Snaps- Greg Manusky utilized 19 of his 26 defenders over the course of 63 defensive snaps against the Houston Texans.
Of the seven who did not play on defense, three were inactive (Caleb Brantley, Pernell McPhee and Quinton Dunbar) and four played exclusively on special teams (Adonis Alexander, Danny Johnson, Zach Vigil and Shaun Dion Hamilton).
QB Pressure- The defense pressured Deshaun Watson on nine of his 29 dropbacks, which was good for a respectable 31% pressure rate. Three of those plays went for sacks that the Texans lost a combined 27 yards on. Watson finished the day with just 208 passing yards, which is the third-lowest total the Redskins have allowed to an enemy signal caller this season.
Points- This was the lowest point differential for the team in a loss. They lost by double digits and an average of 20 points in their three other defeats in 2018.
And if you want to feel better about the Thanksgiving Day game against the Cowboys, then consider that three of the Redskins’ four losses have come at home and they only allow an NFL-best 16.2 points per game on the road.
Takeaways- The Skins forced three turnovers in the contest, which is the first time they have scored three or more takeaways in consecutive games for the first time since Weeks 3 and 4 of the 2016 campaign. That was also the last season the team took the ball away three-plus times in three or more games.
This extended the team’s NFL streak of games with a turnover to 14.
3rd Down- The Washington defense was able to limit the Texans to a 36% conversion rate on third down, as they stopped the Houston offense short of the sticks on 7-of-11 plays on the money down. This was the first time since week 8 (at Giants) that the Redskins didn’t allow more than half of their opponent’s third-down attempts to be converted.
Red Zone- The Redskins only allowed the Texans to score a touchdown on one of their three trips to the red zone. The TD came on a 16-yard pass to DeAndre Hopkins. That was Houston’s only touchdown in the red area and they had a total of zero yards on their eight other plays inside the Washington 20-yard line (both gains were negated by a sack and a TFL).
In the team’s first five games of the year, the defense gave up touchdowns on 10-of-16 red-zone possessions (66.7%). In their last five games, the team has only allowed their opponents to score on 5 of their 16 red-zone stands (31.3%).
Tight End Defense- The Texans have what is probably one of the worst tight end corps in the league, at least when it comes to receiving production. This is why it was a bit disappointing to see the duo of Jordan Thomas and Jordan Akins put up 3 receptions for 53 yards and 2 first downs in the game.
Akins’ 28-yard reception on a third down was the second-longest offensive play of the game.
Rushing Defense- The once-vaunted Alabama Wall was toppled yet again, as the defense gave up over 100 yards on the ground for the third straight week. Lamar Miller, Alfred Blue and Deshaun Watson combined to rush the ball 31 times for 139 yards, 7 first downs and a 4.48 YPC average.
Miller’s 86 rushing yards was the second-highest such total by an individual player against the Redskins’ defense this season (Tevin Coleman rushed for 88 yards in Week 9).
In Weeks 1-8 the defense gave up 561 rush yards on 146 carries (3.84 YPC); in the last three games alone, opposing rushing attacks have gained 396 yards on 79 runs (5.01 YPC).
|Defensive Linemen (6 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Jonathan Allen *||51||81%|
|Daron Payne *||49||78%|
|Matt Ioannidis *||48||76%|
Matt Ioannidis- Matt Ioannidis played on a season-high 76.2% of the defensive snaps in Sunday’s matchup with the Texans. Matty I rushed the passer on 21 of those snaps and registered a team-high 5 hurries in the game (23.8% pressure rate). Sadly, the Ion Man was the only defensive lineman on the team who generated a single pressure.
He also made three solo tackles on Houston rushing plays. Lamar Miller and Deshaun Watson only gained a total of 11 yards on those plays.
The Redskins would be wise to continue giving Ioannidis more snaps going forward, especially in passing situations. Ioannidis’ pass-rushing productivity score of 8.9, which PFF defines as “a rating that measures pressure created on a per snap basis with weighting toward sacks,” ranks second among all interior defenders this season. Only the great Aaron Donald has posted a better PRP score at the position (12.0).
