Snaps- The Redskins’ defense was on the field for 66 snaps in their Monday Night matchup against the New Orleans Saints. Greg Manusky sent out 19 of his 26 defenders in the contest.
Of the seven players who did not take a defensive snap, three were inactive (Caleb Brantley, Adonis Alexander and Troy Apke) and the other four played only on special teams (Kenny Ladler, Danny Johnson, Shaun Dion Hamilton and Zach Vigil).
Yards & Points- The Saints dropped 447 yards and 43 points on the Washington defense, both of which were season worsts. The defense allowed four 400-yard games last season, but they had not allowed an opposing team to put up 40-plus points on them since Carolina scored 44 against them in Week 11 of the 2015 season.
Big Plays for Days- The Skins’ defense had only allowed five plays of 20 or more yards coming into the game; that total doubled to ten, when the Saints dropped plays of 42, 24, 24, 23 and 21 yards on them.
QB Pressure- The Redskins were able to sack Drew Brees twice, but those sacks accounted for a third of their pressures in the entire game. They only disrupted the new all-time passing yardage leader on 6 of his 32 dropbacks, which equates to a very poor 18.8% pressure rate, by far their worst performance of the season, in this regard.
Third Down- The Saints managed to convert on five of their nine attempts on third down, which was good for a 56% conversion rate.
Three of the third downs that New Orleans faced should have brought up fourth downs, but instead the Redskins committed penalties on those plays.
Penalties- Four of the team’s six penalties in the game were committed by the defense. All four infractions gave New Orleans a fresh set of downs and occurred on drives in which the Saints scored touchdowns.
Red Zone- Drew Brees and the New Orleans offense made five trips inside of the Redskins’ 20-yard line and scored touchdowns on four of them (80%). All three of those numbers represent new season worsts for Washington’s defense. The team’s 75% red-zone TD rate allowed ranks 27th in the NFL.
Tight End Defense- The Redskins defense against the tight end position definitely took a step back this game. Ben Watson and Josh Hill combined to catch 6-of-6 targets for 54 yards, 4 first downs and a touchdown. This was easily the team’s worst performance against the position this season.
Rushing Defense- The Skins’ D held the Saints to 3.51 yards per carry on their 29 non-kneel down rushing plays, which was the lowest average they’ve allowed all season.
Those numbers are a bit misleading, though. If you subtract the kneel downs, the Saints gained over 100 yards on the ground, making this the third consecutive game in which the defense has given up 100 rushing yards. Washington also gave up 8 first downs and 3 touchdowns in the running game, both of which were season highs.
|Defensive Linemen (6 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Jonathan Allen *||55||83%|
|Daron Payne *||51||77%|
|Matt Ioannidis *||31||47%|
Jonathan Allen- Jonathan Allen didn’t really make any big mistakes that contributed to the loss, but he also didn’t make any big plays to help the team pull out a win.
Allen tied the career high in total tackles (5) that he set in Week 3, but all five of them were assists. He also failed to generate a single pressure on any of his 29 pass-rushing snaps. This was the first time that Allen has ever failed to register a pressure as a pro (regular season). In fact, he actually had managed to notch a pressure on at least two plays in all eight of his other games.
His 60.8 PFF grade was his lowest such mark of the season and the second lowest grade of his career. Nobody is talking about it, but Jon Allen didn’t show up for this game, either.
Matt Ioannidis- Matty I’s snap percentage jumped up 20 points (26% to 47%) from where it was against Green Bay, but he too failed to impress against the Saints.
Ioannidis did not record a single pressure for the first time this season and for only the second time since the start of the 2017 campaign. The last time he didn’t pressure the opposing QB at least once was against the Cowboys in Week 8 of last season, which was the game he broke his hand in. This was also the first time that the Ion Man failed to get a sack all year.
He did, at least, make 3 tackles (1 solo), but the Saints gained an average of 4.33 yards on those plays.
Daron Payne- Thankfully, at least one member of the defensive line came to play, as Daron Payne put together another very impressive performance.
He recorded a career-high 3 solo tackles, matched his personal record of 3 stops, made 4 tackles in all (including a TFL), forced the first fumble of his career, hit Drew Brees on an incomplete pass and recorded a sack for the second straight week. He led the defense with an 85.5 PFF grade, a rating which ranked 8th among all interior defenders in Week 5.
Perhaps Payne, who is more than two years younger than Jonathan Allen, will end up being the best defensive lineman on this team.
