Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, July 2, 25 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.
The Redskins last played a game 182 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 70 days.
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 15
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 39
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 63
The top five defenses the Redskins will face in 2017
After looking at things from the point of view of the Redskins’ defense (top five wide receivers, running backs, quarterbacks) here is a look at what the offense will face in 2017. Here are the top five defenses on the schedule per Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric (negative numbers are better).
Broncos, 2016 DVOA -19.0%, ranked 1st—They weren’t quite as dominant as they were on the way to winning the Super Bowl in 2015 (-25.8%) but they still were plenty strong. Their calling card was pass defense as they got 42 sacks and allowed a league-best (by far) 5.0 net yards per pass attempt. Teams could run on them, piling up 130 yards per game.
Giants, -15.0%, 2nd—They went from 30th in 2015 to second last year. Perhaps they will regress to the mean as often happens after such dramatic improvement. But they pulled it off last year with expensive but effective free agent signings and the emergence of second-year player Landon Collins into an All-Pro safety.
Cardinals, -13.9%, 3rd—If there is one defense in this group I would pick to be significantly worse this year compared to 2016 it’s the Cardinals. They lost both safeties, D.J. Swearinger and Tony Jefferson, to free agency. More importantly, Calais Campbell, the hammer on their defensive line, is now gone as well. They still have some talent, notably, cornerback Patrick Peterson and safety/nickel back Tyrann Mathieu.
Eagles, 13.5%, 4th—The only had one Pro Bowl player in Fletcher Cox and they didn’t have any stats that jumped out at you. But they were solid, giving up fewer than 20 points in seven games. There still are concerns at cornerback and we will see if Kirk Cousins and company can take advantage in Week 1.
Seahawks, -10.9%, 5th—If you’ve been paying attention to the rankings here you’ll note that the Redskins play each of the top five defenses from 2016 this year. The Seahawks have managed to keep most of their defense intact, with Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, and Michael Bennett all still around from their Super Bowl teams.
Best of the rest: Washington plays two more teams in the top 10 in DVOA last year, the Chargers (-6.8%, 8th) and Vikings (-6.7%, 9th). So that makes a total of nine games against top 10 defenses.
In case you missed it
- The Redskins week that was—Who's up and down, surprising Davis stat
- Cousins jokes about long-term deals
- Fatigue? Yes, but Cousins' contract remains a big deal