Jonathan Allen- Big Jon Allen generated multiple pressures in 11 of his first 12 career games, but this game marked the third time in the last two weeks that he failed to register a single pressure. The Redskins have now lost all three games that Allen did not get a pressure in.
Allen fared much better against the run, as each of his 3 solo and 4 total tackles shut down Texans’ rushes. All four of those takedowns were counted as stops, with one of them going for a 2-yard loss. The four stops were tied for a team-high and represented a new personal record for Allen.
Daron Payne- Payne’s performance was incredibly similar to Allen’s. Like Allen, he was basically a zero in the pass-rushing department, but he excelled in run defense.
Payne was unable to generate pressure on any of his 21 snaps as a pass rusher. I think it’s very noteworthy that Allen and Payne have combined to average 5.8 pressures (35) in the team’s wins, compared to just 1.5 pressures (6) between them in losses.
Payne did, however, set career highs in both total tackles (7) and stops (4) in Sunday’s game, with everyone one of those takedowns coming on Houston running plays. Four of his seven tackles shut down running plays for no gain.
Stacy McGee- McGee was out there with the defense for just 6 snaps on Sunday, which was his lowest total since 2014. For the second week in a row, he was unable to pressure the opposing quarterback and his only statistic was a solo tackle on a first down.
Tim Settle- Tim Settle saw his playing time cut from a career-high 11 snaps last week in Tampa to just two against the Texans.
He did not record a stat on either play, but he was called for an illegal-use-of-hands penalty that gave the Texans a first down on their first touchdown drive of the game. Committing a penalty on one of your two defensive plays is not something that will help you get on the field more often.
Caleb Brantley- Brantley was inactive for the seventh time this season. He played on a combined 16 snaps (3 defensive and 13 special teams) in the three contests he suited up in.
|Outside Linebackers (5 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Ryan Kerrigan *||53||84%|
|Preston Smith *||51||81%|
Ryan Kerrigan- Kerrigan returned to form after something of a down game last week. The veteran outside backer tied for a team high with 5 pressures and sacked Deshaun Watson twice, although he was only officially credited with one of them. Watson fumbled on the second sack, but the ball was recovered by Houston lineman Julién Davenport. RyKer also chipped in with an assist on a Lamar Miller run that lost 2 yards.
Five of his 6.5 sacks this year have come since Week 7. Only Aaron Donald (10.5) and Chris Jones (7) have racked up more sacks in that span. Kerrigan is currently on pace for another double-digit sack season, but if he can continue to play close to the way he has in the last five games then we could be looking at new personal record for Washington’s version of the Heartbreak Kid.
Preston Smith- We got to witness the rare second consecutive week of “good” Preston Smith in this one. The fourth-year edge rusher balled out on what was the day after his 26th birthday.
Smith hit Watson on a play that ended with a Redskins’ interception, tipped a pass and intercepted it all on his own, recorded a sack at the Washington 34-yard line that set the Texans back 12 yards and made three tackles in the running game before Houston runners could reach the line to gain (6 total yards gained on those rushes).
The interception was his first of the year and the fourth of his career. This was also his second straight week with a sack, after going nine consecutive games without one.
He is just one of seven players who have recorded 20 or more sacks and multiple interceptions, forced fumbles and fumble recoveries since 2014, the year he entered the league. The others are Clay Matthews, Cameron Jordan, Calias Campbell, Justin Houston, Khalil Mack and Cameron Jordan.
His 3 pressures on the day bring his total in the last five weeks to 22. Only Aaron Donald (36), Chris Jones (27), Dee Ford (25) and fellow Washington OLB Ryan Kerrigan (24) have generated more pressures than Smith has in that span.
His lone gaffe against Houston was a roughing the passer penalty on third down that gave the Texans a fresh set of downs on a drive they would finish with a field goal.
Preston Smith’s 89.7 PFF grade ranked first on the team and third among all edge rushers in Week 11, behind only Khalil Mack (91.5) and Von Miller (90.5). Now we’ll just to wait to see if he can keep this up or if he’ll pull another one of his famous disappearing acts again.
