Chris Carter isn’t one of the bigger names when you talk about the Redskins pass rushers, but to this point he’s displayed versatility. Carter isn’t just a special teams contributor, as most thought of him heading into training camp—he’s shown to be a solid pass rusher as well. The first two weeks of the preseason, Carter has been able to apply pressure on multiple occasions as he’s tallied six combined tackles and 1.5 sacks.
This play was the highlight of Carter’s night against Green Bay, and a display of the exact definition of relentlessness. Despite being picked up on the stunt by Green Bay’s left guard, he’s able to stay alive in the play by spinning away from him, and close in on the quarterback. His effort to this point has kept him alive in many plays, and you need that mentality from every member of your front seven. When down in Richmond for training camp, Carter was one of the better pass rushers in 1-on-1’s, but it was really hard to pay close attention to him with Junior Galette and Jonathan Allen taking their reps too. Carter’s training camp has translated from practice into the games, and has easily created a lane to earn a roster spot...especially following the season-ending injury of Trent Murphy.
Joey Mbu showed why he was in with the starters occasionally during training camp. In the third quarter of Saturday night’s game, there was one drive which he basically stopped completely by himself. Mbu logged a tackle in run defense at the line of scrimmage, followed by a five-yard tackle for loss, and closed out the drive by sharing a sack with none other than Chris Carter.
The Redskins defense to this point has nine sacks in the first two games, with the front seven responsible for eight of those nine sacks. Preston Smith earned a sack in his first week back. It’s a mentality they are trying to embody...to never give up on a play, from Jonathan Allen’s sack in week one against Baltimore to what was mentioned with Chris Carter earlier.
Jim Tomsula’s tutelage has seemingly been paying off, and the squad’s effort each week has been on display. Phil Taylor, now fully healthy, has been a firm presence on the defensive line, and he recorded his first sack of the preseason against Green Bay. I expect Taylor to be the starting nose tackle when the Redskins play Cincinnati in the dress rehearsal game next week.
There’s no excuse for the Redskins mistakes against Aaron Rodgers and their starting offense, giving up that 15-play touchdown drive. Is the defensive line that much better than a year ago? Is there still a ways to go? Or are they simply somewhere in the middle?
The starting offense may have left many of you feeling dejected, and that’s fair, but let’s talk defense for a minute. Vote and comment with your thoughts.
Who of the front 7 has impressed you the most?
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