Snaps- Greg Manusky’s defense was on the field for all of 53 snaps and 51 plays in Sunday’s season opener, which were the Redskins’ lowest such totals since Weeks 2 and 3 of last season (Raiders and Rams).
Manusky utilized 20 of his 26 defenders on those plays. Of the six who did not play on defense, three of them were inactive (Caleb Brantley, Josh Keyes and Adonis Alexander) and three of them only saw time on special teams (Shaun Dion Hamilton, Danny Johnson and Troy Apke).
Points- The defense only gave up 6 points in the game, which is tied for the third lowest such total allowed by a Redskins team in the last 16 seasons.
Yards and First Downs- Arizona only gained 213 yards of offense and picked up just 14 first downs. Those figures are tied for the fifth and tenth lowest totals for a Washington defense in the last ten seasons.
QB Pressure- The Washington D generated pressure on a very solid 38.5% of Sam Bradford’s dropbacks. Bradford was sacked twice and threw an interception on one of the snaps in which he faced pressure. His passer rating when pressured was a pathetic 7.8.
Third Down- The defense only gave up one conversion on the eight third downs they faced in the game, and that conversion didn’t happen until the final minute of the game. The Skins’ 12.5% defensive success rate on the money down ranks first in the NFL going into Week 2.
This was one of the major reasons the Cardinals went three-and-out on three of their nine full possessions of the game, and it helped the Redskins hold a time of possession edge of 38:08 to 21:52, which was the third biggest time of possession discrepancy in a regulation game since Jay Gruden took over as head coach (2014).
The last time Washington had a better performance on third down was the Week 3 demolition of the Raiders a year ago. Oakland went 0-for-11 on third down in that contest.
Red Zone- The Skins’ defense allowed the Cardinals to score on 1-of-2 possessions inside the red zone.
Tight End Defense- Ricky Seals-Jones and Gabe Holmes were the only Cardinals’ tight ends that played with the Arizona offense in Sunday’s game. They combined to catch three passes for 2 first downs and only 19 yards on 36 routes run and 6 targets. This is not elite competition by any means, but we’ve all seen the Redskins’ defense fare much worse against less.
Rushing Defense- This was a banner day for Washington’s once maligned run defense, as the team only gave up 68 yards on the ground, their best mark since last year’s matchup against the Raiders (32 rushing yards). A big part of this was due to the fact that the Redskins did not miss a single tackle in the running game.
|Defensive Linemen (6 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Daron Payne *||30||57%|
|Jonathan Allen *||28||53%|
|Matt Ioannidis *||27||51%|
Jonathan Allen- Jon Allen teamed with partner in crime Daron Payne to make an assisted tackle on the defense’s first snap of the game. That was his only tackle of the contest.
He did, however, notch a team-high 2 QB hits on Sam Bradford. Allen has registered at least 2 pressures in all six of his regular season games and has averaged 3 pressures per contest in his career. He ranked fourth on the team with an 84.9 Pro Football Focus grade.
Daron Payne- In his regular season debut, the Redskins’ 2018 first-round pick started and led all Washington D-linemen in snaps (30).
Daron Payne recorded 2 solo tackles and an assist in the game. All three takedowns occurred on Cardinals’ first-down runs and were counted as stops; Arizona gained a combined 7 yards on those plays. Payne’s 30% run-stop rate ranks second among all interior defenders and edge rushers, behind only Eddie Goldman’s 42.9% clip. Payne was also able to generate pressure on one of his 19 pass rushes (a hurry).
Payne is one of the youngest players in the entire league and his appearance in Sunday’s game made him the ninth youngest person to ever suit up for the Washington Redskins in a regular season contest (21-105d).
Matt Ioannidis- Matt Ioannidis only made one tackle in the game, but it was a big one. Matty I sacked Sam Bradford, forced him to fumble and recovered the ball on the Redskins’ final defensive play of the afternoon.
