Ryan Kerrigan's opening act this year was as memorable as The Revenant's (that's a five-year old reference but it doesn't matter, because the beginning of that movie will stick with you forever and then some).
Against the Eagles, the Washington legend moved into first place on the franchise's all-time sack list, captured an NFC Defensive Player of the Week award and was instrumental in the team's Week 1 victory.
Since then, however, Kerrigan has been quiet. Maybe even bordering on silent. Despite seeing more snaps in each of the three games that have followed the Philadelphia win, the pass rusher hasn't registered a sack or a quarterback hit since that afternoon.
On Thursday, coordinator Jack Del Rio was asked for his thoughts on Kerrigan's recent performance.
“He’s been a very good contributor," Del Rio said. "Individual guys, sometimes they have a lot of production and sometimes they don’t. But he gives great effort. Every day he comes out and he’s a pro’s pro. I like the way he works at it.”
The defensive line as a whole has certainly regressed to a certain extent after what they did to Carson Wentz, and that's not completely surprising. There was no way the group was going to be able to completely wreck/annihilate/dismantle/destroy/shred every opposing offense the way they wrecked/annihilated/dismantled/destroyed/shredded Philly. The same could be said for Kerrigan individually.
Still, Washington would love to see No. 91 produce closer to how he did to start the year, even if he doesn't replicate that sort of stat line.
Elsewhere on the edge, Montez Sweat was a terror against the Browns in Week 3 but didn't exactly follow that up versus the Ravens, while Chase Young missed the Baltimore matchup. Kerrigan has got to make a difference again in his outside role. Those two are truly gifted, yet he's the established veteran and former Pro Bowler.
A lot of excuses can be made for Kerrigan's current slump, whether they have to deal with him transitioning to life as a part-time player, working through a scheme change or having just faced a couple of very elusive quarterbacks in Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson.
Kerrigan's never been one to lean on excuses, however, so there's no way he'd accept any of the ones laid out above. As he displayed in Week 1, he still possesses the ability to dominate. And it's an ability Washington needs him to unleash more if they're going to go on the playoff run Ron Rivera believes they can.