Ryan Anderson- Ryan Anderson’s snap rate dropped from a season-high 32% down to 22% and he was unable to generate any pressure on his three snaps as a pass rusher. He did, however, assist on 4 takedowns, which gave him his second-highest single-game total as a pro (5 tackles at Chargers in Week 14 last season).
Anderson set a new career high with 3 defensive stops. His first one came on a 2-yard TFL inside Washington’s red zone. His two other stops were made on Texans’ rushes that gained a yard and no yards, both of which were inside Redskins’ territory, as well.
His 77.8 PFF grade for the game was the third-highest rating he’s earned in his career.
Pernell McPhee- Pernell McPhee was a healthy scratch for the second straight week. I’m sorry, but I don’t totally buy that this based solely on roster construction and special teams.
McPhee started out hot this season with 8 pressures, 4 of which were QB hits, in his first three games with the team. What’s even more impressive is that he did all that on 27 pass-rushing snaps.
Things went downhill after that for the soon-to-be 30-year-old. In his last 5 games, McPhee rushed the passer 46 times, but he only registered pressure on two of those plays (1 hit). And to top it all off, McPhee has now gone over 13 months without recording a single sack.
Cassanova McKinzy- McKinzy saw his snap count drop from 24 last week to 8 against the Texans. The 2016 UDFA did not crack the stat sheet or any generate any pressures in the game.
|Inside Linebackers (5 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Mason Foster *||63||100%|
|Zach Brown *||55||87%|
|Shaun Dion Hamilton||ST Only||0%|
|Zach Vigil||ST Only||0%|
Mason Foster- Mason Foster’s struggles in coverage continued this past Sunday, but he did his best to make up for it by making a pair of huge plays.
Foster was targeted on 20% of his coverage snaps (5-of-25) and allowed 4 receptions, 2 first downs and a team-high 61 yards on those plays. No player on the team has been targeted on more coverage snaps (51) and allowed more receptions (43) than Foster has this season; only Josh Norman has given up more receiving yards (470 to 363).
Foster atoned for those mistakes by intercepting a pass for the first time this year and recovering a fumble (second). This was the second multi-takeaway game of Foster’s career. He recovered a fumble and forced one that was recovered by Will Blackmon in the Week 13 loss on Monday Night Football to the Dallas Cowboys in 2015.
Mase’s 9 solo and 10 total tackles against the Texans both ranked second among all players in Sunday’s game. Unfortunately, only one of those takedowns was made behind or within 3 yards of the line of scrimmage (2-yard gain) and he missed a season-high 2 tackles.
His six double-digit tackle games this year are two more than any other player in the NFL (eight players tied with 4 such games). Foster ranks third in the NFL with 89 tackles in 2018.
Zach Brown- Zach Brown played 55 snaps in Sunday’s game, his second-highest snap count of the year.
Brown had a solid game in coverage, as he only allowed 2 receptions for 7 yards and no first downs on his 22 coverage snaps and 3 targets. He also recorded a PD for just the second time in 2018, but it was negated by a penalty.
ZB finished the game with 5 solo tackles, 8 total tackles and a pair of stops. One of those stops was an assist that stopped Alfred Blue for no gain on a 2nd-and 2 run. Half of Brown’s tackles on Sunday came within 3 yards of the line of scrimmage, none of which ended with a Texans’ first down.
His 87.0 PFF grade ranked third on the team. Bobby Wagner is still the only inside backer with a higher year-long PFF rating than Brown (90.4 to 87.7).
Josh Harvey-Clemons- Zach Brown’s increased PT came at the expense of Josh Harvey-Clemons, who tied a season low with 8 defensive snaps played.
He did not make any tackles on defense for the first time since Week 2, but he did score a key pass defense on the only target thrown into his coverage. On that play, JHC tipped a pass that Mason Foster then intercepted.