The sack was one of his team-high four pressures (3 hurries) in the game. Ioannidis currently ranks third among all interior defenders in pass-rushing productivity, with a score of 13.9 (minimum of 10 pass-rushing snaps).
His PFF grade of 92.2 was a new career high and it ranked second on the team and among all NFL interior defenders in Week 1.
Ioannidis has now forced at least one pressure in 14 of his last 15 games.
Ziggy Hood- This was only a slightly above-average performance by Ziggy Hood’s standards. He played 20 snaps, made a solo stop on a 1-yard David Johnson rush and registered a hurry on one of his 15 pass-rushing snaps. Unfortunately, “slightly above average” for Ziggy Hood equates to “bad” for most NFL players. Hood’s 49.1 PFF grade ranked third worst on the team.
Tim Settle- Tim Settle played on 8 defensive snaps in what was the first game of his pro career. He did not record any traditional stats, but was able to hurry Sam Bradford on one of his five pass-rushing snaps on the afternoon (20% pressure rate).
Settle, who was 21 years and 60 days old on Sunday, is the sixth youngest player on an active roster to have ever played in a game for the Redskins.
Caleb Brantley- The second-year defensive tackle was inactive for Sunday’s game. Brantley played 217 defensive snaps and recorded 2 sacks in his nine games with the Browns last season.
|Outside Linebackers (4 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Preston Smith *||39||74%|
|Ryan Kerrigan *||36||68%|
Ryan Kerrigan- Ryan Kerrigan made his 113th consecutive start in this game, which is an active mark that is only matched or topped by Patrick Peterson, Glover Quinn, Brandon Carr, Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan and Philip Rivers.
Kerrigan somehow did not record a single traditional statistic for the first time since Week 16 of the 2016 season. He did, however, excel at what he does best: rushing the passer. The Redskins’ longest tenured defender generated pressure on four of his 24 pass rushes in the game (4 hurries).
Preston Smith- Preston Smith must have copied Kerrigan in a big brother-esque fashion, because, he too, failed to dent the stat sheet. But like Kerrigan, he was able to get pressure on Sam Bradford. Smith notched a pair of hurries on his 28 rushes.
The contract-year outside backer might not secure the payday he’s seeking if he keeps disappearing for nearly entire games.
Ryan Anderson- After 19 regular and preseason games coming into this week, which included 331 defensive snaps and 135 pass rushes, it finally happened for Ryan Anderson. He finally recorded his first NFL sack. The Redskins intercepted a Sam Bradford pass on the following play. This was the first game Ryan Anderson got a sack in since Alabama’s loss in the National Championship to Clemson almost two years ago.
Including the preseason, Anderson has generated a pressure in five of the his last seven games.
He also lined up as a fullback on a 1-yard Adrian Peterson touchdown run.
Pernell McPhee- Pernell McPhee took 15 snaps with the defense and recorded an assisted tackle in his first game as a Redskin. His biggest impact came as a pass rusher. He only rushed the quarterback on 10 plays, but he tied a team high in both QB hits (2) and total pressures (4). Sam Bradford threw his only interception of the game on one of the plays McPhee hit him on.
|Inside Linebackers (6 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Mason Foster *||37||70%|
|Zach Brown *||36||68%|
|Shaun Dion Hamilton||ST Only||0%|
Zach Brown- Zach Brown started, but only played on 68% of the defensive snaps, his lowest snap rate as a member of the Redskins.
Nevertheless, Brown still tied for the most solo tackles (5), total tackles (5) and stops (3) on the team. Arizona only gained 12 total yards and picked up one first down on those tackles.
As usual, his performance in coverage didn’t quite measure up to what he did as a tackler. ZB allowed 4 receptions for 17 yards and a team-high 2 first downs on 5 targets and 21 coverage snaps.
Overall, Brown had a very solid outing in Week 1. His 90.7 Pro Football Focus rating ranked third on the team and second among all NFL off-ball linebackers.
Mason Foster- Foster was the Redskins’ defensive captain for the game and led all front-seven defenders on the team with 37 defensive snaps played against the Cardinals.
