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.
It’s not that I didn’t watch the Philadelphia game in Week One; rather, it’s that I misinterpreted what I saw.
I saw a dominating defensive effort for the first half, followed by a breakdown that came when the DL lost both Jon Allen and Caleb Brantley, leaving just three defensive linemen to play the entire second half without much help from the offense, which was producing a string of 3 & outs that shoved the Redskins defense right back out on the field again and again.
I figured that, with a week to get some reinforcements and game plan, the DL would be okay versus Dallas — especially since I expected Case Keenum, AD and the rest to play more consistent ball-control offense to keep Dak & Zeke on the sidelines for long stretches, which is exactly what happened for about a quarter and a half this week.
I knew that the secondary was thin with Fabian and Quinton unable to go, but — hey! — that’s why DRC was signed. With the safety tandem we had starting, and a week to identify and correct the mistakes from the game in Philly, it seemed to me that the Redskins would be able to handle coverage.
I thought the pass rush would be somewhat improved from Week One, though I still expected it to be restrained, given Dak’s mobility and his outstanding passer rating against the blitz.
All this is to say that I expected the Redskins offense to produce around 20-24 points at home against a fairly good Dallas defense, but that I figured the Redskins D, even without Allen, Brantley, Dunbar and Moreau, would be able to hold the Cowboys to between 17-20 points.
I expected a win.
What I did not expect was to see the same show from the defense that I’d seen a week earlier; that is, really sterling play for about 20 minutes, followed by a comedy routine reminiscent of the Washington Generals vis-à-vis the Harlem Globetrotters, where the Washington defense’s role seemed to be to mostly stand around looking hapless while the opponent ran around them and scored at will.
Poor tackling; communication breakdowns; scheme breakdowns, and — ultimately — simply looking worn out and over-matched. That was the Redskins defense.
For the second week in a row.
What is the single biggest factor in the Redskins back-to-back poor defensive performances in which they’ve given up (NFL 3rd worst) 455 yards per game and (t2nd worst) 63 total points?
This poll is closed
Injuries (J Allen, C Brantley, F Moreau, Q Dunbar)
Too many new defensive players (Sweat, Holcomb, Bostic, Moreland, Collins)
Powerful opposing offenses
Failure by the Redskins offense to sustain drives
Penalties and/or bad calls by referees
Weak defensive roster