This is yet another friendly reminder for everyone, Harvey-Clemons is a pretty solid coverage linebacker. Want another? Okay. He has played on 176 career coverage snaps, but has never given up a touchdown and has only surrendered 127 yards on those plays (0.72 yards per coverage snap).
Zach Vigil- Vigil returned to the active game-day roster, after missing last week’s contest due to a shakeup at another position. He only played on special teams for the seventh consecutive game.
Shaun Dion Hamilton- Dion Hamilton, like Vigil, does not play on defense unless there is an injury to one of the team’s top-3 linebackers. SDH has played in every game, but all 164 of his snaps this year have come on special teams.
|Cornerbacks (6 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Josh Norman *||63||100%|
|Fabian Moreau *||56||89%|
|Danny Johnson||ST Only||0%|
|Adonis Alexander||ST Only||0%|
Josh Norman- Josh Norman was tasked with shadowing the uber-elite DeAndre Hopkins in this game. J-No gave up 3 receptions for 39 yards, 2 first downs and a touchdown (16 yards) on the 4 targets thrown at him when covering Nuk Hopkins. Those aren’t great numbers, but they aren’t horrible either when you take in mind that this was Hopkins’ second-lowest yardage total in the last 13 months.
Norman was also flagged for two holding penalties against Hopkins, the second of which was an iffy call at best that came on a third-down play with two minutes left in the game. That penalty gave the Texans a new set of downs and allowed them to burn about 60 more seconds off the clock before the Redskins got the ball back.
His 44.0 PFF grade ranked last among all Redskins defenders with 5 or more defensive snaps played in the game.
Fabian Moreau- Moreau played on 90.5% of the defensive snaps, which was the second-highest snap rate of his career.
He had one of his better games in coverage, too. The second-year corner was only targeted once and did not allow a single reception on his 28 coverage snaps. This was the first time Moreau didn’t give up any catches since Week 1.
Perhaps this was because he was used primarily as a boundary corner for the first time this season and spent much of the day covering Demaryius Thomas, who looks like a shell of his former self.
Moreau also chipped in with a pair of tackles in the game.
Greg Stroman- Greg Stroman took over slot duties for Fabian Moreau and played a career-high 29 snaps in that role.
Stroman was targeted twice and only gave up a single reception, but Texans’ wideout Keke Coutee gained 40 yards on the first play of their only scoring drive of the third quarter. That was the longest offensive play of the game by 12 yards.
He was, at least, able to assist on the tackle that ended the play. He added two more helpers to bring his tackle total on the day to three.
The 2018 seventh-round pick has allowed more than 40 receiving yards in all four of the games he’s received substantial playing time in.
Danny Johnson- Johnson was bumped down to a purely special teams role after struggling mightily in coverage in the team’s last two games.
Between Weeks 10 and 11, he allowed 9 receptions for 135 yards, 7 first downs and a touchdown on just 10 targets (13.5 yards per target) and 35 coverage snaps (3.86 yards per coverage snap).
Adonis Alexander- This was the fourth game of the year for the 22-year-old corner out of Virginia Tech. All 49 of his snaps this season have come on special teams.
Quinton Dunbar- The nerve damage in Dunbar’s shin sidelined him for the fourth time this year. He had only missed four games due to injury over the course of his three other years in the pros.
|Safeties (4 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|D.J. Swearinger *||62||98%|
|Ha Ha Clinton-Dix *||62||98%|
D.J. Swearinger- Swearinger was not on the field for the Texans’ victory formation snap at the end of the game, and as a result he fell just short of playing on 100% of the defensive snaps for a 20th consecutive game.
The former Houston Texan had a solid game against his old team. His biggest play of the day was a sack-fumble of Deshaun Watson that he teamed up with Ryan Kerrigan on. This play gave him his second sack and third forced fumble of the year, which are numbers that tie Swearinger’s single-season career high in both statistics. He is the only player in the NFL who has recorded multiple interceptions, sacks and forced fumbles this year.
He also recorded two more solo tackles to bring his total for the contest to three.
Swearinger was only targeted once on his 27 coverage snaps, but he gave up a 14-yard reception on 3rd-and-2 on that target.