Foster did surrender 5 receptions for 32 yards on his 22 coverage snaps and the 6 targets thrown in his coverage, but none of those completions gave Arizona a first down.
Four of his five tackles (3 solo and 2 assists) came on a single fourth quarter drive.
He also hurried Sam Bradford into an incompletion on one of his three pass rushes in the game.
Zach Vigil- Vigil was heavily involved in the 16 defensive snaps he played against the Cardinals. He was targeted on five of his 13 coverage snaps and allowed 4 receptions for 17 yards and a first down on those plays. It’s hard to hate on him too much here though, because Larry Fitzgerald is responsible for about half of that production.
All three of his solo tackles were on passing plays, with two of them coming on receptions he allowed.
Josh Harvey-Clemons- Things did not go as well for Josh Harvey-Clemons as they did for the team’s other ILBs.
Of his 17 snaps in the game, 14 of them came in coverage. He only gave up a 16-yard reception on one of the 3 targets thrown into his coverage, but whiffed on a team-high two tackles in the passing game.
JHC did, at least, notch a hurry and record a PD on one of his two pass rushes in the game. Unfortunately for Harvey-Clemons, that wasn’t enough to prevent him from earning a team-worst 34.1 PFF grade.
Shaun Dion Hamilton- The rookie inside backer from Alabama worked exclusively on special teams in his first career game.
Josh Keyes- The fourth-year journeyman was inactive against the Cardinals and was waived earlier today.
|Cornerbacks (6 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Josh Norman *||53||100%|
|Danny Johnson||ST Only||0%|
Josh Norman- Josh Norman played on 100% of the defensive snaps for the 22nd time in his 31-game career as a member of the Redskins.
J-No was targeted a total of three times over the course of his 38 coverage snaps and only gave up a 4-yard reception to David Johnson. Norman recorded his only tackle of the game on that play, when he stopped Johnson cold immediately after the ball was caught.
The 4 yards Norman gave up in coverage, represent the second lowest yardage total he’s allowed in his last ten games, the lowest came in Week 15 of last season when he didn’t give up a single reception against this same Cardinals team.
Quinton Dunbar- In what was his first game as the team’s official number two cornerback behind Josh Norman, Quinton Dunbar had easily the best game of his four-year career.
He recorded 4 solo and 1 assisted tackles, which tied the second highest combined tackle total of his career (5). He made two of those tackles short of the sticks on Arizona third downs (2 stops), which forced the Cardinals to punt on both possessions.
Dunbar gave up 2 receptions on his 5 targets and 27 coverage snaps, but those catches only gained a combined 10 yards and neither of them went for a first down; he made the tackle on both plays. He also set a new career high with 3 pass defenses, one of which was the fourth interception of his career.
His 60% playmaker-index score (percentage of targets defended or intercepted) ranked first among all cornerbacks in Week 1. Sam Bradford’s passer rating when targeting Dunbar in the game was a lowly 8.3, which was the fifth lowest passer rating allowed by a CB in Week 1.
Finally, Quinton Dunbar’s career-high 92.3 PFF grade ranked first among all players in the game and all cornerbacks. Earl Thomas, Darron Lee, Daniel Ross, Ryan Fitzpatrick, DeSean Jackson, Tyreek Hill, Drew Brees and Khalil Mack were the only players in the entire league who posted better marks in Week 1.
Fabian Moreau- The 2017 third rounder almost matched his entire 2017 defensive snap total in this game alone (59 to 46 snaps).
Moreau recorded 2 tackles on the day and worked in coverage for 38 of his 46 snaps, 36 of which came in the slot. That set him up with the unenviable task of covering future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald (38 routes from the slot). The young corner out of UCLA was targeted twice, but somehow managed to not allow a single reception in the entire game.
Only three other cornerbacks in the league played 20 or more coverage snaps and did not give up a catch in Week 1; those players are Xavier Rhodes, Aaron Colvin and Patrick Peterson.
