Snaps- The Washington Redskins’ defense was on the field for 66 snaps and 58 plays against the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football. Both figures were new season lows for Greg Manusky’s unit.
Yards- The defense gave up 298 yards of total offense to Mitch Trubisky and company. That’s both good and bad, because this was by far the fewest yards allowed by the Redskins’ defense this year, but was also the highest yardage output for the Chicago offense.
Points- The Bears dropped 31 points on the feckless Washington D. The Redskins have now given up at least 31 points in each of their first three games, which marks the fifth time in franchise history and the first time since 2012 that they’ve allowed 30 points in each of the first three games of the season.
The tanking Miami Dolphins are the only team that has allowed more points this season on both a per game (44.3 to 31.3) and per drive (3.56 to 3.07) basis.
Red Zone- The Bears found the paint on two of their three trips to the Washington red zone (66.6%). The Redskins have allowed their opponents to score on 70% of the red-zone possessions they’ve faced, which is good for the ninth-worst mark in the league. On the bright side, the team’s lone takeaway in Monday’s game came in the red area.
Takeaways- A Skins defensive back picked off a pass for the second straight week. Unfortunately, those interceptions represent all of the team’s takeaways in 2019. Only the Jaguars, Giants, Raiders, Dolphins and Broncos have forced fewer turnovers this season.
3rd Down- The Redskins’ struggles on third down continued in Week 3. They let the Bears move the chains on eight of their 13 third downs (61.54%). Chicago needed to gain an average of 7.46 yards to reach the sticks on their third-down plays, but that didn’t matter much because they averaged 10.5 yards per play on the money down.
In all, the defense has allowed the opposition to convert on 26-of-41 third-down plays this year (63.4%). The only team in recorded history that has allowed a worse conversion percentage through their first three games of the season was the 2008 Houston Texans (68.4%). What’s worse is that if the Redskins don’t improve in this regard, they will set a new record for the worst third-down conversion percentage allowed in NFL history.
Penalties- Washington defenders were responsible for six of the team’s nine penalties and 41 of the resulting 61 penalty yards. Those infractions gave the Chicago offense a total of 4 first downs.
Prior to Monday night, the defense had only committed 4 accepted penalties for 14 yards and 2 first downs.
QB Pressure- The Skins’ D did score 3 sacks and an additional QB hit. In all, the pass rush was able to pressure Trubisky on just over a third of his dropbacks (35.3%). Perhaps this had something to do with the team blitzing more often (35% up from 21% last week).
Nevertheless, this wasn’t enough to prevent Trubisky from throwing 3 touchdowns after not finding the end zone once in Weeks 1 and 2. The third-year signal caller also set new season highs by a wide margin in yards per attempt (7.45), completion percentage (80.65%) and passer rating (116.5).
Rushing Defense- One area where the defense actually improved was against the run. After giving up at least 123 yards and 9 first downs on the ground in both of the first two games, the Skins limited the Bears to just 90 yards rushing and 2 first downs. It’s also definitely worth noting that 48 of those 90 yards (53.3%) were compiled on the final Chicago drive of the night.
|Defensive Line (6 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Daron Payne *||63||95%|
|Matt Ioannidis *||55||83%|
|Jonathan Allen *||47||71%|
Jonathan Allen- Allen returned from an MCL injury that limited him to just 7 snaps in Week 1 and kept him out of last week’s contest. He was out-snapped by both Daron Payne and Matt Ioannidis and failed to generate pressure on any of his 19 pass-rushing snaps.
The former first-round pick recorded 3 tackles on the night, but they were all made with under seven minutes left to play in the game. He was also flagged for a neutral zone infraction.
All indications are that Allen is a great leader; he seems to say all the right things and carries himself like a true pro. That’s all great, but he’ll need to start leading by example with his play on the field and not his words in the locker room if he wants to see his defense turn things around.
Daron Payne- Daron Payne set a new career high in this one by playing on 95% of the defensive snaps.