Ziggy Hood- After not playing on defense in Week 3 against Green Bay, Ziggy Hood was out there for 11 defensive snaps verses the Saints. He did what he always does when he gets playing time: virtually nothing. Hood did not record a traditional stat or QB pressure of any kind. His 41.9 PFF grade ranked third worst on the team and second worst among all interior defenders in the league this week. Good to have ya back, Zig!
Tim Settle- Settle also played on defense for the first time since Week 2, and like Hood, he did not crack the stat sheet.
Caleb Brantley- The 24-year-old played in 12 games with the Browns last year, but he’s yet to suit up for the Redskins since joining the team just prior to the start of the season.
|Outside Linebackers (4 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Preston Smith *||54||82%|
|Ryan Kerrigan *||48||73%|
Ryan Kerrigan- Kerrigan played less than he did in each of the team’s last two games, but was still finally able to get the monkey off of his back. He recorded multiple tackles (3 solo) and a sack for the first time this season.
The sack went for a loss of 8 yards on third down; unfortunately, a certain defensive back spoiled the result by committing a personal foul following the play.
All three of Kerrigan’s tackles were counted as stops, as the Saints didn’t pick up a first down and lost a total of 4 yards on those plays.
RyKer also registered a hurry on another Brees’ dropback, which gave him 2 pressures for the game. He led the team’s starting pass rushers in average distance from the QB (4.44 yards). Kerrigan could’ve had an even bigger day if he was not held multiple times, none of which the Saints were flagged for.
He has now recorded multiple pressures in 20 straight games. Kerrigan is tied with Matt Ioannidis for the most pressures on the team this season (12).
Preston Smith- Preston Smith out-snapped Ryan Kerrigan for the third time this year, but unlike Kerrigan, he was not able to score his first sack of the season. He also failed to get a QB hit for the first time since Week 1, but he did hurry Brees on a pair of dropbacks.
Smith finished the game with 4 tackles (2 solo and 2 assisted), making this his third consecutive game with four or more takedowns. He also batted the pass that Brees ended up throwing to himself.
With Kerrigan getting off the sack schneid this week, the spotlight will now fall squarely on Smith, who has not recorded a sack, TFL, forced fumble, fumble recovery, pass defense or an interception this season. Preston, you’re not going to get that big-time playmaker money you want in the offseason if you never make any plays?
Pernell McPhee- In what was his 100th career game, the veteran outside backer played on a season-high 18 snaps. However, McPhee failed to record a pressure for the first time as a member of the Redskins, after disrupting the opposing QB multiple times in each of the last three games.
McPhee missed a golden opportunity to recover a fumble on the Saints’ second drive of the game, when instead of diving for the loose ball, he plodded over to it as he watched Mark Ingram recover the fumble. He recorded his only tackle of the game when he touched Ingram down and finished the play.
He did his best to make up for it, when he recovered a fumble late in the second quarter and returned it 24 yards to the New Orleans 16-yard line. McPhee hadn’t recovered a fumble since his first career game, which took place all the way back in Week 1 of the 2011 season, he did not pick up any return yardage after that recovery.
Ryan Anderson- Anderson only made it onto the field for 11 defensive snaps against the Saints. He wasn’t able to generate any pressure on his 3 pass-rushing snaps, but he did make 2 stops in the running game. New Orleans was stopped for no gain on one of those plays and only gained 3 yards on the other one. His 73.5 PFF grade for the performance ranked third on the Skins’ defense.
|Inside Linebackers (5 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Mason Foster *||66||100%|
|Zach Brown *||58||88%|
|Shaun Dion Hamilton||ST Only||0%|
|Zach Vigil||ST Only||0%|
Mason Foster- Mason Foster played on all 66 defensive snaps and has only missed one defensive play since Week 1.
Mase led the team in solo tackles (6), assisted tackles (4), total tackles (10) and defensive stops (4). This was the third straight game in which he led the team in combined takedowns and posted double-digit tackles, but he did miss one tackle in the running game.
Foster leads the team in total tackles and ranks 4th in the entire league in total tackles per game.
He did give up a reception on all three of the targets thrown into his coverage, but the Saints only gained a single yard on all of those catches combined.
I think it’s fair to say that Foster has been the Redskins most consistent starting linebacker this season.
Zach Brown- Zach Brown set new season highs in snaps played (58) and snap percentage (88%). ZB recorded 6 tackles (4 solo) and a stop as a tackler, but he didn’t fare quite as well in coverage.