His lone miscue of the game was the third-down illegal contact penalty that he committed against Larry Fitzgerald in the end zone. This was the only defensive penalty committed by a Redskin in the game and it allowed the Cardinals to score their only points of the contest, when David Johnson punched it in for a touchdown two plays later.
It appears the Redskins were quite wise to move on from Orlando Scandrick, who allowed 2 touchdowns against the Chargers on Sunday, and to install Moreau as the team’s starting slot corner.
Greg Stroman- The 241st overall pick in the 2018 draft got 11 snaps at outside corner in his NFL debut. The Cardinals passed on every snap that Stroman was in on, but did not throw at him on any of those plays.
Danny Johnson- Danny Johnson’s only playing time against the Cardinals came on special teams. The UDFA got work on multiple special teams units (kick return, punt return, kickoff coverage and punt coverage).
Adonis Alexander- The Skins’ first supplemental draft pick in the last nine years was inactive on Sunday.
|Safeties (4 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Montae Nicholson *||53||100%|
|D.J. Swearinger *||53||100%|
|Deshazor Everett *||2||4%|
|Troy Apke||ST Only||0%|
D.J. Swearinger- D.J. Swearinger played on all 53 defensive snaps against his former team. Unfortunately, he wasn’t quite able to exact revenge the way he might’ve liked to.
He gave up two 27-yard receptions to his old teammate, Larry Fitzgerald, for a team-worst 54 receiving yards, a total that was 32 yards higher than what any other individual Washington defender allowed. He was tied with Zach Brown for the most first-down receptions given up. He did, at least, score a PD on a third-down throw to Arizona tight end Ricky Seals-Jones, which caused the Cardinals to go three-and-out.
Swearinger fared better as a tackler. He tied for the team lead in solo and total tackles (5) and didn’t miss on a single takedown. His 82.9 PFF tackling grade ranked first on the team.
Montae Nicholson- Nicholson also played on every defensive snap, but basically excelled and struggled in the opposite way that Swearinger did.
The sophomore safety was only targeted once on his 36 coverage snaps and allowed a catch that went for just 3 yards. He also recorded a team-high 5 solo and total tackles, but tied JHC for a team-worst two missed tackles.
I guess it’s a good thing Swearinger plays strong safety and Nicholson plays free safety.
Deshazor Everett- Deshazor Everett started alongside Swearinger and Nicholson because the Cardinals lined up in a heavy formation; he only played one defensive snap after that. He did not record a stat of any kind in the game.
Troy Apke- The rookie fourth rounder worked exclusively on special teams in his first game.
Kenny Ladler- The preseason special teams ace and former CFL All-Star was signed to the active roster today. At least for the time being, Ladler is an upgrade over Troy Apke.
ALL DEFENSIVE PLAYERS
|Defense (26 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %||Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Montae Nicholson *||53||100%||Josh Harvey-Clemons||17||32%|
|Josh Norman *||53||100%||Ryan Anderson||16||30%|
|D.J. Swearinger *||53||100%||Zach Vigil||16||30%|
|Fabian Moreau||46||87%||Pernell McPhee||15||28%|
|Quinton Dunbar||40||75%||Greg Stroman||11||21%|
|Preston Smith *||39||74%||Tim Settle||8||15%|
|Mason Foster *||37||70%||Deshazor Everett *||2||4%|
|Zach Brown *||36||68%||Troy Apke||ST Only||0%|
|Ryan Kerrigan *||36||68%||Danny Johnson||ST Only||0%|
|Daron Payne *||30||57%||Shaun Dion Hamilton||ST Only||0%|
|Jonathan Allen *||28||53%||Adonis Alexander||Inactive||N/A|
|Matt Ioannidis *||27||51%||Caleb Brantley||Inactive||N/A|
|Ziggy Hood||20||38%||Josh Keyes||Inactive||N/A|
|Special Teams (28 Players)|
|Player||Snaps||Snap %||Player||Snaps||Snap %|