He recorded 3 assisted and 4 total tackles, with three of those coming within three yards of the line scrimmage. He did miss a tackle for the first time this season, though. His hurry of Mitch Trubisky made this his seventh straight game with at least a single QB pressure.
Payne received a 74.6 PFF grade for the performance, which was the highest rating given to a Washington defender in the game.
Matt Ioannidis- Ioannidis, who had never topped a 77% snap share in a game coming into the season, played on over 82% of the snaps for the third straight week. He made the most out his extended run by absolutely dominating on the interior of the Redskins’ defense.
He registered a team and career-high 8 pressures in the contest, including a third-down QB hit and 9-yard sack that nearly went for a safety. The last time Ioannidis had recorded a sack was back in Week 10 of last season against the Buccaneers.
The sack was one of his 4 tackles on the night. Unfortunately for Matty I, his strong showing was somewhat tainted because he also whiffed on a career-high 3 tackles. Ironically, the only other time that he’s missed even a single tackle in his entire career, was in the aforementioned 2018 matchup with Tampa Bay.
Tim Settle- Allen’s return to the lineup pushed Tim Settle back into a reserve role, and just as he did in Weeks 1 and 2, Settle played like a backup. He failed to crack the stat sheet on his 14 snaps against the Bears, which I guess isn’t too surprising considering that he only recorded 2 tackles and 2 pressures (both hurries) across his 68 snaps in the first two games.
Other Defensive Linemen- Treyvon Hester played 2 snaps on defense, which brought his grand total on the year up to 3 snaps. T.Y. McGill, who was inactive for the game, was cut on Tuesday.
|Outside Linebackers (5 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Ryan Kerrigan *||57||86%|
|Montez Sweat *||42||64%|
Ryan Kerrigan- Ryan Kerrigan did not have his best game this past Monday night. He did extend his streak of multi-pressure performances to seven games by registering 3 hurries, but that was about all the Heartbreak Kid had to hang his hat on in this one.
He did not record a single traditional statistic for the first time since Week 1 of last season and tied his career high with 2 missed tackles for the second game in a row. Through three games, he ranks 14th on the team in tackles (3) and is tied for the most missed tackles on the club (14).
Kerrigan was also flagged for jumping offsides. The Bears scored their first offensive touchdown of the contest and their second such touchdown of the year on that drive. RyKerr has committed exactly one penalty in each of the last three seasons.
Montez Sweat- The Redskins finally got the type of performance out of Montez Sweat that they were hoping for when for they traded back into the first round of the draft to select him.
Sweat set new season lows in snaps played (42) and snap percentage (64%), but posted new career marks in both tackles (7) and pressures (2). He also led the team with a whopping 6 defensive stops, five of which came in the running game. Sweat’s 16.9% run stop percentage actually ranks second among all edge defenders this season, behind only Trey Flowers’ 17.1% clip.
The Bears did not pick up a first down on any of the plays Sweat made a tackle on and never gained more than 3 yards on any of them; in all, they actually lost 4 yards on those plays (-0.57-yard average).
Most of that was due to the fact that the rookie edge rusher recorded the first sack of his young career when he took down Mitch Trubisky 14 yards behind the line of scrimmage on a third-down play.
I guess not having to play against potential Hall of Famers like Jason Peters and Tyron Smith makes a difference.
Ryan Anderson- Anderson’s snap rate was bumped up for the second straight week (26% > 41% > 50%). He rewarded the coaches by registering a pair of hurries, which represented his first QB pressures of any kind since Week 13 of last season (at Philadelphia).
Anderson chipped in with 2 solo tackles, as well. One of those takedowns was a stop on a David Montgomery run for no gain; however, he kind of wiped out his good deed by committing a neutral zone infraction on the very next play.
He dropped into coverage three times, and wouldn’t you know it, the Bears exploited that by targeting him twice on those plays. Anderson was charged with allowing 2 receptions, 17 yards, 2 first downs and a 3-yard touchdown. This was the first time that he had ever given up a touchdown reception in the pros.