He still ranks second among all safeties in overall Pro Football Focus rating (89.2) behind Eddie Jackson (92.4), who had a pick-six against the Vikings on Sunday Night Football this past weekend. Swearinger will have to continue to make big plays if he hopes to surpass Jackson and reclaim his spot at the top of PFF’s safety rankings.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix- Ha Ha Clinton-Dix played on all but one defensive snap. Missing one snap wouldn’t be noteworthy for most players, but Clinton-Dix had only missed defensive plays in four games over the course of the last four years.
HHCD did not have his best game in coverage. He gave up season highs in targets (4), receptions (4), receiving yards (38) and first downs (2) allowed.
Clinton-Dix was, at least, able make the tackle on three of those four plays. In all, he recorded game and personal season highs with 11 solo and 13 total tackles. The 13 combined takedowns tied a career high for Clinton-Dix (Week 15 of 2014), while the 11 solos were a new career best for him.
He did, however, miss a tackle for the first time as a Redskin. That gives him a 25-to-1 made to missed tackles ratio in Washington. I’ll certainly take that considering there were concerns that this would be an issue for him.
HHCD forced All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins to fumble on one of his tackles, and the Redskins recovered the ball. This was Ha Ha’s second FF of the year, which represents a new single-season career high for the veteran safety.
Deshazor Everett- Everett was on the field for 6 defensive snaps against the Texans, which was the second-most snaps he’s played on defense this season. Five of his six snaps came on Houston running plays. He did not record a stat and was not targeted for the eighth time in his ten games in 2018.
Montae Nicholson- Nicholson set a new career low with just one defensive snap played. He was also out-snapped by Everett for the first time since his NFL debut in Week 1 of last season. Unsurprisingly, Nicholson didn’t do anything of note on his lone snap.
His 12 special teams snaps were his most since Week 3 of 2017.
ALL DEFENSIVE PLAYERS
|Defense (26 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %||Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Mason Foster *||63||100%||Josh Harvey-Clemons||8||13%|
|Josh Norman *||63||100%||Casanova McKinzy||8||13%|
|D.J. Swearinger *||63||100%||Deshazor Everett||6||10%|
|Ha Ha Clinton-Dix *||62||98%||Stacy McGee||6||10%|
|Fabian Moreau *||56||89%||Tim Settle||2||3%|
|Zach Brown *||55||87%||Montae Nicholson||1||2%|
|Ryan Kerrigan *||53||84%||Adonis Alexander||ST Only||0%|
|Jonathan Allen *||51||81%||Shaun Dion Hamilton||ST Only||0%|
|Preston Smith *||51||81%||Danny Johnson||ST Only||0%|
|Daron Payne *||49||78%||Zach Vigil||ST Only||0%|
|Matt Ioannidis *||48||76%||Caleb Brantley||Inactive||N/A|
|Greg Stroman||33||52%||Quinton Dunbar||Inactive||N/A|
|Ryan Anderson||14||22%||Pernell McPhee||Inactive||N/A|
|Special Teams (30 Players)|
|Player||Snaps||Snap %||Player||Snaps||Snap %|
|Jehu Chesson||23||85%||Tress Way||9||33%|
|Deshazor Everett||23||85%||Dustin Hopkins||8||30%|
|Danny Johnson||23||85%||Jonathan Allen||7||26%|
|Ryan Anderson||16||59%||Ryan Kerrigan||7||26%|
|Josh Harvey-Clemons||16||59%||Daron Payne||7||26%|
|Jeremy Sprinkle||16||59%||Kapri Bibbs||6||22%|
|Zach Vigil||15||56%||Tony Bergstrom||4||15%|
|Shaun Dion Hamilton||13||48%||Ha Ha Clinton-Dix||4||15%|
|Byron Marshall||12||44%||Jonathan Cooper||4||15%|
|Montae Nicholson||12||44%||Austin Howard||4||15%|
|Adonis Alexander||11||41%||Ty Nsekhe||4||15%|
|Matt Ioannidis||11||41%||Chase Roullier||4||15%|
|Casanova McKinzy||11||41%||Trey Quinn||4||15%|
|Tim Settle||11||41%||Michael Floyd||2||7%|
|Nick Sundberg||9||33%||Greg Stroman||1||4%|
Snaps- The Redskins used 30 players on their 27 special teams snaps in Sunday’s game. Ben Kotwica’s unit was made up of 16 defenders, 11 offensive players and 3 specialists.
