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The 5 O’Clock Club: Paynallennidis

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It’s 5 o’clock somewhere…

The 5 o’clock club is published Wednesday to Saturday during the season, and aims to provide a forum for reader-driven discussion at a time of day when there isn’t much NFL news being published. Feel free to introduce topics that interest you in the comments below.


2016 - Redskins draft Matt Ioannidis (#98) in the 5th round out of Temple

2017 - Redskins draft Jonathan Allen (#93) 17th overall out of Alabama

2018 - Redskins draft Daron Payne (#95) 13th overall out of Alabama

These three monsters took the field together for the first time in a regular season game on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.

History was made.

Chris does the heavy lifting... again

In an effort to find out just exactly what the Redskins have got in their young interior defensive line, I asked Chris West (@westcoast_skins) to spend some time with the film of Washington’s Week 1 demolition of the Cardinals and analyze the play of our three young studs up front on defense.

He’s done the hard work of describing what happened with each big man on the plays they spent on-field together; I’ll leave it to you to decide whether they’re actually “badass”.

The Smash Brothers

The Redskins new defensive line had a smashing debut in their 24-6 victory in Arizona. Daron Payne joined Matt Ioannidis and Jonathan Allen to anchor the Redskins defense. I take a look at all six of the plays that the Terrible Trio spent on the field together.

Play 1

Mark it down in the history books. Payne, Allen & Ioannidis first lined up together at the 10:13 mark of the first quarter when the Cardinals came out on offense with a 1st and 10.

Payne and Allen fight off their blocks as David Johnson receives the handoff. Ioannidis, meanwhile, gets under the offensive tackle’s pads & stands him up.

Payne and Allen both shed their blockers and meet at the ball carrier. Ooof!!

Play 2

The second play of the game was another run by Johnson.

Ioannidis is double teamed by the guard and tackle leading the Redskins to expect a run to that side.

Payne sheds his man and storms into the backfield while Allen fills the gap to his left.

Johnson cuts back to the weak side setting up easy blocks for his linemen with the Redskins defenders — and in particular, Zach Brown — overplaying the strong side and losing run fits.

Zach Brown is unable to make the tackle and Johnson runs for 10 yards before Montae Nicholson brings him down.

Play 3

The Redskins stick with Payne, Allen & Ioannidis and their 34 defense on the third play vs the Cardinals offense. Allen and Ioannidis are both double teamed while Payne gets immediate penetration as Sam Bradford sets to pass.

Payne’s momentum is used against him as the guard blocking him does a good job and is able to get Payne off balance.

The guard collides with Ryan Kerrigan who took an inside rush, stopping his penetration also.

Payne ends up on the right side of the defense (the left side of the picture) but with all of the other rushers walled off on the other side, Bradford slides to his left, towards Payne.

Payne makes a run at Bradford while he sets to throw.

Bradford throws incomplete as Payne pressures him but pulls up as the ball is released.

Play 4

Payne is double teamed on the fourth play as Johnson gets his third rush of the game.

The tackle down blocks on Ioannidis, washing him out of the expected hole.

Ioannidis spins to attempt to regain leverage as Johnson cuts back behind the tackle’s block.

Ioannidis reaches and misses on Johnson as he once again sets up blocks with his cutback.

The entire D-line is in pursuit, but D.J. Swearinger comes up to make the tackle after an 11 yard gain.

The Redskins bring in Ziggy Hood and Tim Settle at defensive tackle on their nickel defense and the Redskins force a punt after three more downs.

When the Redskins defense returns to the field after Chris Thompson scores to start the 2nd quarter, the “Alabama Wall”, Allen and Payne, are in at defensive tackle on the nickel defense.

Play 5

Payne, Allen & Ioannidis are reunited on 2nd down as the Redskins go back to the 34 defense. They all stand up their blockers keeping their eyes on the backfield.