Other Outside Linebackers- McKinzy missed the game with a hip injury and Noah Spence, who was signed last week, was active but did not play in any capacity.
|Inside Linebackers (5 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Jon Bostic *||66||100%|
|Shaun Dion Hamilton||ST Only||0%|
|Josh Harvey-Clemons||ST Only||0%|
|Tanner Vallejo||ST Only||0%|
Jon Bostic- The veteran middle linebacker played on 100% of the defensive snaps for the first time since Week 14 of the 2017 season (Colts at Bills).
Bostic was tied for the team lead in tackles, with 9 of them (5 solo). Four of those takedowns were made within two yards from the line of scrimmage, including a stop for no gain. He did, however, miss a tackle for the third straight week.
Tackling was not his problem, coverage was. He gave up a catch all five times he was targeted and allowed 48 receiving yards and a team-high 4 first downs on those plays. Chicago gained at least 11 yards on each of the first downs he surrendered, two of which came on third down.
Cole Holcomb- Holcomb’s snap total was cut in half (62 to 31) after a down showing against the Cowboys. That did not stop him from being a tackling machine, though. He led the team in solo (6) and total (9) tackles, with the latter of those two being a new season high for the rookie. However, two-thirds of those takedowns were made 5-plus yards away from the line of scrimmage and three of them came after receptions he had allowed.
Holcomb gave up 3 receptions for a combined total of 27 yards and 2 first downs. The bulk of that production came from a 15-yard pass to Anthony Miller on third down. The reception put the Bears’ offense into the red zone and set them up to score a touchdown two plays later.
Let’s shift the focus back to what Holcomb did well in this game, though. Top-ten pick Devin Bush is the only rookie who has recorded more tackles in a game this season (twice) than Holcomb did on Monday, and Bush had at least 53 snaps to do it in both cases. Bush is also the only rookie who has racked up more tackles on the season as a whole than Holcomb has (28 to 23).
Shaun Dion Hamilton- Surprisingly, the Redskins only used two off-ball linebackers on defense, which meant that Shaun Dion Hamilton did not play a single defensive snap for the first time since Week 10 of last season. This is borderline inexplicable because he just had a very strong performance while getting limited playing time (team-high 88.9 PFF grade); logic would tell you that would warrant more work, not less.
Perhaps we should’ve seen this coming though, as SDH’s snap percentage had dropped in each of the team’s last three games.
Other Inside Linebackers- Josh Harvey-Clemons and Tanner Vallejo played exclusively on special teams for the third straight week. JHC hasn’t stepped on the field for the defense in the team’s last five games and has only played 41 defensive snaps in the last 10 contests.
|Cornerbacks (6 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Josh Norman *||66||100%|
|Fabian Moreau *||63||95%|
|Jimmy Moreland *||49||74%|
|Simeon Thomas||ST Only||0%|
Josh Norman- Josh Norman has yet to awake from the nightmare that is his 2019 season.
Mitch Trubisky threw seven passes into Norman’s coverage, which was two more targets than were directed at any other Washington defender, and he gave up 4 receptions for 55 yards, 3 first downs and 2 touchdowns on those passes. The first-down and touchdown figures both represented the highest totals allowed by any player on the team.
Norman also committed a 7-yard pass interference penalty that set the Bears up to score a touchdown from a yard out on the following play, a touchdown that he allowed. The second score he surrendered was a 36-yarder on a 3rd-and-17 play. Javon Wims got in on the fun by hauling in an 8-yard grab against Norman on a 3rd-and-5 late in the third quarter; it was just the fifth catch of Wims’ career.
Norman tried to redeem himself with his first career sack and an interception at the goal line, but we shouldn’t give him too much credit for either play. The interception came on an underthrown pass that probably would’ve been a touchdown if it had been attempted by the vast majority of the other quarterbacks in the league.