Brown gave up a reception on all five of the targets thrown in his direction and allowed Saints receivers to gain 69 yards and pick up 3 first downs on those plays. No player on the Washington defense surrendered more receptions, more receiving yards or more receiving first downs than Brown did. This is why Josh Harvey-Clemons has been playing over Brown on passing downs.
He was also called for a horse-collar penalty in the red zone.
Josh Harvey-Clemons- JHC saw new season lows in both snaps (8) and snap rate (12%). Only five of those snaps came in coverage, so that probably explains some of the Zach Brown stats we just discussed.
His lone tackle of the game stopped the Saints 6 yards shy of the line-to-gain on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Zach Vigil- Vigil spent his third consecutive game working solely on special teams. He’s played just 17 defensive snaps in 2018 and 16 of those were in Week 1.
Shaun Dion Hamilton- Like Vigil, SDH doesn’t really play on defense. In fact, he’s yet to play a single snap with Greg Manusky’s unit this season.
|Cornerbacks (6 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Josh Norman *||61||92%|
|Quinton Dunbar *||58||88%|
|Danny Johnson||ST Only||0%|
Josh Norman- Josh Norman, who is the highest-paid player at his position in the NFL, may very well be the worst of his own team’s three starting cornerbacks this season, and it showed on Monday night.
He started off on the wrong foot by holding Michael Thomas on the Saints’ first pass of the game. That penalty came on a third-down play that should’ve resulted in an incompletion and a three-and-out; instead, the Saints proceeded to score a touchdown four plays later. They never relinquished the lead they took on that drive.
On the final play of the second New Orleans offensive drive, Norman bit on a play-action fake and gave up a 1-yard touchdown to tight end Josh Hill.
Finally, Norman was playing the wrong type of coverage and gave up the record-breaking 62-yard touchdown to Drew Brees and rookie Tre’Quan Smith. There was 9.61 yards between Smith and the Redskins’ closest defender on the play, which was the most separation on a completion thrown by Drew Brees all season.
This was the second straight game in which Norman’s coverage bust was responsible for allowing a touchdown of over 60 yards. So far this season, he has allowed team highs in touchdowns (3), receiving yards (215), yards per coverage snap (1.43) and passer rating allowed (156.3).
Only six other defensive backs who have played on 100 or more snaps this year have allowed a higher passer rating when targeted. Let’s also not forget that Norman has not picked off a single pass since 2016 and he has yet to even register one PD all season.
Josh Norman is the 9th oldest cornerback to start in multiple games this year. I hate to tell you this, but most cornerbacks don’t age gracefully, so it wouldn’t be wise to expect Norman’s play to improve over the remaining life of his contract.
Quinton Dunbar- Things didn’t go well for fellow outside starting corner Quinton Dunbar, either. Dunny was targeted six times on his 29 coverage snaps and gave up 5 receptions for 48 yards and 3 first downs on those plays.
He did tie a season high with 6 total tackles in the game, which is also tied for the second highest total of his career, but four of those tackles came on passes that he allowed the catch on. Dunbar also missed a tackle in the game.
He was able to defend a pass on an end-zone target to Michael Thomas, but he was flagged for holding Thomas on the very next play. The Saints scored a touchdown on their next snap.
His 59.1 PFF grade for the game, was the worst rating he received from the site since Week 8 of last season (vs. Dallas).
Fabian Moreau- Moreau played on just over two-thirds of the defensive snaps in New Orleans. The Skins’ slot corner did allow all four of the targets thrown his way to be caught, but the Saints only gained a total of 32 yards and picked up 2 first downs on those plays. That yardage total was the lowest allowed by a starting member of the Washington secondary.
Three of his five tackles came on the plays he gave up catches on, and forced a fumble on one of them. This was the second consecutive contest in which Moreau forced a fumble.
Fabian Moreau is the only cornerback on the team who has played on defense and not allowed a touchdown this season. He has allowed nearly a hundred fewer receiving yards than both Norman and Dunbar have this year and leads the team with a yards-per-coverage-snap average of 0.53. Only five cornerbacks have posted a better average than Moreau this season, they are: Richard Sherman (0.12), Ryan Smith (0.39), Patrick Peterson (0.45) and Tramon Williams (0.51). He is tied for 6th with Aqib Talib (0.53).
You want to know who has been the Redskins’ best corner this year? The answer is Fabian Moreau.
