Jay Gruden is impressed with the way the back end his defensive unit is playing but he wants to see more of a push up front.
“For the most part we're playing good, sound defense in the back end,” said Gruden. The defensive backfield is a patchwork unit with players like Will Blackmon and Kyshoen Jarrett playing much bigger roles than anticipated due to a rash of injuries. They have performed well for the most part although Gruden did note that they gave up a long pass to Alshon Jeffery late in the game that gave the Bears a chance to tie the game.
But Gruden is concerned about the front side of the defense not getting enough pressure.
“I think we need to get better with our pass rush, no doubt about it,” said Gruden. “When we have third down and seven-plus there were a couple of instances, there were a couple of instances on third and medium to long where he had time to move around and buy a completion. So we've got to keep working on our pass rush but overall I think, from a sound standpoint, I feel good about where we're at.”
Gruden was right about the third and long situations. With seven or more yards to go in third down Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was eight for nine for 115 yards with four of the completions going for first downs. He did not take a sack on any of the third and long plays.
The Redskins did sack Cutler three times yesterday, bringing them to a total of 24 on the year. That ranks 27th in the NFL.