Payne gets leverage to his left as he sees Johnson start that way. Allen has his hands in control of the blocker ready to shed him.

With Ioannidis and Payne controlling their blockers, Brown is able to stunt between them forcing Johnson to cut to his left. Allen easily sheds his blocker to face the runner.

Johnson initially eludes Brown but when faced with Allen in front of him, joined by Quinton Dunbar and Preston Smith, he stops.

Allen brings down Johnson with Brown’s help.

The Redskins play nickel defense for the rest of the half with the ‘Bama Boys teaming up at defensive tackle, followed by Hood and Payne, and then Allen and Ioannidis.

Play 6

The Redskins only used Payne, Allen & Ioannidis all together for one play in the entire second half, at the 14:26 mark of the third quarter. Allen takes on a double team as Payne sheds his blocker and Ioannidis stands his up.

Payne stalks the running back in the backfield as Ioannidis gets a push and Allen is taken to the ground.

Payne closes on the runner

And brings him down with the help of Brown.

Analyzing what we learned from these six plays

The Terrible Trio didn’t rack up great defensive stats vs the run when they were all in the game. Arizona had 5 rushes for 24 yards due to the pair of nice runs by Johnson in their first series. The only pass when the three were together on the field was an incompletion.

Despite not being statistically dominant, the Trio did show the potential that will allow them to take over games as the Redskins new defensive anchors.

Daron Payne

Payne showed strength and quickness. He will be difficult for offensive lineman to block solo, although he still needs to learn to keep his leverage. He got better with that as the game went on, but he was twice taken out of a play due to his own momentum — both times in the Cardinals’ first offensive series .

Despite a bit of rawness in his first professional regular season game, Payne is a force to be reckoned with. He will continue to be dominant at times, while also being taken advantage of by wise veterans at other times.

As James Dorsett pointed out in his Stats & Snaps article this week, the 21 year old 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.

Jonathan Allen

Allen is the best all-around defensive lineman on the team. He showed as much strength and quickness as Payne did, and with a full year under the tuteledge of defensive line coach, Jim Tomsula, already under his belt, Jon Allen is poised to do great things in 2018.

Matt Ioannidis

Because of the presence of the two first-round draft picks on the Redskins D-line, Ioannidis is overlooked by most NFL fans, but he is also a dominant force.

The third-year player is every bit as strong as Allen and Payne, and just as much of a playmaker on the defense, with his quick burst.

Nickel coverage

Ioannidis excels even more at defensive tackle on the nickel defense. At the times when Allen paired with Ioannidis on that defense, they looked unblockable. There were two plays that stood out to me when Ioannidis was on the nickel defense.

Nickel defense - Play 1

The first of those two plays occurred at the 9:20 mark of the 4th quarter. Ioannidis and Allen lined up in the A gaps.

Both players got a great jump at the snap with immediate penetration.

Both players were also held briefly by their blockers,

Before breaking free,

And chasing down Bradford,

Although Bradford is able to complete the short pass to Chase Edmonds as he is hit by Allen.

Nickel defense - Play 2

With 14 seconds left in the game, Ioannidis lined up at defensive tackle with Payne in the Redskins pass prevent version of the nickel defense. Ioannidis was a one man show in preventing the pass on this play as he gets double teamed initially.

But the tackle has to slide over in order to block Pernell McPhee and Ioannidis makes short work of the guard in his pursuit of Bradford.

Ioannidis hits Bradford and separates him from the football.

Ioannidis searches for the football,

And completes a Kerrigan-type move with the sack, strip and fumble recovery,

To seal the win vs the Cardinals.

So, now that you’ve had an up-close and personal look at the Redskins three young studs in action together for the first time, what do you think?


Paynalleniddis is:

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    a dominant force that can’t be stopped
    (177 votes)
  • 71%
    promising, but still a bit raw
    (443 votes)
  • 0%
    not very impressive
    (2 votes)
622 votes total Vote Now