Deshazor Everett once again led the group with 23 teams snaps and an 85% snap rate. Jehu Chesson and Danny Johnson tied Everett for the team lead in specials snaps. This was the first game in which Vigil was active and did not tie for the most ST snaps on the team.
Tress Way- Tress Way booted 5 punts for 202 yards, with one of them being returned 16 yards. His average of 40.2 yards and net average of 37.2 were both below par for his 2018 numbers.
Two of his five punts were downed inside the Texans’ 20 (at the 4 and 13-yard lines), which brings his total to 27 such punts on the year. He only trails Britton Colquitt, who pinned his opponents inside the 20 on 29 punts, in that category. Way does, however, still lead the league by about five percentage points with an inside-the-20 rate of 57.4%.
Dustin Hopkins- Dustin Hopkins made all three of his extra point attempts against Houston this past weekend. He missed his only field goal try of the day, a potential game-winning 63-yarder that fell about 10 yards short.
If the kick had been successful, it would have been a career long for him (current long of 56 yards) and it would’ve tied for the second-longest field goal in NFL history (5 other players).
Hop kicked off four times in the contest. Three of those kicks went for touchbacks and one was returned. He still leads the league with an 81.3% touchback rate.
Kick Coverage- The only kickoff that was fielded by the Texans was returned 18 yards to the Houston 27 before Danny Johnson and Josh Harvey-Clemons teamed up for the takedown.
Like with the kickoffs, just a single punt was returned by Houston return specialist DeAndre Carter. That lone return gained 16 yards before Zach Vigil and Nick Sundberg shut the play down at the Texans’ 31-yard line.
Kickoff Returns- Houston kicked off six times in the game. Two of those kicks went for touchbacks and the other four were returned by Danny Johnson.
Two of the returns probably should’ve been downed in the end zone for touchbacks, especially considering that one of them only made it out to the 19-yard line, and Kapri Bibbs made matters even worse by committing a holding penalty on the play that pushed the offense back to their own 9-yard line.
On the Skins’ final return of the game, Johnson fielded the ball at the 6 and returned it for a career-long 27 yards out to Washington’s 33. His 78 return yards on the day were a new career high, and they gave the Redskins their second-best KO return yardage mark of the season (95 yards in Week 9 vs. Atlanta).
In his 2018 debut, Byron Marshall operated as the team’s number-two return man for the game. He didn’t return any of the kickoffs, but he did field the final one of the afternoon in the end zone and kneeled for a touchback.
Punt Returns- The Texans only punted once in Sunday’s matchup and that ball sailed out of bounds at the Washington 40. This was the second straight game in which an opponent punted once, and the Redskins did not have a punt return.
Greg Stroman was replaced as the team’s primary returner by Trey Quinn, who started the year in that role before suffering a major ankle injury in Week 1. Stroman only returned 5 punts for 28 yards between Weeks 2 and 10. His season long of 10 yards accounts for 36% of that yardage total.
*All statistics are courtesy of ESPN, The Football Database, NBC Sports, NFL.com, NFL Gamebooks, Pro Football Focus, Pro Football Reference, Redskins.com, Team Rankings and The Washington Post*
What should the Redskins do about Preston Smith’s impending free agency?
This poll is closed
Let him walk and draft a replacement in the first or second round of the 2019 draft
Replace him with an effective, but moderately-priced free agent
Offer him a $10M APY deal, and if he balks then move on
Give him a contract with an average annual cap hit of about $15M
Let Ryan Anderson take over at ROLB and find a more suitable backup than Pernell McPhee
It’s too early to say, we need to let the season play out (the semi cop-out response)