The sack was only credited to Norman because he was the closest defender to Trubisky when he scrambled out of bounds right at the line of scrimmage. Norman was literally more than five yards away from him when he stepped out. Two of the three legitimate tackles he made in the game came after receptions he had given up. Norman also missed a tackle.
The 31-year-old corner has now given up at least 60 yards and a touchdown in each of his last four games dating back to the final contest of the 2018 season (18 receptions, 287 yards and 6 touchdowns in that span). And he’s been the victim of a touchdown of at least 35 yards in length in every game this year.
He’s allowed the 7th-most yards, the 17th-most yards per coverage snap and the most touchdowns (4) among all players in 2019. Maybe this isn’t a nightmare for Josh Norman; it might just be the new reality for the declining veteran.
Fabian Moreau- Fabian Moreau finally returned to action after being sidelined with ankle injury for over a month. He certainly seemed to be healthy, as he started at the right cornerback spot and played on all but three of the defensive snaps.
He gave up receptions of 5 and 9 yards to Allen Robinson on the first drive of the game, but was not targeted on any of his other 34 coverage snaps. His 14 receiving yards allowed in the game easily represented the lowest total that had been surrendered by a starting Redskins’ corner this season.
His lone tackle was made after Taylor Gabriel gained 10 yards on a 3rd-and-19 play in the first quarter.
Jimmy Moreland- The seventh-rounder out of JMU started for the second time this season and played in the slot on roughly two-thirds of his snaps in the game.
This was probably Moreland’s best showing in coverage, as he only gave up 3 receptions for 24 yards and a single first down on his 4 targets and 30 coverage snaps. The reception, yardage and first down totals were all season lows for The People’s Corner. He did, however, get flagged for illegal contact on a pass thrown to David Montgomery.
Moreland also topped the career high in tackles he set last week (6) by notching 7 takedowns (6 solo) this past week. Three of his tackles were made on the first four plays of the game. He went on to record three more of them in another four-play span later on in the contest.
He ranks fifth in total tackles (16) among all rookies and is tied for the most takedowns recorded by a first-year defensive back (Taylor Rapp).
Quinton Dunbar- Dunbar missed his second straight game with a knee injury. He did, however, return to practice today, where he took part in individual drills.
Other Cornerbacks- For the second consecutive week, Aaron Colvin was active but did not see the field. Simeon Thomas, who was in on 3 snaps with the defense in Week 2, was relegated to a special-teams-only role.
|Safeties (4 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Landon Collins *||66||100%|
|Montae Nicholson *||66||100%|
|Troy Apke||ST Only||0%|
Landon Collins- Just like in Weeks 1 and 2, Landon Collins was out there for every snap and made a bunch of tackles, but didn’t do much else.
He recorded 8 tackles (6 solo) on the night, including 4 defensive stops. Collins flashed the most on a two-play span where he scored a 3-yard TFL on a Tarik Cohen run on second down and then stopped Trey Burton for no gain after giving up a catch to him on the following third-down play.
That was one of the 5 receptions he allowed. In all, he was responsible for 35 of the Bears’ receiving yards, 24 of which came on a screen pass to Tarik Cohen. Collins had the opportunity to take Cohen down after he had only gained about a yard, but whiffed badly on his first tackle attempt. Collins finally caught up to him 24 yards past the line of scrimmage and made the tackle. However, he slammed Cohen to the ground out of frustration when he did so and drew a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty for it.
Collins ranks second among all defensive backs in total tackles (27), TFLs (2) and stops (10). That’s truly an encouraging thing to see. It would also be nice if he contributed in other ways besides tackling. So far this season, there are 32 safeties in the NFL who have either recorded a sack, QB hit, interception, forced fumble or fumble recovery, and Landon Collins is not one of them.
That list would grow considerably if we were to include safeties who have either notched at least one QB pressure or pass defense. Collins has to yet to do either thing, as well.
