Snaps- On 68 defensive snaps, 19 of Greg Manusky's 26 defenders got on the field. Of the 7 defensive players that did see time on that side of the ball, three were inactive (Anthony Lanier, Josh Harvey-Clemons and Joshua Holsey) and 4 only played on special teams (Will Compton, Martrell Spaight, Fabian Moreau and Stefan McClure).
Junior Galette, Ryan Anderson, Chris Carter, Quinton Dunbar and Montae Nicholson combined for 32 snaps, while the other 14 defensive players all took at least 28 snaps each.
The starting inside linebackers and secondary players only combined to miss 6 snaps.
Quarterback Pressure- The Washington pass rush knocked down Carson Wentz 9 times, which is tied for their third highest number of QB hits since the start of last season. The problem was that not nearly enough of those hits resulted in sacks. Washington defenders were only able to register sacks on 2 of those 9 hits. The resulting 22% ratio is the second lowest sack-to-hit ratio since the beginning of last season.
On a positive note, this was 25th straight game in which the defense has recorded at least one sack. That is the longest streak in the NFC and the second longest such streak in the NFL (Bengals have a sack in 30 straight contests).
Third-Down Defense- One of the Redskins' primary goals this offseason was to improve defensively on third down. So far, the steps they took to improve in this area have not taken. The Eagles converted on 8 of their 14 third down attempts (57% conversion rate). That's pretty bad considering that the Redskins' defense ranked dead last in the NFL last year with a 46.6% conversion rate allowed on the money down. Guess what? The Redskins 31st in this category so far this season.
To top it off, five of those conversions coming on plays that needed to gain 7 or more yards to move the sticks (12, 10, 10, 10 and 7 yards).
Tight End Defense- Remember last year when the Redskins allowed 154 targets, 114 receptions, 1,178 yards and 5 touchdowns allowed to tight ends? Well, we might be seeing more of the same this season. We certainly did on Sunday, when Zach Ertz and Brent Celek combined for 10 targets (2nd most in the NFL), 9 receptions (most), 7 first downs (most) and 104 yards (2nd most).
Rushing Defense-It wasn't all bad for the Redskins' revamped defense. The Eagles were only to rush 58 yards, 1 first down and no touchdowns on 24 carries (2.4-yard average). The last time Washington only allowed one first down on the ground was in Week 12 of the 2015 season against the Giants. It is also only the fourth time that the defense has accomplished that feat since 2012. The yards-per-carry mark of 2.4 allowed by the defense was the team's second best showing in that statistic since the aforementioned 2015 Week 12 win against the Giants.
Turnovers- The defense also forced a pair of turnovers, including an interception that was returned for a touchdown. That was the first defensive touchdown for Washington since Week 16 of the 2015 season.
|Defensive Linemen (6 Players)|
|Jonathan Allen *||42||62%|
|Stacy McGee *||31||46%|
|Ziggy Hood *||29||43%|
Jonathan Allen- In his NFL debut, the first rounder started and led the defensive line in snaps (42) and tackles (4). The Eagles did not move the chains on any of Allen's 4 tackles. He was also credited with a hit and 2 hurries on Carson Wentz.
Matt Ioannidis- The second year Temple Owl saw the field 33 times and on just under half of the defensive snaps. Ioannidis teamed with Ryan Kerrigan to register a half sack on a loss of 7 yards. The sack was the first of his 11-game career. He added a second hit on Wentz, making him one of the three defenders on the team with 2 QB knockdowns.
Pro Football Focus was not impressed with his performance, though. His 43.2 grade ranked 90th out of 100 qualifying D-linemen in Week 1 (worst grade by a Redskins DL).
Stacy McGee- Conversely, new starter Stacy McGee earned a 78.0, which was the highest mark by a Washington defensive lineman. McGee recorded a solo tackle, a QB hit and a pass defense. His PD tipped the ball in the air and set up Ryan Kerrigan's crucial pick six.
Ziggy Hood- Hood got the start, but failed to record any traditional stats over the course of his 28 snaps. His 43.2 PFF grade ranks 81st out of 100 interior defensive linemen.
Terrell McClain- The pricey offseason acquisition played on 28 snaps against the Eagles, the fewest by a Redskins defensive linemen. McClain made a solo tackle on an Eagle's rush of 1 yard on first down and teamed with Zach Brown to prevent a Philly first down on a third-and-3 run late in the game.
