chris Thompson||1||3%|
Dustin Hopkins- The Redskins seemingly never scored in this game, so we didn't get to see much of Dustin Hopkins. In fact, all three of his appearances in the game came in the first five minutes of the third quarter.
The only time that Washington did score came on the strength of a Hopkins 49-yard field goal. His two kickoffs in the game were each only returned for ten yards, and both kicks placed the Ravens with a starting field position inside their own 15-yard line.
Tress Way- Tress Way punted a whopping nine times in this game. That is a career high for Way, who had played in 62 regular and preseason contests prior to this one. His 414 punt yards were also a new career mark. However, I think this says a lot more about how horrible the Redskins' offense was than it does anything about Way.
The Ravens only returned two of the nine punts, and the only one that gained significant yardage was ended by a Tress Way tackle.
Coverage Teams- Deshazor Everett was named the special teams captain for the game. He led the Redskins in solo teams tackles with eight last year. His 14 specials snaps was second on the team behind Chris Carter's 16. However, neither player recorded a stat in this phase of the game.
Robert Davis, Zach Vigil and Tress Way were each credited with a solo tackle and Zach Pascal and Jeremiah McKinnon teamed up on a kickoff return tackle.
The Redskins did a good job in coverage with one exception. Keenan Reynolds returned a punt 44 yards to the Washington 33 and the Ravens scored on the ensuing play. Baltimore was held to 29 total yards on the Skins' other ten combined kickoffs and punts.
Kickoff Returns- Zach Pascal and Matt Hazel operated as the Redskins primary kickoff-return men in this contest. The duo combined for three returns and 59 yards (19.7 average), with Pascal going for 20 yards on each of his two returns and Hazel taking his lone attempt for 19.
Punt Returns- With Jamison Crowder sidelined, Will Blackmon and Kendall Fuller took over punt return duties. .
Blackmon was the starting returner and he did little to impress with the opportunity. He muffed one return, recovered it and ran it for eight yards. He also fair caught another punt.
Kendall Fuller fared better, with two returns for 20 yards, one of which he took for a gain of 17. That play was a bit of a surprise, considering that Fuller's nine returns in college went for a grand total of -2 yards.
*All statistics are courtesy of CSN Mid Atlantic, ESPN, NFL.com, NFL Gamebooks, Pro Football Focus, Pro Football Reference, Real Redskins and Redskins.com*