Need to Know: The Redskins defense's five worst moments under Joe Barry


Here is what you need to know on this Friday, January 6, 54 days before the NFL franchise tag deadline.


Days until:
NFL free agency starts 62
NFL draft 111
First Sunday of 2017 season 247

The five low points of Joe Barry’s defense

These are in ascending order of importance.

5. Dec. 24 2016—Matt Barkley completes an 18-yard pass to Deonte Thompson to convert a third and 18 This wasn’t a critical play but the fact that a third-string quarterback was able to complete a pass to a less than average receiver to convert third and very long was very symbolic in regards to the futility of the third-down defense.

4. Jan. 10 2015—Getting called for two offside and two 12 on the field penalties in the second quarter of the playoff game Again, these were not hugely important plays in and of themselves. But they helped turn the momentum in a game that the Redskins had control of in the first quarter. And, even worse, the Redskins knew this was coming. Anyone who has watched a Packers game on TV knew Aaron Rodgers was going to try to quick snap to catch them trying to get off the field and that he would use the hard count to try to draw them offside. Yet they fell for Rodgers’ tricks anyway. It was a failure of both Barry and the players.   

3. Sept. 18 2016—Dak Prescott and the Cowboys drive down the field in the fourth quarter for the Week 2 winning touchdown Kirk Cousins had just thrown an interception in the end zone. The Redskins held a three-point lead with 10 minutes to play and they desperately needed a stop. But Prescott and company methodically moved 80 yards in 11 plays to the game-winning touchdown by, of all people, Alfred Morris. The drive sent the Redskins to 0-2 after two home games and set off an 11-game winning streak for the Cowboys. Washington's defense of the NFC East title essentially ended early.


2. Jan 1, 2017—Eli Manning throws a 44-yard pass to Tavarres King, setting up the game-winning field goal Going into the game, King had caught just one pass for six yards all season. After lulling the defense to sleep with some running plays after the Redskins tied the game up at 10-10, Manning launched one down the sideline to King, who beat Greg Toler and hauled in the pass. Four plays later Robbie Gould kicked the field goal that ended up sending the Redskins home for the playoffs.

1. Oct. 23, 2016—Matthew Stafford leads a game-winning drive in the last minute to snatch a victory away from the Redskins Cousins had scored a touchdown on a 19-yard run with 1:13 left to play to give the Redskins a 17-13 lead. Stafford needed a touchdown to win and he got it with relative ease. He ate up huge chunks of yardage with three passes that moved the Lions from the 25 to the Redskins’ 18. Then after two incompletions Stafford delivered the gut punch on third down with a TD pass to Anquan Boldin. It was just too easy; the Redskins didn’t get much pressure on Stafford and they weren’t covering well either. The loss ultimately cost the Redskins a playoff spot. 

I’m sure there are more. What plays or moments stick out in your mind? Talk about it in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN or on

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