Greg Stroman- Of Greg Stroman’s 12 defensive snaps coming into the game, 11 of them came against a lowly Cardinals’ offense in a game that the Redskins dominated from start to finish. He had not seen anything yet that could prepare him for the kind of offense and environment he would have to deal with on Monday night.
He came in to replace to replace Josh Norman on the first drive of the second half and proceeded to get absolutely lit up over the course of just 5 defensive snaps. First, Ben Watson caught an 8-yard first down against Stroman on a second down. On the very next play, Tre-Quan Smith burned Stroman and scored a 35-yard touchdown pass. He did not make it back on the field with the defense after that.
In all, Stroman allowed 43 yards on just 3 coverage snaps (14.3 yards per coverage snap). His 27.6 PFF grade ranked dead last on the Redskins’ defense and was the third lowest grade handed out to any defender in the entire league this past week.
I know Jay Gruden was trying to make a point to Josh Norman by benching him, but I’m not sure that he really has the luxury to do that when his cornerback bench is comprised of three sixth or seventh-round players who’ve combined to play a total of a dozen defensive snaps in the NFL.
Danny Johnson- DJ only played on special teams coming into the game and continued to operate in that role on Monday night. He plays on basically all of the punt and kickoff coverage plays, in addition to splitting kickoff return duties with Stroman.
Adonis Alexander- Alexander was inactive once again. He recorded 7 interceptions and 17 pass defenses while at Virginia Tech.
|Safeties (5 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|D.J. Swearinger *||66||100%|
|Montae Nicholson *||61||92%|
|Kenny Ladler||ST Only||N/A|
D.J. Swearinger- Swearinger never left the field in Monday’s game. He is the only defender on the roster who has yet to miss a snap this season.
DJ tied a season-high with 5 total tackles and set new 2018 marks with 5 solo tackles and 2 stops, both of which came in the running game. Unfortunately, he missed a tackle on one Saints’ run, as well.
Swearinger was only targeted once on the night and allowed a reception on the play. That catch was quite a big one for New Orleans, though. The Saints were facing a 2nd-and-17 from their own 46-yard line when Cameron Meredith caught a 46-yarder on Swearinger. The play set Drew Brees and company up at the Washington 8-yard line; Mark Ingram punched in a goal-line touchdown two plays later.
Montae Nicholson- This may very well have been the worst game of Montae Nicholson’s career. He gave up a pair of first-down receptions for the third straight game, with both catches going for over 20 yards and coming on 2nd-and-long plays. To the amazement of absolutely nobody who watched the game, the Saints scored touchdowns on both drives. In all, Nicholson allowed a career-worst 54 yards in coverage.
And on top of all that, he took a poor angle and missed a tackle on Drew Bree’s record-breaking touchdown pass to Tre’Quan Smith.
But, oh wait, we haven’t even talked about Nicholson’s biggest mistake yet. After Ryan Kerrigan recorded a sack (his first of the year) on a third down, Nicholson foolishly pushed Mark Ingram and drew a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty. That play extended the drive for the Saints, who went on to finish the series with a touchdown and a 10-point lead.
Nicholson’s career-worst 28.5 PFF grade ranked second-to-last on the team and dead last among all safeties in Week 5.
Deshazor Everett- Everett played on a season-high 12 defensive snaps against the Saints, which was twice as many snaps as he had played coming into the game (6). Of his 12 plays, 10 of them came in run defense.
He has yet to record a single stat on defense this season. Everett made 52 tackles, recorded 5 pass defenses and forced a fumble on his 589 snaps in 2017.
Kenny Ladler- Kenny Ladler played in his third game of the year on Monday, a number which already eclipses his career total coming into the season (2 games with Buffalo in 2014). All 54 of his snaps this season have come on special teams.
Troy Apke- Apke’s bad hammy has kept him sidelined for the past month.