|Troy Apke||16||80%||Matt Ioannidis||6||30%|
|Deshazor Everett||16||80%||Trey Quinn||6||30%|
|Josh Harvey-Clemons||16||80%||Montae Nicholson||5||25%|
|Danny Johnson||16||80%||Tony Bergstrom||4||20%|
|Zach Vigil||16||80%||Mason Foster||4||20%|
|Shaun Dion Hamilton||15||75%||Shawn Lauvao||4||20%|
|Fabian Moreau||11||55%||Morgan Moses||4||20%|
|Jeremy Sprinkle||11||55%||Ty Nsekhe||4||20%|
|Greg Stroman||10||50%||Chase Roullier||4||20%|
|Ryan Anderson||9||45%||Brandon Scherff||4||20%|
|Dustin Hopkins||9||45%||Ziggy Hood||2||10%|
|Rob Kelley||9||45%||Jamison Crowder||1||5%|
|Nick Sundberg||8||40%||Chris Thompson||1||5%|
|Tress Way||8||40%||Cam Sims||1||5%|
Snaps- The 20 snaps the Redskins played on special teams against the Cardinals, was their lowest such total in at least the last three years. ST coordinator Ben Kotwica used 13 defenders, 12 offensive players and three specialists on those snaps (28 total players).
Troy Apke, Josh-Harvey Clemons, Danny Johnson, Zach Vigil and special teams captain Deshazor Everett tied for a team-high 16 specials snaps. That group basically played on every non-field goal snap taken by the Redskins’ special teams.
Shaun Dion Hamilton saw 15 snaps with the ST unit in his first game. He, Apke, Johnson, Tony Bergstrom and Cam Sims only played on special teams against the Cardinals.
Dustin Hopkins- Hopkins connected on a 31-yard field goal and all three of his extra points. His five kickoffs in the game all sailed out of the back of the end zone for touchbacks.
Tress Way- Tress Way booted his four punts for a total of 186 yards (46.5 average), with two of those kicks pinning the Cardinals at or inside their own 15-yard line.
The Cardinals’ two returns in the contest came when Way was forced to kick from inside the Redskins’ 15. One of those returns only gained a yard, but Arizona returned the other punt 44 yards all the way out to the Washington 26. That return was the reason Way’s net average (35.5) was 11 yards less than his gross average.
Kick Coverage- Apke injured his hamstring on the final specials snap of the game, but still made a touchdown-saving tackle to end Christian Kirk’s 44-yard punt return on that play.
Danny Johnson stopped Kirk for a gain of 1 yard on a punt which was returned to the Arizona 42-yard line; a holding penalty on the play set the Cardinals’ offense back ten more yards.
Nick Sundberg was penalized for a false start infraction on another punt.
Kickoff Returns- The Cardinals only scored once on Sunday, so the Skins didn’t get many opportunities to return kickoffs.
Danny Johnson returned the opening kickoff for 24 yards out to the Washington 23-yard line, on what was the first regular-season play of his career. Greg Stroman was the returner lined up opposite Johnson on that kickoff.
The Redskins were expecting an onside kick after Arizona’s fourth-quarter touchdown, but Phil Dawson sailed a kick over of the entire team, instead. Chris Thompson went back to pick up the ball at the Washington 6-yard line and was tackled for no gain.
Punt Returns- Arizona punted five times in the game. Their first punt went for a touchback and two others were fair caught by Trey Quinn inside the Skins’ 20-yard line. Quinn took the first of his two returns for 12 yards out to the Washington 27. He also gained 12 yards on his second return, which ended at the 25, but that yardage was completely negated by a Quinton Dunbar unnecessary roughness foul. Quinn suffered a high ankle sprain when he was tackled on the play.
*All statistics are courtesy of ESPN, NBC Sports, NFL.com, NFL Gamebooks, Pro Football Focus, Pro Football Reference, USA Today, Redskins.com, The Washington Post and the Washington Times*
Which of the following Redskins defenders is most likely to make their first Pro Bowl this season?
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