Defense Grade: D

Defensively the Redskins have dramatically underperformed compared to expectations. Statistically, the Washington defense isn’t as bad as the offense, but that’s not saying much.

The Redskins’ defense doesn’t fail because the team has started to slow down some opposing offenses, barely, but the team can’t move above a D because of how awful the group has been on 3rd down. Opposing offenses have converted 50 percent of their third down attempts against Washington. 50 percent! That’s one out of every two attempts, just to be clear. That’s putrid.

If it wasn’t for third downs, the Redskins defense might be ok. The team gives up about 366 yards-per-game, good for 21st in the NFL. The Redskins give up 24.3 points-per-game, which ranks 20th in the NFL.

Neither of those ranks are good, but they’re not awful. Not even bottom third of the league.

It’s also worth pointing out, however, that since Bill Callahan has been installed as head coach that the Redskins are playing quicker, more plodding games. That doesn’t allow their opponents as many possessions to score. It might be producing lower scores, though it’s not necessarily giving the Redskins a better chance for wins.

The Redskins are tied for 18th in the NFL with 21 sacks, same as Houston and the Chargers. The Redskins have eight interceptions through nine games, which lands them in a five-way tie for 6th place in the NFL.

Landon Collins is the team’s leading tackler, and Matt Ioannidis leads the team with 4.5 sacks. Quinton Dunbar leads the team with three interceptions.


Again, the Redskins defense isn’t too bad. The problem was many expected the group to be very good. That hasn’t happened.

And to be clear, the Redskins defense is awful on third down. That means the group stays on the field, and in turn, that creates more problems. It’s a cycle, and it’s bad.