DL Rotation- All five of the active Washington defensive linemen played on at least 28 snaps and saw a snap share of over 40%, neither of which happened a single time in the 2016 season.
Hopefully, this deeper rotation will keep the linemen fresh and lead to higher productivity, which is perhaps something that we are already witnessing. This was one of the rare occasions in which all five Redskins defensive linemen registered at least one quarterback pressure in the game.
|Outside Linebackers (5 Players)|
|Ryan Kerrigan *||57||84%|
|Preston Smith *||52||76%|
Ryan Kerrigan- Kerrigan saw 57 snaps and started his 97th consecutive game, the second longest active streak by a linebacker in the NFL. Kerrigan split a third-down sack with Matt Ioannidis, recorded another pressure (a hurry) and made tackles on Eagle's runs of 2 and 0 yards.
His biggest play of the game came on a 24-yard pick six of Carson Wentz in the second quarter. It was both Kerrigan's third career interception and interception returned for a touchdown.
Ryan Kerrigan is now tied for the second most pick sixes in franchise history with the following players: Brig Owens, Monte Coleman, Mike Bass, Andre Collins and DeAngelo Hall. The only Redskins player with more interceptions returned for a touchdown is the great Darrell Green.
I was only able to find two other players in NFL history that have returned all of their interceptions for touchdowns.
Preston Smith- Preston Smith's play has been up and down over the course of his 3-year career, but Sunday's game would definitely be considered an up. Smith led the outside backer corps with 4 solo and total tackles, a sack and a TFL. He also was tied for a game-high 2 QB knockdowns and forced an intentional grounding penalty.
Junior Galette- In his first regular season game since 2014, Junior Galette registered 2 QB hits and a sack that was negated by a penalty on just 10 snaps. He led the team with a 40% pressure rate. Jay Gruden promised a workload of around 25 to 30 snaps for Galette in Week 2. Galette's return will be a more than welcome addition to the Redskins' pass rush this season if he can stay healthy.
Reserve OLB- Rookie Ryan Anderson played 10 snaps, but did not record any traditional stats or pressures. His main contribution to the game was an offsides penalty that negated Junior Galette's sack. Chris Carter only took a single snap on defense, but got plenty of work on special teams.
|Inside Linebackers (5 Players)|
|Zach Brown *||68||100%|
|Mason Foster *||68||100%|
|Will Compton||ST Only||0%|
|Martrell Spaight||ST Only||0%|
Zach Brown- Free agent addition and 2016 Pro Bowler, Zach Brown, made his presence known in the middle of the Redskins' defense. He led the game or was tied for a game high in defensive snaps (68), total tackles (12), assisted tackles (5) and TFLs (2). He also made 5 defensive stops and got pressure on Carson Wentz. Brown earned a PFF rating of 81.3, the second highest mark on the Redskins.
Brown wasn't nearly as strong in pass coverage as he was as a run defender. His grade against the run (NFL high of 92.4 for an ILB) was 53.1 points higher than his coverage grade (39.3). He was the primary defender on LeGarrette Blount's 1-yard touchdown reception.
Mason Foster- Foster played on all 68 snaps, recovered a fumble and recorded 8 solo and 9 total tackles. The 8 solo tackles were tied with Jalen Mills for a game high. Those tackles numbers are a bit deceiving though, as only 3 of those tackles were made within 4 yards of the line of scrimmage.
Will Compton- Remember when Will Compton was starting over Zach Brown in OTAs and early in training camp, when the coaches spoke of what was to be a three-headed monster at inside linebacker with Foster, Compton and Brown? Well that talk is done, and rightfully so. Compton did not get a single snap on defense for the first time since Week 1 of the 2015 season.
Reserve ILB- Like Compton, Martrell Spaight also only saw time on special teams. Rookie seventh rounder, Josh Harvey-Clemons was inactive.
|Cornerbacks (6 Players)|
|Josh Norman *||68||100%|
|Bashaud Breeland *||65||96%|
|Fabian Moreau||ST Only||0%|
Josh Norman- Just as he did in 11 contests last season, Josh Norman stayed on the field for 100% of the defensive snaps. He was targeted 8 times and allowed just 3 receptions for 36 yards on those plays.
Norman made 3 tackles (2 solo) and defended a game-high 3 passes; although, at least one of those added to his massive total of dropped interceptions in his time with the Redskins. Nevertheless, Norman is pretty good at defending passes. This was his 5th career game (3rd with Washington) with 3 or more PDs. He is currently tied for the NFL lead in the category with Jalen Ramsey, Robert Alford and Quandre Diggs.