ALL DEFENSIVE PLAYERS
|Defense (26 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %||Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Mason Foster *||66||100%||Deshazor Everett||12||18%|
|D.J. Swearinger *||66||100%||Ryan Anderson||11||17%|
|Montae Nicholson *||61||92%||Ziggy Hood||11||17%|
|Josh Norman *||61||92%||Josh Harvey-Clemons||8||12%|
|Zach Brown *||58||88%||Tim Settle||8||12%|
|Quinton Dunbar *||58||88%||Greg Stroman||5||8%|
|Jonathan Allen *||55||83%||Shaun Dion Hamilton||ST Only||0%|
|Preston Smith *||54||82%||Danny Johnson||ST Only||0%|
|Daron Payne *||51||77%||Kenny Ladler||ST Only||N/A|
|Ryan Kerrigan *||48||73%||Zach Vigil||ST Only||0%|
|Fabian Moreau||44||67%||Adonis Alexander||Inactive||N/A|
|Matt Ioannidis *||31||47%||Troy Apke||Inactive||N/A|
|Pernell McPhee||18||27%||Caleb Brantley||Inactive||N/A|
|Special Teams (28 Players)|
|Player||Snaps||Snap %||Player||Snaps||Snap %|
|Deshazor Everett||22||88%||Jonathan Allen||6||24%|
|Danny Johnson||22||88%||Maurice Harris||6||24%|
|Greg Stroman||22||88%||Ziggy Hood||6||24%|
|Zach Vigil||22||88%||Ryan Kerrigan||6||24%|
|Josh Harvey-Clemons||17||68%||Daron Payne||6||24%|
|Shaun Dion Hamilton||16||64%||Nick Sundberg||6||24%|
|Kenny Ladler||16||64%||Tress Way||6||24%|
|Jeremy Sprinkle||14||56%||Tony Bergstrom||3||12%|
|Brian Quick||13||52%||Matt Ioannidis||3||12%|
|Kapri Bibbs||12||48%||Morgan Moses||3||12%|
|Ryan Anderson||10||40%||Ty Nsekhe||3||12%|
|Montae Nicholson||10||40%||Chase Roullier||3||12%|
|Tim Settle||9||36%||Brandon Scherff||3||12%|
|Dustin Hopkins||8||32%||Michael Floyd||2||8%|
Snaps- Ben Kotwica’s group was on the field for 25 special teams snaps on Monday night. The group of 28 players was comprised of 15 defenders, 10 offensive players and 3 specialists.
Deshazor Everett, Danny Johnson, Greg Stroman and Zach Vigil tied for the team lead in specials snaps with 22 each.
Dustin Hopkins- Dustin Hopkins was perfect in Monday’s game connecting on two field goals from 37 and 53 yards out. The 53-yarder was his sixth career made kick of 50 or more yards and his first since 2016. He has now made the third most field goals of 50-plus yards in team history. Hopkins also hit on his only extra point of the day on the Redskins’ last drive of the first half.
Three of his five kickoffs went for touchbacks. The other two were returned for gains of 30 and 13 yards out to the 26 and 22-yard lines, respectively.
Tress Way- Tress Way punted the ball three times for 110 yards and a 36.7-yard average, the fourth lowest average of his career. His net average was identical because the Saints only punt return was stopped for no gain. He pinned the New Orleans offense inside their own 20-yard line (at the 17) on one punt.
Penalties- Both Nick Sundberg and Shaun Dion Hamilton committed penalties on special teams. Sundberg was called for a false start on a Tress Way punt (5 yards), and Hamilton was flagged for holding on a Danny Johnson kickoff return (10 yards).
Kick Coverage- On the only Tress Way punt that wasn’t fair caught, Kenny Ladler and Ryan Anderson teamed up to tackle Alvin Kamara for no gain at the New Orleans 36-yard line. The other two punts were both fair catches made at the Saints’ 38 and 17-yard lines.
Deshazor Everett and Danny Johnson each made a solo teams tackle of their own. Everett stopped Taysom Hill after he caught a Dustin Hopkins’ kickoff in the end zone and took it 30 yards out to the New Orleans 26. Johnson also made his solo tackle on Hill when he took another kickoff out to the Saints’ 22-yard line on a 13-yard return.
Kickoff Returns- The Saints booted a total of eight kickoffs in the game. Six of the eight went for touchbacks, while Danny Johnson returned the other two for 19 and 26 yards out to the Washington 22 and 40-yard lines, respectively. The 26-yarder represented a new season long for a kickoff return by a Redskins player.
Punt Returns- The Redskins didn’t have much to do here since the Saints did not punt a single time in the game. This was the first time that the Redskins did not force their opponent to punt once in a game since at least the 1970 merger. That tells you everything you need to know about how the defense played on Monday night.
*All statistics are courtesy of ESPN, NBC Sports, NFL.com, NFL Gamebooks, Pro Football Focus, Pro Football Reference, Redskins.com and The Washington Post*
What should the Redskins do with Josh Norman?
This poll is closed
Hold: Things will get better
Sell Now: Trade him before the deadline
Sell Later: Trade him in the offseason
Cut Now: Release him before he can start any drama
Cut Later: Move on from him after the season