Montae Nicholson- Nicholson cooled off a bit, after having what was one of the better showings of his career last week. He made 4 tackles (2 solo) and whiffed on an attempted takedown for the first time since Week 5 of last year (at New Orleans).
The free safety out of MSU was targeted twice, but only gave up a 3-yard reception that came on a 2nd-and-20 play.
Deshazor Everett- Everett played as a third safety on the field for 6 snaps against the Bears. He spent two-thirds of his plays in the box (4) and the rest in the slot (2). He’s played on defense more in the last two weeks (19 snaps) than he has in all but one two-week span in 2018 (81 snaps between Weeks 16 and 17).
Shaze cracked the defensive stat sheet for the first time this season when he assisted on a tackle of David Montgomery after a 4-yard run.
Troy Apke- Once again, Last year’s fourth-round pick only played on special teams. He has still yet to take a single snap with the defense in his career.
I understand that it was just a fourth-round pick, but I couldn’t help to look at some of the guys selected shortly after Apke and wonder what could’ve been. Just imagine the Redskins having someone like Da’Shawn Hand, Avonte Maddox, Will Dissly or Maurice Hurst instead of Apke; you know, guys who are good at football and don’t just play on special teams.
I know hindsight is 20/20, but I also know that the Apke pick was viewed as a pretty big reach according to just about every 2018 draft board out there.
ALL DEFENSIVE PLAYERS
|All Defensive Players (26 Players)|
|Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %||Player (* - starter)||Snaps||Snap %|
|Jon Bostic *||66||100%||Tim Settle||14||21%|
|Landon Collins *||66||100%||Deshazor Everett||6||9%|
|Montae Nicholson *||66||100%||Treyvon Hester||2||3%|
|Josh Norman *||66||100%||Alvin Colvin||0||0%|
|Fabian Moreau *||63||95%||Noah Spence||0||0%|
|Daron Payne *||63||95%||Troy Apke||ST Only||0%|
|Ryan Kerrigan *||57||86%||Shaun Dion Hamilton||ST Only||0%|
|Matt Ioannidis *||55||83%||Josh Harvey-Clemons||ST Only||0%|
|Jimmy Moreland *||49||74%||Simeon Thomas||ST Only||0%|
|Jonathan Allen *||47||71%||Tanner Vallejo||ST Only||0%|
|Montez Sweat *||42||64%||Quinton Dunbar||Inactive||N/A|
|Ryan Anderson||33||50%||T.Y. McGill||Inactive||N/A|
|Cole Holcomb||31||47%||Cassanova McKinzy||Inactive||N/A|
|Special Teams Players (28 Players)|
|Player||Snaps||Snap %||Player||Snaps||Snap %|
|Deshazor Everett||19||90%||Daron Payne||7||33%|
|Troy Apke||18||86%||Montez Sweat||7||33%|
|Shaun Dion Hamilton||18||86%||Steven Sims||6||29%|
|Ryan Anderson||17||81%||Dustin Hopkins||5||24%|
|Cole Holcomb||14||67%||Robert Davis||3||14%|
|Josh Harvey-Clemons||12||57%||Montae Nicholson||3||14%|
|Wendell Smallwood||12||57%||Trey Quinn||3||14%|
|Simeon Thomas||12||57%||Nick Sundberg||3||14%|
|Tanner Vallejo||12||57%||Tress Way||3||14%|
|Kelvin Harmon||11||52%||Tony Bergstrom||2||10%|
|Matt Ioannidis||9||43%||Geron Christian||2||10%|
|Jimmy Moreland||9||43%||Ereck Flowers||2||10%|
|Tim Settle||9||43%||Morgan Moses||2||10%|
|Jeremy Sprinkle||9||43%||Donald Penn||2||10%|
Snaps- Deshazor Everett only missed two special teams snaps and led the team with 19 of them. Troy Apke and Shaun Dion Hamilton were right behind him with 18 specials snaps a piece.