Norman personally held Alshon Jeffery to 2 receptions and a 42.0 passer rating when covering the gigantic Eagle's wideout. Two of his pass defense came when covering Jeffery.
Bashaud Breeland- Bashaud Breeland's plus coverage from the end of last season looks to have possibly carried over into 2017. His rate of 41 coverage snaps per reception allowed ranked second (behind only Patrick Peterson) going into Monday Night Football. We can do the math and figure out that Breeland allowed just one reception in the game, a 30-yard reception by Torrey Smith. Breeland made the tackle on that snap and on one other play.
He also broke up (PD) an end zone target to Alshon Jeffery on the final play from scrimmage of the first half.
Breeland missed just 3 snaps on the day, with 2 of those coming when he left the game to be checked for a concussion.
Kendall Fuller- Kendall Fuller was all over the field and looked like a different player in the opener. He led all cornerbacks in the game with 5 tackles (4 solo, 1 assisted and 1 TFL), defended a pass and was primarily responsible for causing the backwards pass from Wentz to Agholor to be fumbled.
Fuller earned a team-high PFF grade of 85.2, the third highest rating given to a cornerback in Week 1.
Reserve CB- Quinton Dunbar came in to relieve Bashaud Breeland on 2 snaps. He did not record a stat on either play.
Neither rookie corner got any run on Greg Manusky's defense. Moreau was relegated to a purely special teams role and Holsey was inactive.
|Safeties (4 Players)|
|Deshazor Everett *||67||99%|
|D.J. Swearinger *||66||97%|
|Stefan McClure||ST Only||0%|
Deshazor Everett- Su'a Cravens replacement at strong safety got his first career start against the Eagles and played on all but one snap. Unfortunately, Everett failed to impress in his starting debut. He missed tackles and allowed all 4 of the targets in his coverage to be caught for a total of 53 yards. His 31.9 PPF grade was the lowest by any defender on the team and ranked 68th out of 72 qualifying safeties in Week 1. Everett did, however, lead all Skins defensive backs with 7 total and 5 assisted tackles.
D.J. Swearinger- Swearinger saw the field on 66 of 68 defensive snaps, led all Washington defensive backs with 5 solo tackles and defended a pass directed at Alshon Jeffery on third-and-long. That's where the positives end for the veteran safety end, though. He allowed a perfect passer rating (158.3) when targeted and missed multiple tackles, including one that came on Nelson Agholor's 58-yard touchdown (longest play of the game) on the Eagle's first drive of the game. He earned a lowly 35.9 mark from PFF.
Montae Nicholson- The fourth rounder out of Michigan State, Montae Nicholson, only saw the field three times on Sunday. He spelled Everett and Swearinger on the three combined snaps that they missed. He did not record a stat, nor was he targeted on those plays.
Stefan McClure- Stefan McClure making the roster was the biggest surprise of cut-down day, but McClure only appearing on special teams shouldn't come as a shock to anyone.
ALL DEFENSIVE SNAPS
|Defense (26 Players)||Defense (continued)|
|Player||Snaps||Snap %||Player||Snaps||Snap %|
|Zach Brown *||68||100%||Terrell McClain||28||41%|
|Mason Foster *||68||100%||Junior Galette||16||24%|
|Josh Norman *||68||100%||Ryan Anderson||10||15%|
|Deshazor Everett *||67||99%||Montae Nicholson||3||4%|
|D.J. Swearinger *||66||97%||Quinton Dunbar||2||3%|
|Bashaud Breeland *||65||96%||Chris Carter||1||1%|
|Ryan Kerrigan *||57||84%||Will Compton||ST Only||0%|
|Preston Smith *||52||76%||Stefan McClure||ST Only||0%|
|Jonathan Allen *||42||62%||Fabian Moreau||ST Only||0%|
|Kendall Fuller||42||62%||Martrell Spaight||ST Only||0%|
|Matt Ioannidis||33||49%||Josh Harvey-Clemons||Inactive||N/A|
|Stacy McGee *||31||46%||Joshua Holsey||Inactive||N/A|
|Ziggy Hood *||29||43%||Anthony Lanier||Inactive||N/A|
|Special Teams (33 Players)||Special Teams (continued)|
|Player||Snaps||Snap %||Player||Snaps||Snap %|
|Chris Carter||23||88%||Preston Smith||6||23%|
|Will Compton||18||69%||Chris Thompson||6||23%|
|Fabian Moreau||18||69%||Jonathan Allen||5||19%|
|Montae Nicholson||18||69%||Ryan Kerrigan||5||19%|
