Football Team

Why so many double teams for Chase Young? Ron Rivera explains

Football Team

Chase Young is two-thirds of the way through his rookie season in the NFL, but the Washington pass rusher is already demanding a ton of respect from opponents.

Young currently receives double-teams from opposing offensive lines at an extraordinarily high rate. Only six edge rushers -- including J.J. Watt, Joey Bosa and Myles Garrett -- receive double-teams at a higher clip, according to The Athletic's Rhiannon Walker, via ESPN. 

During his Monday press conference, head coach Ron Rivera was asked why he thinks his star rookie has been double-teamed so often, particularly with the numerous other talents Washington has along its defensive front.

“I think a lot of it has to do with the way he started. He burst onto the scene," Rivera said. 

In his NFL debut, Young recorded 1.5 sacks in a win over the Philadelphia Eagles, including a forced fumble. The following week, he added another sack against the Arizona Cardinals, bringing down the elusive Kyler Murray.

"He had some success right away, and people tend to pay attention to stuff like that," Rivera said. "If you look at the people we’ve played and the things that they do, a lot of it does play into the way we attack guys. I think a big part of it is his initial couple of weeks."

Young's hot start got slowed down in Week 3 when the rookie suffered a groin injury, one that kept him out of the remainder of that game against the Browns and the following week against the Ravens.

 

Since returning, though, he's still been effective for Washington's defense, despite the sack totals not being where he -- or his mom -- would like them to be.

After notching a QB takedown in Dallas, Young has 4.5 sacks on the season, good for the fourth on the team -- albeit trailing team leader Montez Sweat by just 1.5 sacks. Young has impacted the game in other ways, though, as he's tied for the team lead in quarterback hits and forced fumbles.

His pass-rush "win rate," another advanced statistic used to evaluate an edge rusher's effectiveness, is one of the best marks across the NFL.

Over the past two games -- wins over Cincinnati and Dallas -- Washington's defense has been playing some of its best football over the season, with Young contributing in a major role. During that span, Young has notched a sack, a pair of tackles for loss, and an epic forced fumble on Bengals QB Joe Burrow

As teams begin to gameplan for Washington down the stretch, making sure No. 99 is taken care of is something Rivera believes is the biggest priority for opponents. That's life in the NFL when you have Young's talent and pedigree. 

"I just think the success that we’ve had as a defense people look to the premier rusher, the right defensive end position and say: 'We’ve got to handle that guy,'" Rivera said.