Dustin Hopkins- Hopkins missed his first field goal of the year when his 43-yard attempt in the second quarter sailed wide left. The miss snapped his streak of 11 consecutive made field goals dating back to Week 12 of last season (at Dallas). He was able to connect on a 35-yarder on the final play of the first half, however. Hop did not attempt an extra point, because the offense went for two after both their touchdowns.
Two of his three kickoffs were returned by Cordarrelle Patterson for a combined total of 52 yards (26-yard average). However, both kicks were fielded several yards deep in the end zone and were stopped at the Chicago 20-yard line.
Tress Way- Tress Way only punted once because the Redskins were in catch-up mode for most of the game and went for it on fourth down several times. The last time he didn’t have multiple punts in a game was in Week 10 of the 2017 season (vs. Minnesota).
His lone boot on the day traveled 48 yards before being fielded at the Chicago 17. The Bears returned it for 20 yards, but a holding penalty negated 17 of those yards and brought the ball back to the Chicago 10.
His 48-yarder moved him past Matt Turk (16,981) and into second-place on the franchise’s all-time punting yardage list (16,985). That’s likely where he’ll stay, as his chances of catching up to Mike Bragg (35,746 yards) are somewhere between slim and none.
Way currently leads the league in both punting average (51.8) and net average (46.5). Maybe if this holds he’ll finally start to get the credit he deserves.
Kick Coverage- Wendell Smallwood put a stop to a Tarik Cohen punt return after a gain of 20 yards when he tackled Cohen at the Chicago 37. A hold on the play by the Bears nullified all but three of those yards and moved the ball back to the 10-yard line.
Kelvin Harmon recorded the first tackle of his career when he shut down a Cordarrelle Patterson kickoff return at the Chicago 20. Patterson actually gained 29 yards on the play, but that was because he unwisely decided to return the ball despite catching it nine yards deep in the end zone.
Josh Harvey-Clemons got in on the action with his own tackle of C-Patt at the 20-yard line. That return was fielded three yards into the end zone and went for a gain of 23.
Punt Returns- The Bears only punted the ball away on three of their nine drives. The first one of them went for a touchback and Trey Quinn returned the other two. He fielded his first return at the Washington 33-yard line and returned it 9 yards out to the 42. Quinn gained 6 yards on his second return before being tackled at the 35-yard line.
His 8.8-yard return average ranks eighth in the league among all qualifying punt returners.
Kickoff Returns- Three of the Bears’ kickoffs went for touchbacks; the other three were returned for a combined total of 102 yards by Steven Sims.
That is the highest kickoff return yardage total by a Redskins’ player since Andre Robert’s 177 return yards against the Panthers in Week 11 of the 2015 season (at Carolina). It also gave the Skins their highest total as a team since their 104-yard showing against the Vikings midway through the 2017 campaign.
All three of Sims’ returns gained at least 26 yards and each one of them made it out past the 25-yard line. His longest return of the game was a 45-yarder. He hit a top speed of 20.76 mph on the play, which was the seventh-fastest speed recorded by a ball carrier in Week 3.
It was also the team’s longest kickoff return ever on Monday Night Football and their longest in any game since Will Blackmon’s 45-yarder against the Ravens in Week 5 of 2016. Both Andre Roberts (99) and Rashad Ross (101) topped that number in 2015.
Steven Sims ranks fourth in the NFL with a 24-yard kickoff return average and leads the entire league in both number of kickoff returns (7) and kickoff return yards (168).
Surprisingly Special- Nobody who paid attention to Washington’s special teams in the preseason would’ve predicted this, but the Skins actually rank seventh in Football Outsiders’ special teams DVOA (2.4%) through the first three weeks of the season.
*All statistics are courtesy of ESPN, Football Outsiders, NBC Sports, NFL.com, NFL Gamebooks, Pro Football Focus, Pro Football Reference, Redskins.com, Sharp Football Stats and The Washington Post*
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Shaun Dion Hamilton