|Niles Paul||17||65%||Terrell McClain||5||19%|
|Martrell Spaight||17||65%||Josh Norman||5||19%|
|Bashaud Breeland||15||58%||Jamison Crowder||4||15%|
|Matt Ioannidis||15||58%||Kendall Fuller||4||15%|
|Stefan McClure||12||46%||Ziggy Hood||4||15%|
|Quinton Dunbar||11||42%||Ryan Grant||3||12%|
|Samaje Perine||10||38%||Shawn Lauvao||3||12%|
|Mason Foster||9||35%||Spencer Long||3||12%|
|Deshazor Everett||9||35%||Morgan Moses||3||12%|
|D.J. Swearinger||8||31%||Ty Nsekhe||3||12%|
|Dustin Hopkins||7||27%||Chase Roullier||3||12%|
|Nick Sundberg||7||27%||Brandon Scherff||3||12%|
Snaps- Of Washington's 46 active players, 33 of them appeared over the course of 26 special teams snaps on Ben Kotwica's unit. That group of 33 consisted of 19 defenders, 11 offensive players and 3 specialists. Non-specialists Samaje Perine, Chase Roullier, Will Compton, Martrell Spaight, Fabian Moreau and Stefan McClure played exclusively on special teams.
It looks as if Chris Carter may be taking over Houston Bate's former role as the Redskins' top special teams player. He played on five or more special teams snaps than any other player on the team. Rookies DBs Montae Nicholson and Fabian Moreau each saw 18 specials snaps. Former starting inside backer, Will Compton, also received 18 special snaps.
Niles Paul was the only offensive player that got more than 10 teams snaps. Martrell Spaight, like Paul, also recorded 17 snaps.
Kick Coverage- Spaight made the only Washington special teams tackle of any kind when he took down Brent Celek at the Eagles' 26 after a gain of 8 yards. Spaight led the team with 10 total specials tackles last season.
Dustin Hopkins- Hopkins impressive performance in the summer looks to have carried over into the regular season. He converted on both extra points and hit on a third quarter 33-yard field goal. Three of his four kickoffs went for touchbacks, with his only kickoff that was fielded being taken 8 yards to the Eagles' 26.
Tress Way- Tress Way punted the ball four times for a total of 162 yards and an average and net average of 40.5 yards. Those last two numbers are the same because not one of his punts was returned. Two of his kicks pinned Philadelphia inside their own 16-yard line (at the 16 and 6). The punt that put Philly at their own 6 certainly helped, as Ryan Kerrigan took his interception to the house three plays later.
Way's lone mistake came when he shanked his first punt of the game and watched as it went just 30 yards. The Eagles began their ensuing drive their own 44-yard line and scored on the third play of that drive.
Kickoff Returns- Bashaud Breeland had returned just one kickoff (18 yards) in his 3-year career prior to Sunday's matchup against the Eagles. In this game, he returned three kickoffs for 59 yards (19.7 average). The problem was that Breeland only took two of those three returns out past the Washington 20. He took too long to decide on whether or not to take those returns out of the end zone and not hesitation cost the team field position.
Last year's top kickoff returner, Chris Thompson, took his only return 18 yards to the Washington 34-yard line.
Punt Returns- After finishing 2016 ranked in the top-4 in punt return yardage and average, Jamison Crowder opened the 2017 season with what was one his worst career performances as a returner.
He took his two returns for just 3 yards and an average of 1.5 yards, his second lowest career yardage total and average (minimum 1 return).
Crowder muffed a punt and failed to recover it for just the third and second times in his career respectively. Philadelphia scored a touchdown on the ensuing drive.
He also chose not to fair catch a punt that Philly's special teamers wound up downing at the Washington 1-yard line.
On the only Eagles punts that did not end disastrously for the Redskins, Crowder fair caught a ball at the Washington 31 and returned a punt for 3 yards to the Washington 21, the latter of which ended up at the 36 because of an Eagles' unnecessary roughness penalty.
*All statistics are courtesy of CSN Mid Atlantic, ESPN, NFL.com, NFL Gamebooks, Pro Football Focus, Pro Football Reference and Redskins.com*